Blog Archives


Archive for November, 2011


Not Too Early to Set a New Year’s Resolution

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

As the Christmas season fastly approaches, I once again dig out the christmas decorations. As I sort through them (6 large Rubbermaid tubs) to see what I will put up this year. Every year I look at the amount of decorations I have collected over the years and once again I resist the temptation to go out and buy some new christmas decorations to add to the collection (because it is always nice to put up a couple of new things each year). The task of decorating falls solely on my shoulders. So, I only pull out a quarter of the decorations, because one; I am the one who has to put them away and two I have to dust “the stuff”.

I find that if I do not decorate in November I run out of time and I am rushed to create a christmas atmosphere. The holiday season seems so rushed every year and still haven’t figured out where time goes. We all get busy and before we know it Christmas is here (with or without homemade Christmas baking). So, the question is how do I slow down? (If I had the magic wand to that question I would be rich woman). We still have to work though until holidays, so we lumber through.

The season is all about giving to others. We shop for the perfect gifts and rush to wrap and send parcels away to friends and family. What do we do for ourselves?

So here is my suggestion; create a learning moment. Invite a couple of  friends over, put on a pot a coffee and serve up some of those Christmas cookies you just baked. Gather around the table and plug-in your wireless laptop or iPad and click on, You can complete an online Assessment that will identify your skills as a leader as well identify the gaps, which at the end will create a “report card” and link you automatically to learning opportunities. It is that easy. It is never too late to plan ahead and create a learning plan for you and some friends that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Here are just a few learning options that I have pulled from the Knowledge Connector Website that may be of interest to you:

– Leadership Webinars (FREE) from

– Blogs and articles highlighting a variety volunteer and non-profit issues, solutions and suggestions at

– FREE Webinars (check out the archive as well) on Community Development and Community Engagement ideas go to

– How-to articles, volunteer  educational opportunities go to will guide you through the ins and outs of operating a charity organization (and will even come out to you…) listed are a variety of resources for educational opportunities

There is that old saying “do as I do not as I say…” well I am taking my own advice and creating a learning plan that is designed just for me that I can do from the comfort of my own home (or couch). So start your new years resolution today. Follow along on my blog as I track my progress (good or bad) over the next couple of months. I welcome your feedback as well so email me at

Happy Holidays!!



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Leadership Development: The Key to Success

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Do you have what it takes to be a great leader? Leadership development can seem like a daunting task. It does after all; take 6 attitudes, skills and knowledge to be a great well rounded leader. However, leadership comes in many forms. Leadership does not only require one person to stand up and have all 6 competencies.

Take the RE-AMP network for example. RE-AMP is an engaged and active network of nonprofits and foundations working on reducing global warming emissions by 80 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2050. This group of leaders have conjoined to reach their big hairy audacious goal, (otherwise known as a BHAG, coined by Jim Collins). This network of leaders has been extremely successful and is on target with their big hairy audacious goal.

The art of relationship building and networking, noted as one of the 6 competencies that make an effective leader in the non-profit/voluntary sector, is crucial to success.

To learn about the six principles that RE-AMP utilized in quest and attainment of leadership, with a particular focus on network leadership, and to learn how to build aligned action networks powerful enough to tackle major social challenges check out a webinar offered by the Leadership Learning Community. For more information on this webinar offered on December 6 click here.

There are many leadership development opportunities out there and improving your great leadership skills is only a click of the mouse away. This is why is here. We are here to help you be the leader you were always meant to be.

Many learning providers such as Adult Learning Councils, private consultants, educational institutions and nonprofit/volunteer and government groups exist and are out there to help you attain your leadership goals. If you are a learning provider and would like to extend your reach to the thousands who visit register today.

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Big Picture Thinking In Small Town Alberta

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

We all know that leaders of organizations that are visionaries often create great organizations that often create big change.

Last week I was able to attend the Strathcona County Interagency meeting. There were over 30 people in attendance representing various communities and each and every one of them shared inspiring stories of new programs and initiatives that their organizations are tackling to create stronger, more vibrant communities in Strathcona County.

