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Posts Tagged ‘Sylvan Lake’


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 |

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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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