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Archive for the ‘Central East’ Category


Hanna Learning Centre Steps Up To The Plate…Again!

Posted by: in Central East, Global News, Uncategorized

I have mentioned in previous blogs how great Hanna, AB is at promoting and engaging in Leadership Development. This impression has primarily come from my experience working with the Hanna Learning and Volunteer Centre.

From the first day I met Doray Veno, the Executive Director of the Hanna Learning Centre, I was impressed. The entire organization is more than willing to build their leadership skills while sharing their learning’s with the residents in Hanna. This was demonstrated by their participation on not one, but two A.S.K. Leadership Assessment Workshops. After the first workshop they jumped on board and developed a learning plan that matched their common leadership learning goals.

Shortly after the workshop, leaders of the Hanna Learning Centre team expanded their skills through the webinar, Daring to Lead 2011: Leadership Development & Support for Nonprofit Leaders featuring Marla Cornelius.

The Hanna Learning Centre is continuing to embrace a culture of continuous professional development by following their learning plan. The Hanna Volunteer and Learning Centre prioritizes their learning in their organization which in turn develops their organizational capacity, inspires staff to become better professionals, and allows them all to lead their community by building healthier communities.

Recently, they took on one more major step to help build their community by becoming the host site for a KnowledgeConnector Learning Provider Forum. If you organization has a mandate to enhance leadership skills in the nonprofit/voluntary sector and would like to increase exposure and registration numbers for your courses and learning opportunities join us at the Hanna Learning Centre, 401 Street, Hanna on Friday – January 27 from 1:00 – 4:00PM. Educational institutions, private consultants, learning councils and the like are welcome!

At the event you will see what has made the Hanna Learning Centres such an inspirational organization, enjoy solid networking and learn of an excellent marketing opportunity.

To RSVP follow this link:

If you have any questions or would like to know more give me a shout.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Collaboration Makes Lifelong Learning Possible

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

If you visit the Town of Wainwright’s website you will read how it is a strong, vibrant community located in East Central Alberta near the beautiful Battle River valley and is the major service center for the region. You will discover how it is a progressive community of 5775 (plus 650 at CFB Wainwright) with a historically stable economy and steady growth.

If you think of some of the non-profit/voluntary sector groups that are in and around Wainwright you would very likely be surprised at what great capacity they have. The reason they have such great capacity is because of the awesome partnerships that have been developed in order to offer great leadership development opportunities.

Take the learning council in Wainwright. The Wainwright & District Council for Adult Lifelong Learning provides terrific services for the region and of course, they offer great educational learning opportunities that help create and sustain strong leaders. Some of the courses offered help to build presentation skills, writing skills and of course board development. But they have only been made possible due to collaborative partnerships.

For example, the board development learning opportunity is a comprehensive 10 hour class led by the infamous Barb Pedersen from Barb Pedersen Facilitation Services Inc. Barb is well-known for her energy, enthusiasm and ability to plan and facilitate in the most effective of ways. In fact, my colleagues and I who work with KnowledgeConnector, all learned some of the best facilitation techniques workshops directly from her.

Great opportunities like this don’t happen by chance though. They take planning, research and most importantly, collaboration. Collaboration and partnerships stem directly from the leadership competency Relationship Building in KnowledgeConnector’s A.S.K. Framework.

What does all of this tell me? Simply that leadership skills, such as collaboration, are important in creating vibrant, sustainable communities. It also tells me that leadership skills are important in creating leadership development opportunities to create the strong leaders that create vibrant communities.

So, if you have strong leadership skills and offer learning opportunities that build stronger leaders make sure you collaborate to pay it forward! Register as a learning provider here on KnowlegeConnector and/or make sure to collaborate with your networks of leaders to help them create stronger leaders in your community.

If you have questions about registering as a learning provider or would like to learn more about the organization’s and learning opportunities mentioned above give me a shout!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Make a Difference in the Volunteer Sector

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

  • Nominate Board Member
  • Eligible to hold office (on Board)
  • Receive Sector Connector eNewsletter
  • Access to Volunteer Alberta’s website and resources
  • Ability to apply for Volunteer Week
  • Enhancement Funding
  • Invitations to Professional Development and Training Opportunities
  • Access Community Guard Insurance and Risk Solutions offered by The Co-Operators (Note: Your name will be forwarded by Volunteer Alberta to the appropriate agent if the Community Guard box is checked on the reverse).
  • Access to OASSIS employee benefits
  • Cast 1 vote at membership meetings
  • Support for emerging and new Volunteer Centres
  • Nominate Board Member
  • Eligible to hold office (on Board)
  • Receive Sector Connector eNewsletter
  • Access to Volunteer Alberta’s website and resources
  • Invitations to Professional Development and Training Opportunities
  • Access Community Guard Insurance and Risk Solutions offered by The Co-Operators (Note: Your name will be forwarded by Volunteer Alberta to the appropriate agent if the Community Guard box is checked on the reverse).
  • Access to OASSIS employee benefits

If you have any questions about membership or would like to take the initiative to enhance your leadership skills through KnowledgeConnector give me a call.

