Post-Secondary Leadership Enablement

Academic Leadership

In the Midst of Uncertainty and Disruption

The issues today’s post-secondary institutions are grappling with require a “whole institution” approach. Yet, many campuses have benefited from the flexibility and autonomy of highly distributed decision-making. Without a shift in mindset, new approaches to planning, and leadership based on trust and courage, consensus is difficult to come by, resources are limited, and each individual decision has far-reaching, unintended consequences.

Adding to the challenge, many faculty members step into administration and department chair roles reluctantly, with minimal training or preparation. Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Chairs manage multi-million dollar budgets, facilities, and the future of tens of thousands of students, yet often feel these leadership roles are temporary side-steps in their research-focused career.

Right now is the moment for Universities to shape their own destiny, to reimagine the role they will play in the Future of Work, life, and learning for all stakeholders. Reluctant leadership won’t cut it and time is of the essence. Campus administrators and leaders need proven tools, supports, and methods to challenge outdated thinking and lead their institutions into the future.

The Collaboration

Challenge Factory’s multi-pronged systems approach prioritizes the development of new leadership skills and mindsets. From the Office of the Provost to academic and administrative departments, Challenge Factory works with campus leadership to implement strategic planning that leads to practical action, fosters leadership development that challenges outdated thinking, and conducts executive coaching services that support leaders in their unique and challenging roles. Together, we shape the future of the institution while identifying hidden capacities, capabilities, and possibilities.


The Impact

  • Stronger business and political acumen
    • for new deans, associate dean, and department chairs
  • Enhances sense of team
    • and trust among faculty colleagues
  • Greater alignment
    • of strategic planning activities and future-focused personal desires and institutional vision
  • Resolution of long-standing challenges
    • through assessment tools, creative communications, and consensus-building 


Professor and Chair
McMaster University
Department Of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Working with Challenge Factory allows hidden talent to shine through fostering stronger engagement:


McMaster University