Blog Archives


Archive for August, 2011


Heading Towards the Launch….

Posted by: in North West

Putting the puzzle pieces of KnowledgeConnector together is no easy task, but that is our mission as Regional Capacity Coordinators. My piece of the puzzle is  working within the NW region of Alberta.

Tomorrow is the start of  the northern trek of  5 day North West  Regional journey, where I will be visiting a variety of communities along the way and putting major miles on my little car. With all the driving I am doing lately, I have grown quite attached to my little Honda civic (I named my car Betty). We have quite the conversations (a little one-sided mind you). I do my best thinking while driving in solitude while singing to 80’s music.  Then there are those  moments of clarity when everything makes sense, and then there are those times “Betty” allows me to vent and rant. That being said, all with the mission in mind of building community capacity to allow KnowledgeConnector to move forward to “launch day” which is coming very soon…!

So the pieces of the puzzle are coming together: we are making connections with our communities, doing presentations, collecting data, identifying learning opportunities, and identifying learning providers linking all this back to

Here is where you can get involved.

KnowledgeConnector is looking for human interest piece(s) that involve you and our project, to be included in launch (Coming September 19th, 2011) material and other communications materials. Would you like free exposure of your organization ?

o   If so, then can you share how KnowledgeConnector has/will benefit you and your organization?

o   What makes KnowledgeConnector different from other programs you have come across?

o   How has KnowledgeConnector motivated you to be a stronger leader?

I would love to hear from you, email your feedback or you have a question or require further information.


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Learning Providers In Central East Alberta

Posted by: in Central East

Calling all learning providers! If you offer training, workshops, seminars or development opportunities related to leadership skills we want to hear from you.

As you are likely aware, the second phase of will be launched on September 19th, 2011 and we are working hard to make sure that we populate the site with as many valuable learning opportunities as possible and that’s where you come in.

But first, what exactly is a learning provider?

A learning provider is an organization (nonprofit or for profit) that offers training in terms of workshops, seminars, webcasts, resources or education. We want to promote your learning opportunities if you specifically offer learning that relates to leadership attitudes, skills and knowledge needed in the nonprofit/voluntary sector. You will want to keep in mind though, that many leadership skills are interchangeable in various sectors. So, if your organization’s learning opportunities do not specifically target the NPVS we still want to hear about what you have to offer. To see how this is applicable read Robert’s blog from the Central West region.

Please also keep in mind, that many organizations out there are convenors of learning and know of great learning providers in their region. So, if you are a learning convener we also want to hear from you as well. will be the one-stop-shop for learning opportunities for the nonprofit/voluntary sector and with as many as 19,000 nonprofit/voluntary organizations in Alberta we will need your input and involvement. Some great examples of learning providers that tailor to the nonprofit/voluntary sector include:

Charity Village
HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector
Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ACE Communities)

If you are a learner I encourage you to see some of the great learning opportunities that relate to your specific learning goals and if you are a learning provider contact us today to become registered on

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Relationship Building vs. Management and Governance

Posted by: in Central East

Have you ever noticed how leaders in the nonprofit/voluntary sector (NPVS) are great at building relationships?

In all of the workshops held in the Central East region so far. I have noticed that the most common leadership strength in all of them has been relationship building. In fact out of close to 60 people only 2 or 3 people indicated that relationship building was a strength they needed to build on.

Why is it that leaders in the NPVS are such good relationship builders? Collaboration and teamwork, community engagement, inclusion and diversity, interpersonal communications, dispute resolution, facilitation and negotiation are the major skills that make up the larger Relationship Building competency in the Leadership Framework. All of these skills include one common denominator. This common denominator is the simple ability to work with others to achieve a common goal. People who work in the NPVS sector do not compete with other organizations or other individuals but rather, they collaborate with others, engage communities and partner to achieve a greater goal that serves others.
Simply put, the nonprofit/voluntary sector has heart.
On the other hand, the ability for groups to be strategic thinkers in terms of management and governance can be a bit of a challenge. Why? Because typically, they are too busy working together to get the job done while building relationships with others who have the same passion!
I held a workshop in Drumheller last week and of course noticed this same trend. Interestingly, the main learning opportunities that the group wanted to become aware of related to legal responsibility, risk assessment and fiduciary responsibility. Fortunately for us these types of leadership skills are more easily taught than those related to relationship building!

