Bio (Phil Cady)

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Phil Cady

Phil Cady


Associate Faculty


Leadership Studies, Faculty of Management, Professional and Continuing Studies


Phil Cady brings to Royal Roads his extensive depth and breadth of experiences in leading action research-based initiatives and corporate leadership development consulting services from the boardroom to the boiler room. He has a passion for leading large-group facilitation and whole-system interventions. He has led many enterprise-wide systemic projects involving leadership strategy formulation and the design, development and implementation of leadership and learning processes to support system strategy. Cady has consulted with all levels of government, whole organizations, executive teams and front line teams throughout Canada, the United States and throughout Europe and the Middle East.


In addition to Royal Roads faculty roles, Cady is the president of Cognitive Leadership Strategies West Inc. and a founding partner of the LEADS Learning scholar practitioner network. Phil was an elected member of RRU’s Board of Governors where he was also a member of the Program and Research Council, and the SoLS Curriculum Review Committee. In his first career, Cady was both a non-commissioned member and an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.


Cady holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary (1994) and an MA in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University (1997) and a Doctor of Social Sciences (2020) degree at Royal Roads, specializing in complexity leadership and decision making. Cady is a Master Trainer for Power + Systems, an Expert Panel member for Friday Night at the ER, a certified MBTI facilitator, certified Human Synergistics practitioner, a member of the Cognitive Edge Accredited Practitioner Network, and a certified Future Search practitioner.


Cady, P. (2020, August). Applied systems thinking: The impact of system optimization strategies on financial and quality performance in a team-based simulation. In Healthcare Management Forum (p. 0840470420950378). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Cady, P. (2020). Leadership and decision making in complex settings., Doctor of Social Sciences Dissertation, Royal Roads University

Cady P., & Devane, T. (2019). Organization workshop. In Holman, P., Devane, T., & Cady, S. (Eds) The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems. (Publication Forthcoming) Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Piggot-Irvine, E., L. Ferkins, and P. Cady. (2018). Goal Attainment Scaling in Action Research: Enhancing a Systems Thinking Orientation. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 35: 2. doi:10.1002/sres.2459.

Robinson, F., Piggot Irvine, E., Youngs, H., & Cady, P. (2018). Struggling to achieve desired results from your AR projects? insights from the Evaluative Study of Action Research may help. Educational Action Research, 1-20.

Sankaran, S., Rowe, W., & Cady, P. (2017). Developmental progress in conducting action research. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 34(5), 609-617.

Cady, P. (2016). A system of system lenses for leadership decision-making. In Healthcare Management Forum (Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 8-11). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.