Blog Archives

 

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Oct
21

Going off the Grid

Posted by: in North West

How did we ever get along or communicate with one another before cell/smart phones. We really do rely on technology to keep connected. I am guilty like many others to text or email someone instead of picking up the phone, it is an easier, convenient  and less informal process of communicating (someone may even call it lazy). The convenience of staying connected 24 / 7. I catch myself checking my smart phone emails all day and before bed and even when you cannot sleep I can be found working on the computer or smart phone.  You really can work all day or night long. 

So when my friends asked if I would be interested in going to Las Vegas for a “girls getaway” I hesitated at first but since I have never been to Vegas, I said yes. What about KnowledgeConnector, kept running through my mind.

 
Fast forward to October 14th day of departure (needless to say that I have been living out of a suitcase for the last two months) and I have just got home  from yet another work related road trip and was working until midnight the night before on completing a varied “to do” check list  (did I forget to mention that I am a constant procrastinator and that I do my best work under pressure). I was feeling guilty that I was leaving on a five-day “fun” trip. I am great at multitasking as well, so on the ride to the airport I read my mail and three weeks of local newspapers, sent various emails and made a couple of calls all before boarding the plane. Once on the plane you are asked to turn off all cellular or electronic devices and sit back and relax and enjoy the flight. Well that is where it all sank in – I am actually taking time for myself and going on a holiday.

For the next five days, we laughed, shopped, sight-saw, ate, gambled (not well), sat by the pool, and went to an Elton John concert (FABULOUS!!) and never once thought to turn on my phone or check my emails at the business center – I was off the Grid. I had an opportunity to relax and enjoy my surroundings with my BF’s. What a great feeling!

 
Back on home soil I turned on my phone, I had 203 emails waiting to be answered and 15 texts to deal with, one word that describes that feeling is overwhelming. It has taken me a day to get back into the swing of things and get back to routine. So for the next couple of days I will be playing “catch up” but in the end it was well worth it – thank you Donna and Helen,  Where are we going next year? 

The lesson I learned from all this is that we need to take time to personally reconnect with people,  to build face-to-face relationships and not be afraid to pick up the phone a call someone instead of using our computer or phone. Life is too short, enjoy the moments that life presents you even if is for a couple of days, we deserve it…

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Sep
30

Cultural Idiosyncrasies: Rural Alberta vs. Mexico

Posted by: in Central East, Central West, Uncategorized

I am blogging from Mexico and thought I would share some thoughts on cultural similarities and differences between rural Alberta and sunny Playa de Carmen. Although I am away it is hard to forget that the launch of KnowledgeConnector.ca just transpired and how exciting the implications this will have for rural Albertans in the nonprofit/voluntary sector. So let me share some observations on the idiosyncrasies that rural Alberta and Mexico share and why my excitement about the new phase of knowledgeconnector.ca is growing.

Rural Albertans are smart and hardworking yet know how to slow the pace of life down in comparison to urban centres. Like Mexicans, many realize the value of taking time to slow down. In general, I see many Albertans, like myself, working hard to do a great job and invest in their community. In Playa, I also witness a culture of very hardworking people. That may sound surprising as Mexico is known to have a culture that is relaxed and involves siestas, time on the beach and slack work hours.

Now, don’t get me wrong, rural Alberta most definitely contains organizations that are moving along as fast or faster than their urban counter parts. And the same goes for some Mexican organizations. In general though, the pace seems slower from an outsider’s perspective. But, that does not mean that there is less work going on. In fact, the opposite may be true. Here in Play de Carmen, I see the street vendors and workers working extremely hard, albeit on their shorter work days. They are so motivated and determined to offer only the best to all of their clients and customers. On the same token, I see rural Albertans working just as hard to offer their best to their organization and community.

An advantage Alberta now has over Playa de Carmen, is that we are now able to work even smarter using the A.S.K. Leadership Assessment online via KnowledgeConnector.ca. We can learn how to work smarter rather than harder by utilizing our assessed leadership skills. We can then learn how to strengthen our leadership gaps to do our job more efficiently so that we can do our job at a pace that does not burn us out. Yes, balance is the key to success in both the Mexican and Rural Alberta cultures and now we just learned how to do it even better.

If you haven’t filled out the online A.S.K. Leadership Assessment yet get started! If you would like to have an A.S.K. Leadership Assessment workshop facilitated for your board or staff give me a shout so you can get started on working more efficiently with your leadership skill set to make time for your siesta.

Victoria Poschadel | p: 780-945-6134 | e: victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

 

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Jun
03

Celebrating vibrant and festive places in NW Rural Alberta

Posted by: in North West

Did you know that organizations in Alberta report volunteer compliment of 2.5 million people who collectively contribute about 449 million hours of volunteer  time which is equivalent of approximately 234,000 full-time jobs? Also, Alberta Nonprofit/volunteer organizations generate approximately $10 billion in revenues with arts and cultural organizations generating approximatly nine percent of that revenue (stats reported by www.NPVSALBERTA.org). One of the five pillars of community sustainability is Cultural Diversity. One aspect of Cultural diveristy is festivals and events which promote and ensure sustainability and strengthening communities along with building community capacity and at the same time drawing in other communities and individuals to foster community growth; even if it is for one day or one weekend.

The community groups or organizations planning these events and activities may not necessarily be thinking in these terms but rather in a broad sense of providing entertainment or simply stated as “something to do” which in turn becomes a fundraising activity. Research found that a majority of these community groups or organizations are volunteer driven.

The Demmitt Cultural Society “sustainable and cultural on the borderline” is just one example of a dedicated community volunteer organization in NW Rural Alberta.

This community organization was established on the principles of dancing, live music and having a lot of fun. Still holding these principles dear, they have embarked on merging community roots with their concern for sustainability. To mark this transition they focused on replacing an aging 1980 community hall with one that combined sustainability, architectural beauty and a very good dance floor. Their volunteer 13 person Board of Directors meets once a month, includes people from all walks of life.

This is directly taken from their website (www.borderlineculture.com) “On the surface, Demmitt is like any other rural Alberta community: a super mailbox, cattle and an old community hall. Take a closer look and you will also discover a kernel of the future has germinated. If you drive south off Highway 43 on Rural Route 132 you will come across a perfectly crafted forty-foot timber frame covered bridge. This bridge promises to lead to a sustainable future for the rural Peace region communities like Demmitt; it promises to lead to a brand new 6200 square foot sustainable community centre”.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many volunteer hours are recorded leading up to and including the day of this event? Please go online and check out their “Borderline Cultural Activities”.

KnowledgeConnector continues to highlight rural community organizations dedicated to promoting and enhancing community sustainability and believes that growth relies on building leadership, and knowledgeable volunteers creating a passion for learning throughout Rural Alberta.

Yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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