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Mar
30

Embrace Change and Grow your Passion for Continuous Learning

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

This last year and half has been a wonderful and enlightening experience. I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of passionate people working in the non-profit/voluntary sector  while being a part of the KnowledgeConnector initiative from concept to fruition. I was honoured to be a part of the process but am sad to be writing my last formal blog for this initiative. At the same time though, I am excited to see the project enter a new and exciting phase of change and expansion.

As this is my last blog, I would like to take the time to thank those who have been a part of this journey with me.  Specifically, I would like to thank those people for the input, wisdom and insight they have provided (you know who you are). Whether you were a part of the initial focus group(s), A.S.K. Workshop(s), Learning Provider  Forum(s), or simply one-on-one conversation(s) about KnowledgeConnector – you have all added great insight to this initiative. As a result of our collaborative efforts KnowledgeConnector will continue to build momentum.

This last year and a half has resulted in many learnings. Learning for myself, learnings from and by others and an appreciation and desire to learn more. I am excited to say that being a part of KnowledgeConnector has made me more cognizant of how to develop those attitudes, skills and knowledge that will make me a better leader. And with that, I have also learned to embrace change through a passion for continuous learning.

I have recently moved on and started to work with Alberta Health and Wellness as a Project Manager in the Community and Population Health branch. Promoting healthy behaviours to prevent illness and save lives is my other huge passion in life and so I am excited to work in a position where I can exercise that passion.

I hope that those of you that have completed an A.S.K. Leadership Assessment, or visited this site or started to further enhance your leadership skills in other ways are now also embracing growth, change and continuous learning. I hope you have also found that passion for continuous learning that will help you grow into your full potential.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your personal growth.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Mar
23

Great Conversation Creates Great Leadership

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Leadership requires collaboration, teamwork, great interpersonal communications and relationship building skills.  Here at Knowledge Connector we define Relationship Building as one of the 6 competencies that create a well-rounded leader. And within that competency lie 6 other categories. Relationship building, truly is an art and requires many skills. Thankfully, relationship building seems to be a skill the nonprofit/voluntary sector seem to be naturally inclined at-well at least with the hundreds of organizations I have worked with in Alberta’s Central East region. But of course, like anything, there is always room for improvement.

So let’s take a look at what the major skills, attitudes and knowledge are required to be an effective relationship builder. You may want to ask yourself where your skills are strongest and whether you might want to strengthen this very important leadership competency.

In our A.S.K. Leadership Assessment tool, a relationship is defined as a connection between individuals or groups of people based on mutual understanding or a common bond. Relationships are strengthened when there is accountability to each other and a desire to work through difficult situations. Every relationship needs to be fostered and nurtured.

It is broken down into the following components:

Collaboration and Team Development: The ability to teach team members collaboration skills like teamwork, loyalty, accountability, and mutual respect.

Inclusion and Diversity: The ability to consider diverse points of view when making decisions and taking action. The ability to be sensitive to different cultures.

Influencing and Advocacy: The ability to be an advocate for the organization and its members, and influence decisions that will support the organizational values and priorities.

Interpersonal Communication: The ability to encourage and use a broad range of communication skills, such as active listening and effectively giving and receiving feedback.

Dispute Resolution, Facilitation and Negotiation: The ability to understand the causes of conflict in the organization. The ability to suggest alternative solutions to conflict so that everyone wins. The ability to use various facilitation and negotiation skills to solve problems.

Community Engagement: To collaborate with the community to address issues that may affect the organization’s ability to accomplish its goals.

The  Alberta Association of Services for Children & Families knows how complicated good relationship building can be and that is why they are offering a workshop on Fierce Conversations. The course, Fierce Conversations®, teaches attendees how to “ignite productive dialogue that interrogates reality, provokes learning, resolves tough challenges and enriches relationships. It‘s the place to begin, the cornerstone of great leadership, healthy cultures, intelligent strategies and whole-hearted execution.”

It is a 2 day course and will be held May 14, 2012 – May 15, 2012 9:00AM to 4:00PM MST right here in the Central East region. If you would like to register and build your relationship skills simply visit www.aascf.com or contact Dawn Papineau, 780.428.3660.