Victoria Poschadel | 780-945-6134 |

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Leadership Development Available Right At Your Doorstep

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Have you ever wished you could learn about enhancing your strengths as a leader without having to take a course in a classroom? With technological advancements growing as fast as they are these days, you really don’t need to look any further. Let’s find out how we can take advantage of these advancements.

Think of the iCCAN video conferencing project. iCCAN (Innovative Communities Connecting & Networking) creates access to learning through networked videoconference sites across Alberta. Currently there are 31 iCCAN sites throughout Alberta that offer access to groups wanting to take their learning to the next level without having to commute too far.  As a part of the non-profit/voluntary sector you are even more readily able to participate in educational courses offered by iCCAN as the three partners behind this project are the Community Learning Network, Literacy Alberta and Volunteer Alberta. And of course, iCCAN is also a registered Learning Provider with KnowledgeConnector. So, what does that mean? That it is a fantastic medium for leadership development for rural Alberta.

One webinar that iCCAN is offering is called, Meeting Skills for Results. Held on January 25, 2012 from 12:00PM‐ 1:30M this webinar will be offered in Hanna, Three Hills, Wetaskiwin.   At this videoconference you will hear Richard Larsen, MSc. – a Community Development Officer with Alberta Culture and Community Services – focus on building the capacity of individuals and groups to achieve their goals and accomplish their projects. With twenty-six years of experience working with a range of communities; rural, northern, ethnic, aboriginal, government and urban organizations, he identifies ‘what’s working’ and finds ways to replicate that. The registration deadline is January 18, 2012 or when the room capacity is filled at each location.

As a learner I invite you to learn more about courses that are offered and as a non-profit/voluntary organization I encourage you to see how iCCAN can help your organization deliver timely, relevant and accessible leadership development opportunities to those you work with. Remember, individuals can also obtain the iCCAN software to allow you to enhance your learning experience right from home.

For more information feel free to contact me at any time.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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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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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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The Little Hamlet That Could…

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

I had the opportunity to visit the wonderful hamlet of Torrington last week. If you haven’t been there I highly recommend stopping by and checking out the Gopher Hole Museum that features stuffed gophers posed in a series of 47 anthropomorphic scenes, from a hair dresser; to a preacher; to an RCMP officer. The entire town has a gopher theme that is demonstrated through the largest gofer and fire hydrants painted as gophers. It is all very cute.

Aside from the gophers, Torrington’s other large attraction is the people. There is an incredible sense of community that is demonstrated by how they work together to achieve common goals. For example, individual families have no need to set up and promote their own garage sale. Instead they hold town garage sales that attract people from surrounding communities. The sense of community can also be noted by how groups including the Torrington Wellness Centre, the Lions Club, Lioness Club and the Torrington Enhancement Committee work together out of the Community Hall.

Clearly, the residents of Torrington have built on the skill of Relationship Building from the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment Framework. They not only work together within the hamlet but they work with all of the other communities in Kneehill County to offer and partake of services needed such as learning opportunities offered by the Kneehill Adult Learning Centre in Three Hills.

I liken the community within Torrington to a gopher town. According to, gopher towns can stretch for vast distances through mountainous terrain and often contain thousands of gopher residents. Like gopher towns, the residents within Torrington also stretch out and share their skills and resources with others in surrounding areas.

I am currently in the works of setting up a workshop in Three Hills and hope to see many people in the vast gopher town (AKA Kneehill County). Stay tuned for more details!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Engaging and Educating Your Board Members

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Have you ever noticed that many smaller scale nonprofit/voluntary organizations always have a group of very dedicated members? They also seem do everything themselves without much outside support. Likely, many do not think there are many easily accessible and affordable resources at their disposal. Well, fret no more for Culture and Community Spirit offers an abundance of training opportunities to help your board reach its potential. Here are three great examples right from their website.


Board Development Program workshops cover a variety of issues in six thematic areas (modules):

  • Ethical and legal aspects of board membership
  • Roles and responsibilities in the organization
  • Policy development
  • Organizing and directing the board’s work using committees
  • Managing the work of the organization
  • Building a better board

Resource Materials

The Board Development Program develops resources for the not-for-profit sector.

  • Information Bulletins
  • Professionally produced by BDP staff or consultants who are experts in their fields
  • Suggestions for information bulletin topics come from clients and from experience in working with not-for-profit boards
  • Targeted at the not-for-profit audience
  • PDF versions of the BDP Information Bulletins
  • Bulletins d’information en français


Not-for-profit boards and board members are facing an amazing array of challenges. Often, connecting with a knowledgeable source can solve a problem or lead in the direction of information that helps clarify a situation a board is facing.

The Board Development Program’s staff takes pride in the work it does with clients looking for solutions to their board governance challenges. Some of the consultations will lead to more formal involvement with the BDP through workshops, but often individuals are best served by having the staff make appropriate and direct referrals.

There best part is that there is no cost to individuals or groups for their consultation services. If you have questions about board governance issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Board Development Program staff at 780-427-2001 or You can also, of course, contact me to book a Leadership Assessment Workshop to identify your board’s leadership skills and be connected with other learning opportunities near you. Until next time….

Victoria Poschadel | p: 780.945.6134 | e:


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