glenn sigurdson


Much of my work is within and among companies, communities, civil society organizations, and governments in the public and private sectors, building partnerships and resolving differences. My role is to deliver a special kind of leadership as the “man in the middle”.
I have been known as a mediator, negotiator, lawyer, facilitator, adjudicator, economist, teacher, writer, but now all of these influences have melded and today I say I “lead without owning” “working in the space between”. My workplace is the diverse world of people and resources, land and water. Here interests, values, rights, power, authority collide engaging different organizational structures and cultures, the "public interest’, regulators, many “publics”, and the public at large.
Expectations "beyond consultation to involvement” in decision making that affects "me, my community, and my people" across regions and watersheds are growing. My leadership role is to work within this complex dynamic to create the context for all these players to explore ways to live together respecting their differences.
My goal is to help them build resilient relationships which are and are seen to be theirs, not mine, and with “ownership” the will to turn words into actions, and the understanding that relationships are assets.

Vikings On a
Prairie Ocean

Writing Vikings on a Prairie Ocean heightened my awareness that the people, places, and influences from a boyhood growing up in a legendary Lake Winnipeg fishing family had shaped and informed my work, and gave me more accessible, and compelling words and ways to describe it.

Global Energy Minerals and Markets (GEMM)

Global Energy Minerals and Markets (GEMM) a multi-sectoral dialogue and learning platform, has been a signature initiative to make a difference building solutions across divides in the diverse world of people and resources.

Glenn's Approach

A Proven Track Record of Success

In many roles and settings, with many people in many places, and over a long and constantly evolving career, and whether it is in a complex dispute or building challenging partnerships his oft heard mantra is "I peddle optimism, it is what I sell best."

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Innovative, Adaptable, Creative

The depth and extent of Glenn's experience enables him to draw upon and combine different streams of his career to bring the insights and skill sets to meet specific situations in creative ways, and infuse his work with engaging and memorable stories.

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No Challenge is Too Big to Tackle

The complexity of multiple parties, uncertainties in every direction, conflicts over rights, interests and values, legacies of history and memory, and today's hopes and fears is where he has lived and worked. This informs his deep understanding of what it takes to move from fighting to talking to resilient relationships.

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Pragmatic and Solution Focused

Glenn drives into the heart of every challenge with a belief that he can help take people to a better place, but only if they own the problem, the process, and the outcome will they have the will and the wherewithal to turn words into actions, and rights into results.

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Glenn's Services

collab multiparty
Collaborative Multi-Party Leadership

The leadership that Glenn brings to multi-party challenges is grounded in his deep understanding of organizational dynamics.The implications and uncertainties around fish, mines or gas fields, and innumerable other challenges, are challenging in and of themselves. However, the far greater challenge is the inability of organizations to resolve problems when the solution requires engaging with other parties who see the world differently, and the structures and cultures that surround them.

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Dispute Resolution
Dispute Resolution

Glenn is an experienced mediator and arbitrator in labour relations, business, and litigation settings. He is able to draw on his experience in different sectors to fashion innovative ways across seemingly intractable differences and impasse.

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Glenn is able to draw on his rich experience with many people, places, and situations, and as a writer, to deliver his messages with insight in an energetic style responsive to a broad range of audiences over a wide range of topics. He is able to breath life into his presentations, punctuated with the authenticity of real stories and the universal appeal of metaphor.

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Innovative Learning Programs

When you "do' and teach, you are better at each. This philosophy has enabled Glenn to bring into every learning environment an interactive hands-on learning style responsive to real problems/challenges of the participants, both within the Executive MBA Programs he delivers at SFU Beedie School of Business, and in other customized programs.

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“If you want to work on the big stuff, sweat the small stuff”

“Leading without owning”

“Go slow to go fast”

“Going forward by working backwards’

‘‘If you want to engage differently externally, you have to think and act differently internally”

“Process is product; form is substance”

“A good way to a good place”

“Two ears and one mouth send one message”

“The world is a village; the village is a world”

“Values are the lens through which we see the world, and the world sees us”

“Values are who we are; power is what we can do to each other”

“People act in accordance with how they perceive their interests; changing perceptions is the energy of negotiations”


“What you see depends on where you stand”

“Think big and small, not big or small”

“Being ‘open’ is the essence of dialogue”

“Dialogue is about discovering and discussing the reasons behind what we do, and won’t do; we all have ‘our reasons’”

“Seeing the road ahead takes both high beams and low beams”

“The river that divides the land gives the land its strength”

“Government – too small a word for too big a thing”

“Governments think slowly, and act clumsily”

“Governments think programmatically, not transactionally”

“Organizations are just a bunch of people; institutions are just old organizations”

“Sustainability is an ‘order of magnitude word’ – like capitalism and socialism, freedom and democracy – that can embrace many things in different ways in different places at different times”

“Being good is good, but not good enough: what creates value is doing and being seen to do good by others who see the world differently than you do”

Is the “ostensible problem” the ” real problem”? Problem solvers know that is the most important problem.