I would love to highlight them all but wanted to share of one that I had been unfamiliar with and that made me think of the Big Picture thinking skills of the founder. This organization is called County Clothes-Line.  Founded in 1984, “County Clothes-Line Foundation grants funds, generated by the Clothes-Line Store, to Strathcona County non-profit groups and individuals, to assist them in initiating innovative projects or programs which contribute toward a higher quality of life for the residents of Strathcona County”. The board reviews applications and judges each on its individual merit and the perceived ability of the organization to meet their objectives.

If you haven’t looked at the definition of Big Picture Thinking from the leadership assessment for a while I want to share it with you and compare how the mandate of County Clothes-Line reeks of it.

“Part of the essence of big picture thinking is looking at the world with the broadest possible view. Developing a good frame (or framework) help determine how these aspects intersect, and then connect back to the organization’s overarching purpose or goal.” A sub-category of Big Picture Thinking is Innovation and Creation which means identifying and implementing strategic and creative solutions to issues and challenges.

County Clothes-Line identified the lack of affordable clothing and lack of available funding for community-driven projects and developed and implemented the innovative solution of utilizing a consignment store to make affordable clothing and funding for community projects more readily available.

I invite you to book a workshop with your board to help identify if your organization has strong Big Picture Thinking skills. Contact me to book one today!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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We need you…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

As we move forward  with we remain vigilant in posting and updating learning opportunities on the website. This is where we need your help…

The new website continues to link learners throughout rural Alberta to various learning and training opportunities with just a click of a mouse. In addition, learners are able to go online and fill out their own ASK (attitudes, skills & knowledge) Assessment Tool which helps you identify your leadership strengths and gap areas by providing a printable “report card”. This report card will automatically link you to various listed learning opportunities and learning providers. (exert re-posted form an earlier blog).

Not only is the new website “learner friendly” but we have included a section for learning providers as well. Individual learning providers (which we like to call LP’s) can go online and register their organization/agency and post their own learning opportunities. As well each LP is provided with their own login in and password which enables them to go in and edit anytime.

Here is how it works:

What is a Learning Provider?

An agency or individual who are providing leadership development learning opportunities for leaders working in the voluntary/non-profit sector.  This includes both non-profit and for-profit organizations and individuals.

Learning Provider Categories:

Program Developers: Those organizations or individuals who design and deliver learning opportunities for their own membership base, or
general non-profit sector.

These are organization that may host a learning opportunity developed by another organization.   For example the Volunteer Centres who host through iCCAN the courses developed by Volunteer Alberta; libraries, and Community Learning Councils.  These most often will be regionally focused learning providers.

This is a third category, such as a Municipal Community Services Department, who seek out and identify specific learning opportunities for their  own membership, or client base.

For-Profit Learning Providers:  Includes both organizations and private consultants.

Registering as a Learning Provider is as easy as 1-2-3 Visit

Click on “Learning Provider Registration” in the top right hand corner. Select which category you wish to register in

  • Nonprofit Basic Free 10 Listings per year – Your organization must be a registered nonprofit
  • Nonprofit Unlimited $250 per year – Unlimited Listings Receive a public Profile including logo and bio Includes a Volunteer
    Alberta Membership (New Members Only) Your organization must be a registered nonprofit
  • For-profit Unlimited $350 per year Unlimited Listings Receive a public Profile including logo and bio

We want your feedback on the website with “all the bells and whistles” it provides. Enjoy learning…. and post a learning opportunity share your wisdom and knowledge with other deserving rural Alberta learners.

If you have any questions or comments contact KnowledgeConnector HQ 1.780.497.4780

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FREE Leadership Training by ACE Communities – a Learning Provider

Posted by: in North West

Like many of you, volunteering is my passion along with life-long learning. I am driven to make my community a better place to live, play, grow and retire – a community I can be proud of.