To find some great resources related to management and governance visit the learning opportunities page.

Also, make sure to watch of the launch of the second phase of on September 19th!

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Grow your reach, creating and linking Learning Opportunities…

Posted by: in North West

Join  Alberta’s learning providers (public/institutional government, post secondary institutions, private sector consultants community, corporate and NP/VO – capacity organizations) in a discussion on how to increase interest and registration in courses geared towards leaders of the nonprofit/ voluntary sector. Grow your reach and draw potential registrants from across Rural Alberta. is designed to connect rural Alberta nonprofit/voluntary organizations and individuals to targeted learning opportunities in line with their specific interests, needs and training objectives. We need to hear from you, the Learning Provider, as to what we can do to facilitate your support and involvement in the KnowledgeConnector.

Discussion Topics:

  • ASK (attitudes, skills, knowledge) Leadership Competency Assessment Tool: Where do your learning opportunities link with the framework? 6 competency areas are: Big Picture Thinking, Strategic Thinking, Planning and Organizing, Management & Governance, Relationship Building, & Self Awareness and Development)
  • What do you see as benefits of involvement for learning providers?
  • Registration procedures(online) for the learning providers.
  • What information would help you as a learning provider identify learning priorities.
  • How would you see KnowledgeConnector assisting you in promotion and marketing your learning opportunity? – expanding your reach into rural communities.
  • What opportunity do you see to be a sponsor/partner with “featured” information about the organization prominently displayed on the website?

Community sustainability and growth relies on building leadership, knowledgeable volunteers and employees, and on creating a passion for learning.

So join the discussion, I look forward to your feedback, any questions or comments please contact me at

Mark September 19th on your Calendar for our official Website launch of

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Honoring the Outstanding

Posted by: in North West

Time is one of our most valuable assests. Millions of Albertans (Canadians) volunteer their time, engergy and skills to help make their communities stronger, more vibrant and a better place to live, grow and retire.

Here is an opportunity to recognize deserving volunteers in your community: the Prime Minister Volunteer Awards (PMVA). This is a new program that has been created to celbrate the contributions from indviduals across canada. These awards  highlight best practices in community leadership and encourages partnership across sectors.

A total of 17 awards will be given:

  • 2 national awards for lifetime achievment and emerging leaders
  • 3 for each region in the following categories: community leader (for indivual or community group), business leader, social inovator (for nonprofit organizations)

The winner of the awards will have the honor of choosing a nonprofit organization to recieve a grant for $5,000.00 (regional awarsd) or $10,000.00 (national awards).

The nominations are open to any Canadian, business or ninprofit organization that has donated their time, energy and/or experience, all political activities excluded. Nominations are open until September 9 and the winners will be honored at a ceremony in early 2012.

Volunteers deserve to be appreciated and be rewarded for their work and dedication.

To learn more about the Prime Minister Volunteer Awards and to make a nomination, please visit or call 1-877825-0434.



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How to Improve Teamwork in Your Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector Organization

Posted by: in Central East

What motivates your staff to work as a team? Is it relationship building exercises? Is it the way you plan and organize together? Is it the way you work on your self-awareness and development together? Is it the way management works with the team with their big picture thinking? Or perhaps strategic thinking is all done in a team?

Or maybe, it is the way that all of you draw on the strengths of individuals within the team in order to ensure that working together you are able to accomplish what nobody could do individually.

My bet is that the latter is the truth. Whether you all know the strengths of each other individual team members or not, you still know that you work better together than alone.

