Entovation International
Banff Knowledge Leadership - Concepts into Practice
by Debra M. Amidon

The Knowledge Economy may be one more of inspiration and imagination than knowledge per se.

The Banff Centre for Management (Calgary, Canada) has always been well known for its Executive Leadership programs. For years and under the direction of ENTOVATION Colleague and Banff Vice President, Doug Macnamara doug_Macnamara@banffcentre.ab.ca, the Centre has convened intensive residence leadership programs. From their ongoing research with 5,000 organizations across Canada and the US, they have identified three key areas and aligned modules to develop the necessary competencies in 1st - People and Visionary Leadership (e.g.,), 2nd - Internal Innovation, Knowledge and Process Leadership and 3rd - Political Influence and Relationship Building.

Module I: ‘Guiding People and Organizational Change’ includes a faculty of Fritjof Capra, Stephen Haines, Ron Heifetz, Mike Shaw, Lynne Swift, Linda Wilder and guest artists and faculty from the Banff Centre for the Arts. This 12-day program develops skills to assess the business environment and become leaders of individual and organizational change. Module III addresses ‘Working with the Government’ more effectively includes Politicians in Residence to address the changing roles and mandates of government.

Module 11: ‘Creating and Implementing Innovation and Knowledge Management Systems’ (March 19-24) addressed issues and techniques of interest to our constituency. Pre-work consisted of developing a learning contract and completing the Competency Profile that includes 4 levels of Behavior, in competence areas such as Direction Setting, Change Leadership, Critical Thinking, Organizational Development and Diversity, Personal and Organizational Balance, Quality, Knowledge Innovation as well as Community and Environmental Leadership. This matrix parallels the outline of 5th Generation Management - http://www.entovation.com/assessment/fifthgen.htm.

Mary Betz, author of Planning for People in the Electronic Age and member of the Banff faculty, led a discussion on changing roles and skills for the knowledge age drawing upon the research findings of Creating the Knowledge-Based Business - http://www.entovation.com/backgrnd/practice.htm. Using the book - Innovation Strategy for the Knowledge Economy - http://www.entovation.com/backgrnd/art.htm - participants assessed their organization capabilities with the advice and counsel of other participants. And some experiential discussions involved the Banff Faculty for the Arts characterizing theater production as one (challenging) form of innovation.

Hubert Saint-Onge, Executive-in-Residence and Vice President for Strategic Capabilities for Clarica (Waterloo, Canada), described the three-year Knowledge Capital Initiative in his company. The accompanying brochure includes an outline of the Business Rationale, The Vision, Blueprint and Implementation. Their knowledge strategy includes three key pillars: The technology Infrastructure, The Knowledge Architecture and the Leadership Culture.

Benefits enable Clarica to 1. Deepen Customer Relationships, 2. Maintain Strong Partnerships, 3. Build Effective Alliances, 4. Offer Support and Integrated Solutions, and 5. Work Smarter. Conditions for success include cross-functional collaboration, the evolution of a receptive culture, justification of scarce resources, measuring the use and performance of knowledge assets and setting appropriate scope of activities. For copies of the report, send an e-mail to hubert.saint-onge@clarica.com.

Participants attending this first knowledge residence program included representatives from the assembly of First Nations, AVAC Ltd, Alberta Hygienists Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, Ronald Peters Associates, Garth Homer Society, Region 3 Hospital Corporation and Saskatel. The Banff program includes 1, 3 and 6-month follow-up reviews, so stay tuned on the success stories of implementing knowledge leadership strategies. Let’s hear from our readers - What constitutes leadership in the Knowledge Economy?

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