I had the pleasure of hosting ACE Communities this past Monday (check out the website and Twitter for the pictures and discussions regarding this event – Thank you Janet for posting…) in Grande Cache at our “Ignite” Celebration. We had the honor of listening to Ian Hill a motivational speaker inspiring change in individuals, neighborhoods and communities. Town council, students and various community members heard his impassioned challenge to rise to the responsibility we all have to build a better community.

It was AWESOME! Ian is a dynamic speaker. His comments were not anything that we do not already know but his words had the motivation to “ignite” an entire community for change. I am revitalized to create a town that I want to live in and I know I am not alone.

Community leadership is about active, creative and engaged communities working together on a “shared vision”. Who better to lead a community towards positive change than VOLUNTEERS!

ACE communities is about building community capacity and community development. Here is just a partial list of learning opportunities for the month of November you as a learner can access by just a click of a mouse:

November 15, 2011 at 10:00AM

Working Effectively and Enthusiastically as a Team

November 16, 2011 at 10:00AM

Service Excellence in Municipal Recreation: What is it and how do we ensure we’re delivering it?

November 18, 2011 at 10:00AM

Creative Ideas for Motivating Seniors Part 1: Tips and Tools

November 21, 2011 at 10:00AM

Creative Strategies for Engaging with Youth

November 24, 2011 at 10:00AM

Energize Your Everyday (AKA Keeping Your Sanity through the Christmas Celebrations!)

November 25, 2011 at 10:00AM

Creative Ideas for Motivating Seniors Part 2: Music and Props

November 28, 2011 at 10:00AM

Inspiring Ideas for Preschool Teachers in School and Extracurricular Activities

November 29, 2011 at 10:00AM

Facilitation Techniques for Community Building: Let’s Meet and Talk in your Community!

If you know of a great learning provider you want to share or want to highlight a learning opportunity, go to If you have any inquiries, staff at KnowledgeConnector will be glad to assist you 1.780.497.4780.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 |

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Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning

Posted by: in Central East

Many of us look at great leaders such as Ghandhi or Martin Luther King and wonder how they became to be so great. Were they born that way or did they learn their leadership skills? If they learned their skills, was there a point in their lives when they recognized they were great and thought they didn’t need to learn anymore? Do you think that experts in the field of leadership might need to learn more about leadership?

Many of us might think that people who have great leadership skills simply have a gift. KnowledgeConnector is all about promoting continuous learning and because I believe in this message I would like to share with you why even the most gifted and knowledgeable people can benefit from learning more.

Last week I had a yet another amazing experience co-facilitating a Leadership Assessment Workshop with a group of close to 30 current and emerging leaders. These individuals were all gathered in Camp Kuriakos taking a program put together by the Leadership Centre of Central Alberta to enhance their leadership skills. If you ask me, these great people are already leaders in their fields as is the Executive Director of The Leadership Centre of Central Alberta, Linda Wilson. Yet even the expert of all experts was interested to discover her current leadership strengths and areas for betterment. Linda was fully engaged in the entire workshop and found the process enlightening.

Now if an Executive Director of an organization that helps others develop their leadership skills is interested in taking part in a workshop that assesses current skills and supports the user to develop a learning plan to grow further, then there is room for everyone to learn more. No matter how great you are. Great leaders such a Ghandi and Martin Luther King were so great because they worked hard at what they did and continuously strived to be the best.

So the next time you get comfortable in your shoes remember that everyone… always…has room to grow into a better leader.

If you haven’t taken an A.S.K. Leadership Workshop – book one now!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Different Leadership Skills for Different Organizational Structures?

Posted by: in Central East, Global News

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to host a workshop in Sylvan Lake. It was a fantastic experience and brought to light the different needs within different types of non-profit/voluntary organizations. It also demonstrated how the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment Tool really is for everybody.

One major learning was how various aspects of the A.S.K. Leadership Competency Framework vary for different types of non-profit/voluntary organizations. Many of us think that the organizational structure of a non-profit organization contains the board with about seven to twelve positions including the chair, secretary, treasurer and the like. Under that you might expect to find a CEO or Executive Director and below that various staff that provide a number of functions. Now this is how many operate but it is definitely not the way they all operate.