Happy relationship building!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

 

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Mar
16

Finding Resources to Enhance Your Leadership

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

It’s no secret, non-profit/voluntary organizations often depend on funding and resources to establish and sustain initiatives and programs that support Albertans in nearly every capacity is some way, shape or form. Non-profit/voluntary organizations are also amazingly innovative at finding ways to work miracles on a shoestring and as a result, I have funds wasted. But of course, they can always use and/or need more. This is why I have decided to blog about this very important topic.

We know being an effective leader isn’t simply defined by the number of resources a person has to do their job but it helps. Let’s face it; leaders need resources, whether that be time, money or both. So let KnowledgeConnector help you out.

Firstly, you can attend the Funders Forum, offered right here in the Central East region through the Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County; a KnowledgeConnector learning provider. The workshop is offered on May 15 from 5:00 to 9:00PM. At the workshop, you will learn first-hand about specific funding grants and initiatives. You will also get immediate answers to your questions and, funders will be speaking to small groups on a rotating basis. For more information visit contact Susan Mihalievitch at 780.464.4242 or click here.

Aside from attaining grants, fundraising can also be very useful in expanding your skills as a leader. The Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County is also offering a workshop called Fundraising 101: The Fundamentals. At this workshop, you learn how to ensure your organization is ready to raise funds, select the best fit in potential funders, use the right method(s) for raising those funds and learn to be aware of all the regulations. You will also become more savvy on volunteers and the “philanthropic process”. This workshop has a strong focus on the essential steps to building a fund development program that will allow your organization to be a success.

What are you waiting for? Register for one of those above and attain the resources you need to enhance your leadership.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Mar
09

Social Enterprise in Rural Alberta

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Do you know what social enterprise is?  I was somewhat unfamiliar with the term until I learned about it through Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta. Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta (Enp-ab) is a collaborative program that provides grants and technical assistance to non-profit organizations to support the development or growth of their social enterprises. They define social enterprise as generating business revenue.

Today, more than ever, non-profit/voluntary organizations are taking on more of a business model and are beginning to understand the importance of social enterprise. Because non-profits, just like businesses, need revenue to function! And of course, rural non-profit/voluntary organizations are always in on the latest trend thanks to initiatives and organizations like KnowledgeConnector and Enp-ab that help to keep us educated.

Enp-ab recently posted some great learning opportunities right here on KnowledgeConnector. The next one is, you guessed it, about “Building Your Social Enterprise”. They are hosting workshops in the spring and fall for non-profit organizations wanting to learn more about social enterprise and how to gain access to enp grants for business planning projects.”

The next available workshop will be held right here in central Alberta at Sylvan Lake on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM MST.

What can you expect to learn? The workshop is specifically for non-profit/voluntary organizations and invites staff, board members and volunteers alike. This workshop is specifically targeted at helping your organization learn to launch, expand or strengthen its social enterprise. You will learn about the social enterprise development path and find out the Enp-ab grant requirements. Yup, you read that right, they offer grants for organizations like yours. Plus, lunch is included!

So what are you waiting for? Register today or click here for more information on these great courses!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Mar
02

Libraries: More Than A Home For Books

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

We all know that libraries are a great place for learning. One can find a library in nearly any community in Alberta, find information, facts, and help in relation to any subject you may be interested in. Of course, you can also go to any library to be entertained and/or enlightened with fictional books available for any age.

As modern technology advances though, the demand for more innovative forms of education and entertainment grows. And of course, libraries everywhere are keeping up to that demand. Libraries today have taken the initiative to become a central point for community cohesion. They offer programs, services and resources that meet the demands of community residents and either work in partnership with or for other non-profit/voluntary sector organizations in their area.

Take the Wetaskiwin Public Library for example. They offer a plethora of e-resources ranging from e-readers and e-tablets that can be borrowed. Once you have your hand on an e-reader or e-tablet you can then gain access to electronic resources related to the following:

The Wetaskiwin Public Library also offers numerous programs and in fact, they have also hosted Knowledge Connector information sessions, A.S.K. Assessment Workshops and a local launch for the second phase of the KnowledgeConnector website. Their involvement in KnowledgeConnector demonstrates their commitment to providing and connecting their community residents with leadership development opportunities.

If you are looking for a connection to leadership development, remember to look right in your own neighborhood at your local library and right here on our website for links to upcoming development opportunities in your local area. If you are a library trustee check out the Trustee Learning available through the Association. They now also take on-site session requests tailored for your chair, board and/or trustees.

What are you waiting for? Go visit your local library to find e-resources, programs and knowledge related to leadership development. For more information on the Wetaskiwin Public Library, call (780) 361-4446.

