Peter Neely

Principal, Cohesive Strategy Group



Peter Neely’s expertise lies in steering – whether from the driver’s seat of a racecar or the top levels of his industry. For many years, his focus has been on exploring new horizons, setting a course and working to ensure the most effective, beneficial means of getting there.

He’s spent many years at the helm of industry, serving as the President of Perform Marketing and later, Nuway Software, for over three decades. Such roles have enabled him to be at the forefront of digital innovation, consulting with and advising organisations on navigating new ways of working.

Such positions have also reinforced an attitude of not becoming complacent. Peter’s drive to explore new horizons has not only driven his career path but encouraged him to explore new skills and challenge his own understanding of how business can, and should be done.

It is this thinking that led him to the IMPM.

Peter was moved to join the IMPM not only because of the reputations of the institutions the programme works with but by the ideas and values of its founder, Henry Mintzberg. His perspectives on what truly great management looks like and how it can impact both industry and society for the better have provided a compelling argument for shifting the status quo of management for many years.

Since graduating in 2013, the IMPM and its community have remained firmly in Peter’s life. Today he is the Principal at Cohesive Strategy Group in Toronto. The company positions itself as bringing a new approach to strategy consulting and having a refreshing perspective on organisations. Bringing expertise in leadership, culture and strategy, Peter’s work enables companies to evolve – adapting their practices to thrive in a world of consistent change – values that the IMPM also holds at its core.

Aside from using the lessons learned from the programme to help influence and shape his professional life, he has remained close with influential teaching faculty, taking on opportunities to feature as a Guest Presenter with Henry Mintzberg at the “Developing Management in the Spirit of Brazil” event and even extending beyond the IMPM community to collaborate with McGill University’s esteemed management faculty. Such networking has allowed Peter the opportunity to contribute to Forbes, under Professor Karl Moore’s “Rethinking Leadership” column.

Keeping a foot firmly in academia, Peter is also a guest lecturer at Redeemer University, as well as currently pursuing studies in Cultural Anthropology at MIT.

Here he shares how and why his IMPM experience has had such a profound impact upon his life and career.

What prompted you to join the IMPM?

After reading Managers Not MBAs by Henry Mintzberg, I was inspired to learn and understand more about management, a topic which is often absent in traditional programs. The IMPM approach expanded my quilt of knowledge, allowing for a wider mindset of organizations, business, and management.

What is special about the IMPM?

The IMPM is a program that has been inspired and crafted by one of the world’s top management and leadership thinkers; Henry Mintzberg. He has hand-picked like-minded educational institutes from around the world to collaborate and evolve the program’s custom designed curriculum. Furthermore, the program has selected the top faculty in these educational institutes, who are experts in their own field of study, to create a worldly management context depth and breadth, not seen in any other program.

What are the most valuable lessons you learned during the IMPM?

The entire program progression and intertwined learning provides countless lessons for practicing managers and leaders. The five modules are designed around the five mindsets; Reflective, Analytical, Worldly, Collaborative, and Action. Each module possesses valuable learning on their own, while the program as a whole, dovetails the five mindsets to create a transformed manager and leader.

How is the IMPM experience relevant/helpful to you today?

I continually use my experience and education from the IMPM in my organization and when working with clients. The program has fundamentally changed my mindset about managing and leading organizations, and how I think through the approach, understanding, and resolution of the daily management conundrums.

Anything else you’d like to say about the IMPM that would speak to candidates (and/or their organizations) thinking of joining?

This program is for experienced managers and leaders who bring their experiences to the discussions. This is by design for two reasons;

– Each participant must have context of management and leadership to understand how it applies to them and the work they are doing in their organization, and

– The participant’s experience is at the core of the IMPM Experienced-Based Practice approach. The program intersects the curriculum, participant experience and learnings, with the worldly environment of the module setting.

Furthermore, the participants in this program are people who truly want to learn, better themselves, and become better managers and leaders. Candidates with the goal of getting a promotion, need not apply. This sells short, the program, the participants, and the person considering the program.

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