Take for example the Sylvan Lake Quilters. This group is made up of a group of women who share a passion for quilting and:

  • promote a greater understanding, appreciation, and knowledge of the art, techniques, and heritage of patchwork, appliqué, and quilting
  • promote the highest standards of workmanship and design in both traditional and innovative work
  • foster cooperation and sharing among quilt makers across the country.

From my recollection I believe there is a president but no formal board or organizational structure, like the one I mentioned above. Like the Sylvan Lake Quilters, other organizations exist in the form of Charities and Foundations. There are also many volunteer groups that have no formal organizational structure.  If you are familiar with the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment Framework, you might wonder if it is applicable to all of these various formal or informal organizational structures.

The simple answer is that the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment Tool provided by KnowledgeConnector IS applicable to each and every type of formal or informal organizational structure. The six major competencies that make it up are based on the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to be an effective leader in the non-profit/voluntary sector. Now if you do not sit on a board of directors or you do not even have a board, simply do not fill out section 5.2 entitled Governance. DO fill out section 5.1 that is titled Senior Management. If you play a role in the operation and success of your group or organization you ARE senior management. You do not have to have a formal title that says you are a ‘Senior Manager’.

So in short, groups and organizations like the Sylvan Lake Quilters, can and do benefit from KnowledgeConnector’s Leadership Assessment Tool. If your organization does not fit the traditional non-profit organizational structure pictured above, I encourage you to take the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment. The tool and framework are focused on developing the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to make a fabulous leader in the non-profit/voluntary sector. So whether you are a board member, senior manager or individual who supports the vision of your group or organization then you are a leader.

Simply note that section 5.2 is entitled Governance because it is tailored for board members. Section 5.1 is entitled Senior Management because it is tailored for those individuals who play a role in the strategic direction of their organization or voluntary group.

If you or someone you know belongs to an organization that does not fit the traditional non-profit structure pictured above and have not yet taken the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment, I encourage you to take it online or book a workshop with me. Leadership skills in the non-profit/voluntary sector do cross all organizational structures.

Until next time…

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Posted by: in North West

Our weekly blogs are to be used to identify and share learning and leadership opportunities throughout our regions, keeping rural Albertans connected through the World Wide Web. We are reminded that the focus of our weekly blogs, need to reflect  on KnowledgeConnector’s 6 A.S.K. Leadership Competencies (Big Picture Thinking, Self-Awareness & Development, Strategic Thinking, Planning & Organizing, Management & Governance, Relationship Building).

That being said, I am finding it hard to concentrate working on the computer with the first snow fall (2 inches last night) of the season putting me in the Christmas spirit, wanting to pull out the Christmas lights and outdoor decorations. We barley finish with one holiday – Halloween and Christmas is fast approaching.  But there is one holiday in between that we must not forget – November 11, Remembrance Day…

Remembrance Day is an opportunity to honor and remember those who sacrificed their lives in war and military operations. Remembrance Day is a tradition across Canada where people lay wreaths and observance of two minutes of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

I want to use my blog this week to take this opportunity to highlight one special organization, the Royal Canadian Legion. This dedicated group of community volunteers organize Remembrance Day Celebrations events each year. In addition, leading up to November 11th the Royal Canadian Legion volunteers organize a variety of community celebrations which are held in schools, churches and community halls; including initiating the annual Red Poppy and Wreath Campaign to fundraise in order to support those military families in need each year.

The Royal Canadian Legion is an example of community leadership in action who are continuously working towards building community capacity through dedication, generosity and commitment to their communities, an example of volunteerism at its best and an organization that exemplifies all KnowledgeConnector 6 Competencies.

Remembrance Day is an important holiday not only to remember those who have died and fought for our country but remember those volunteers who are committed to keeping this tradition alive.

I thank you…

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 |

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