Until next time.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Feb
10

Leadership Skills: At The Heart of All Non-profit/Voluntary Organizations

Posted by: in Central East, Global News, Uncategorized

The Central Alberta Regional Network is committed, hard-working and passionate about the conservation and preservation of historical artifacts throughout Alberta. The organization contains over 50 museum members that are located throughout Central Alberta. These museums range from ones such as the Millet and District Museum, Archives and Visitor Information Centre to the large Calgary Glenbow Museum.

As a voluntary sector organization, CARMN faces common challenges that many organizations face. Members are always on the look-out for more volunteers, funding opportunities, board governance skills and succession planning education. That being said, they are also very proactive at facing those challenges. For example, last week they booked an A.S.K. Leadership Assessment for the afternoon portion of their bi-monthly meeting.

I discovered at the workshop that CARMN regularly works on enhancing their professional development. In fact, they regularly utilize AMA – the Alberta Museum Association, for professional development opportunities. You might not have guessed this, but the AMA offers a wide range of professional development opportunities ranging from workshops in board development and grant writing skills to certificates programs in Museum Studies. To view these great learning opportunities visit their site here.

AMA and CARMN also offer a great leadership program called NextGen.  If you visit their site you will read that “NextGen: Canada has proven to fill a need in the Canadian museum sector by providing learning opportunities for emerging and mid-career professionals. This immersive program offers an exceptional development opportunity for participants as they explore their leadership abilities and gain the knowledge, skills, and wisdom they need to become even more effective leaders.”

Leadership development is clearly a strategy recognized within many sub sectors within the nonprofit/voluntary sector of Alberta to enhance organizational capacity. Within the identified non-profit/voluntary subsectors such as Culture and Recreation, Education and Research, Social Services and so on, many great communities have grown to work together to support their own. If you belong to a community such as CARMN, that offers leadership development opportunities, I encourage you to share the excellent marketing strategy available through KnowledgeConnector. If you are looking for other leadership development opportunities visit our site often for new opportunities that are being posted weekly.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Feb
03

What Defines Leadership?

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Leadership development is an ongoing process. It is a process that takes initiative, dedication and sincerity. KnowledgeConnector understands that and is here to work with you to reach your leadership goals on an ongoing basis.

But what exactly is leadership? What is leadership development? Who is an example of a leader? Are you a leader? Am I a leader?

Last week I hosted a Learning Provider Forum in Hanna to get some feedback on how we can better serve our clients. We discussed what leadership is, who leaders are and what leadership development is. One big ah-ha moment we all had centered around the definition of a leader. I think many people find that word intimidating. We wonder, as volunteers, employees and contributors to our community, if we might deserve such a prestigious title.

The Webster Dictionary defines the word leader as: the quality of character and personality giving a person the ability to gain the confidence of and lead others. Here at KnowledgeConnector we see leaders as people. People who volunteer, work and commit to creating positive changes in their communities. They are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandparents and great grandparents. YOU are a leader. WE are leaders.

So now that we know we are leaders we need to move forward and enhance the skills we already have and maybe develop some new ones.

Let’s start becoming better leaders starting now. Book a leadership assessment workshop with me or take the online A.S.K. Leadership Assessment. Then take advantage of the excellent learning opportunities available here.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victora.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Jan
27

Big Picture Thinking In Central East Alberta

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Are you a Big Picture Thinker?

Our leadership assessment framework has identified Big Picture Thinking as one of the 6 major competencies that makes up effective leadership. Clearly, the art of being a visionary or big picture thinker is a skill worth working towards. But what exactly is Big Picture Thinking? We have defined it as: “envisioning the potential in just about anything.  This kind of innovative thinking sees the connections between concepts, rather than focusing on constraints and details.” It is broken down into two subcategories: Visioning and, Innovation and Creation.

I have had the opportunity to work with some great big thinkers in Central East Alberta while working with KnowledgeConnector. These have included individuals working with organizations such as Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County, the Hanna Learning Centre, the Flagstaff Adult Learning Council, the Camrose Adult Learning Council and numerous other non-profit/voluntary sector groups.

Having said that though, these groups and individuals have a passion for continuous learning that helps them keep on the cutting edge within their respective field. And as you know, we are in the business of empowering leaders in the non-profit/voluntary sector be the best leaders as possible.