I am also pretty sure that all of you want to be a part of the strongest team so that your organization can achieve its mission to the best of its ability. I also am pretty confident that you are aware that in order to be the best you can be you need to utilize resources that are made available to you.

Well, if you have completed an A.S.K Leadership Assessment Questionnaire you may have realized that the questions I asked at the beginning include all of the attitudes, skills and knowledge that are required for an effective leader in the nonprofit/voluntary sector. Unfortunately, not one individual can be perfect at all of those 6 competencies and that is why we usually work in a team when trying to achieve a great goal.

If you do not know which competencies you and your fellow colleagues, board members or staff members are strong in, then register for a closed workshop today! Simply give me a call or email and I will set up a free personal workshop for YOUR organization to do a bit of team building. You will discover what competencies you are strong in and I will connect you with learning opportunities to fill any gaps.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Are You a Leader?

Posted by: in North West

Many people are leaders but are unaware of it!

1.    Have you ever helped a person or a group to achieve a common goal?

2.   Are you open, friendly and easily connect with people?

3.   Do you donate time or money to helping others on a regular basis?

4.   Do  you recognize and acknowledge the creative and innovative ideas of others?

5.    Are you involved in the nonprofit voluntary sector?

If you have answered yes to all 5 of these questions, then the A.S.K Leadership Assessment is right for you!

Leadership training should emphasize personal development and developing character (building confidence, trustworthiness, and credibility with others).

Individuals can be brought together for common training and learning opportunities. Consider a mentorship program where leaders (Yes that is you…) who have a skill or knowledge in a specific area may be matched with someone who has identified the competency areas as a learning priority. This process can also be used by organizations to develop a common learning plan based on agreed upon areas for development.

If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your community or within your organization please let me know!  And please remember these are FREE WORKSHOPS for everyone in the nonprofit/voluntary sector. The NW Regional Capacity Coordinator is available to facilitate this workshop for FREE.

We are adding new learning opportunities all the time to the website. We are also are looking for your feedback on how user-friendly the website is. Is there something missing? Your feedback is valuable and necessary to provide a quality product to our participants.

I have to give credit to Amanda my fellow RCC from Southern Alberta for allowing me in using her idea in this weeks blog. Please checkout her blog as well. Thanks Amanda!!

To schedule a FREE ASK workshop please email me


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Making Work for You

Posted by: in Central East

With the exciting new launch of the second phase of coming on the week of September 19th we want to make sure you get the most out of what we have to offer.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Town of Provost. After getting to know some of the nonprofit/voluntary sector leaders in the community, I discovered that although everyone seems to have some type of access to internet these days not all users necessarily have the opportunity to reap all benefits.

For example, in some areas, there are people who simply do not have access to high speed internet. If you have dial up it you can access the internet but it will take you a lot longer to find out whatever it was you were looking for.

Well do not let that hold you back!

Most local libraries provide speed internet free access to residents who have a membership. If you do not have a membership to your local library get one today! The Provost Adult Learning Centre also provides free computer and internet access as do many other Adult Learning Centres. There are also new internet providers who offer high speed internet to the most rural communities who have never had access before. One particular provider is Platinum Communications. You can check out their services at

If you do have high speed internet you are likely to agree that there is such an overwhelming abundance of information that it can sometimes be a bit intimidating. This is, in large part, why has been developed. In order to help create some of the strongest nonprofit/voluntary sector leaders in Alberta, we realized that we needed to make it easier for leaders to be able to access timely, relevant professional development opportunities that meet your learning needs. So, whether you are working at home or utilizing some your community’s internet resources, we hope you can help us make help you become the leader you were always meant to be.

How? It’s simple. If you are a learning provider register on and post your awesome learning opportunities as they become available. Secondly, ensure you complete the online A.S.K. Leadership Assessment either through a workshop or online after September 19, 2011. And lastly, visit often! The ‘Global News’ and ‘Your Region’ sections are continuously being updated so check them often!

If you need more information on how to register as a learning provider or how to use more effectively give me a call.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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