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Strategic Doing Training Offers a Framework for Ecosystem Collaboration

Published: Friday, March 26th, 2021

Calgary’s tech and innovation ecosystem is working towards the common goal of tripling the size of our city’s tech sector in the next ten years. The wheels are already in motion — we have a strong ecosystem of like-minded entrepreneurs and organizations who want to see Calgary thrive. The Platform Innovation Centre alone has a growing list of 50+ partners who share our vision and are eager to collaborate. Imagine what this ecosystem growth could look like if everyone had the tools to work towards this goal in the most collaborative and efficient way. 

This ecosystem expansion will require tremendous efforts — this is not one organization’s job. For the past few months, over forty participants made up of Innovation Centre program partner organizations, as well as Alberta Innovation Network members, have been part of a Strategic Doing training program initiated by Platform Calgary, with the generous support of Alberta Innovates.

The seven week online course is based on the book Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership. The skills and guiding questions that outline this training lay the ground-work for achieving a long-term, collective goal — and in applying them across our ecosystem, we will see change that benefits both our city and province.

“While Strategic Doing training is an invaluable tool for Calgary’s tech and innovation community, I see it as an important evolution for the pan-Alberta Innovation Network and a framework for the entrepreneurial system,” said Terry Rachwalski, Executive Director of Alberta Innovates. 

“Learnings such as critical thinking skills and navigating interconnected groups of people to be aligned on ‘doing’ and pulling the rope together are all the more relevant as our ecosystem evolves. Through this training, individual participants grow through their own experiences and important ecosystem collaboration has an opportunity to speak the same language of action and understanding of how to move forward quickly with appreciative inquiry, leading to meaningful impact both today and into the future.”

Many Innovation Centre program partners have been involved with this training, including learners from The Accelerator, Alberta IoT, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Beakerhead, Businesslink, CalgaryUX, Foresight, InceptionU, League of Innovators, MindFuel, Rainforest Alberta, TedXCalgary, W21C, as well as Platform Calgary and Alberta Innovates.

Several partners are already benefiting both personally and professionally, and recognize the value this kind of work can bring to our community.  

“The course was quite revolutionary for me in the way it emphasises simple (but not easy) skills to collaborate effectively. It was rewarding to discover that some of my natural behaviours are inclined towards collaboration, while exciting to find other ways of doing this even better,” said Nicola Quiggin, Operations Coordinator at W21C Research and Innovation Centre. 

“I can already see the benefits of employing Strategic Doing in my personal and professional life, towards bolstering the Calgary innovation ecosystem, and strengthening partner ties for W21C, SPARK Calgary, and SPARK Global.” 

The Platform Innovation Centre will be a space that facilitates collisions within our ecosystem. As we patiently await the opening of the building, taking time to learn collaborative skills is key to moving the needle forward. 

“The course provided insights on what is needed to get things done from a systems perspective and in an agile way. I was provided with language, a framework and tools for applying the skills. Organizationally, it was incredibly valuable to understand what we are already doing well and where we can consciously harness the assets we have while building other skills into the team through process,” said Margo Purcell, CEO of InceptionU.

“Learning with and from others in the community, connecting with them and building relationships with people committed to building an even stronger Calgary and Alberta had value beyond measure."

If you’d like to be the first to hear about future Strategic Doing training courses, contact Milanne Desfosses.