So, if you are already a Big Picture Thinker but want to strengthen that competency to a greater extent check out one of the following opportunities right here in Central East Alberta. Not a big picture? Then check them out and learn a new skill. The following opportunities take a look at outcome planning and sustainability. Both are big factors when becoming a big picture thinker.

Outcome Tools: Incorporating Concepts into Operations: It’s often said that we know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.  However, using an outcomes-based approach in our organizations refocuses us, and makes us consider not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it. We also know that using an outcome-approach to the planning and delivery of community services is important for ensuring we focus on the actual change or impacts our services are providing. How do we incorporate these ideas into our daily work?  Join us to increase your understanding of an outcome-based approach and explore the use of a variety of tools that will assist you to incorporate outcomes into the planning, implementation, and measurement of your services and programs. This opportunity is offered by ACE communities on February 1 from 10:00 to 11:30 AM.  For more information view this opportunity!

Nonprofit Sustainability: Building Blocks to Organizational Success: Learn how to enhance your organization’s competitiveness and strengthen its financial health. Sustainability is a popular but often misunderstood buzzword in our sector. Nonprofit sustainability means more than just generating enough money to keep our organization afloat. In this class we will begin with the definition of nonprofit sustainability, and then we will cover each of the four key elements that contribute to long-term sustainability for an organization. Learn what you can do to increase your organization’s competitiveness and strengthen its financial health in the current economic climate. Topics covered include understanding what nonprofit sustainability means; key elements of nonprofit sustainability and tips on how to develop them in your organization. This is offered by the Foundation Centre on February 22 from 12:00 to 1:00PM.  For more information view this opportunity!

Enjoy enhancing your leadership skills! To book a FREE leadership assessment workshop to find out what skills your organization can strengthen give me a call!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Jan
20

Provost Adult Learning Takes The Lead With Online Education

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

The progressive Town of Provost, located just shy of the East side of the Saskatchewan border on Highway 14, has a population of approximately 2078 residents in  town and approximately 2635 in the surrounding municipal district.

Although it is a smaller sized community, Provost does not approach education with a small perspective. In fact, as alluded to, they are very progressive. This is evident if you simply check out The Provost Adult Learning Centre website.

The center offers a wide range of highly interactive courses that you can take entirely over the internet through their online course provider, Ed2Go. Their courses include expert instructors, including nationally known authors.

In case you have never hear of Ed2go (I had not), it is a global Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute (PMI). Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) offer programs and courses that are pre-approved for professional development units through PMI and have been reviewed by a project management professional (PMP) to ensure that they meet PMI’s expectations for professional development in project management. All of this can be found online here.

But let’s get back to why they are highlighted on the KnowledgeConnector blog. If you are reading this blog you are likely wanting to enhance your leadership skills, so check out on of the following exciting leadership development courses they offer. Remember, because many of them are offered online you don’t even need to live by Provost to reap the benefits!

For more information check out their website or give me a shout!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Jan
13

Strathcona County Creating Strong Leaders

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

The Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County take their learning seriously. They also take the promotion of the leadership development opportunities seriously. We know that because they are a registered learning provider of leadership development right here on KnowledgeConnector.ca.

I had the opportunity to attend the bi-monthly Strathcona County Interagency meeting yesterday and was impressed at what a great sense of community there is in Strathcona County. Of course there was a very wide range of organizations represented there-from faith-based charities to Victim’s Services to the Information and Volunteer Centre.

The diversity of the group along with the appreciation that community members demonstrate on an ongoing basis speaks volumes of how important relationship building is in creating strong communities. And of course the Information and Volunteer Centre knows this and this is why they are offering courses on Essential Conversation and Communication Skills from January 20 – February 17. This 5-week workshop is, of course, specifically for nonprofit/voluntary sector and it will help you gain confidence and first class training towards your communication skills.

Another great course that is coming up is called The W’s of Accountability which help you address the Governance, Management & Governance competencies. Here you will learn from the experts on accountability for charities. This workshop is for Board Directors or Senior Managers in a small or medium-sized charity and will explore accountability issues of registered charities to stakeholders. It will emphasize both federal and provincial legal accountability.

Register online at IVC or call 780.464.4242 or email info@ivcstrathcona.org for more information.

If you would like to have your leadership development opportunities highlighted register today! If you are a registered learning provider and would like to learn how to expand your reach even more join us for one of our upcoming Learning Provider Forums. To find out more contact me!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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