Organization-wide training on co-creation

Embedding collaborative innovation with Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation had just created a new strategic plan — but as they shared with us, “A plan is just a bunch of lofty objectives if it doesn’t have well-articulated actions/tactics to see those objectives be fulfilled." What they needed was an operational plan, but this time, they wanted to make sure everyone from the Foundation had a voice in creating the tactics and strategies that would be required. They asked: “How might we collaboratively build our plan, together, with our whole team?”

To take on this level of collaborative innovation, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation asked to help build their team’s understanding of co-creation. We partnered with ACHF to help design and run a retreat, virtual workshops and in-person sessions, to go deep into teaching the mindsets and methods of co-creation. We explored systems thinking, design thinking, conflict resolution, and the domain of personal creativity. also helped ACHF look ahead to navigate their co-creation program, supporting Senior Leadership behind-the-scenes to talk through challenges areas, agenda design and sticky points.

Through their leadership, they formed cross-disciplinary squads; groups of individuals from each department, to take on a specific strategic focus area. Through a series of workshops, collaborative sessions and co-design sprints, these teams explored ideas and possibilities that could help ACHF move towards its big-picture vision. As ideas bubbled to the surface, they were filtered down, and eventually compiled into the organization’s overall operational plan.

It was beautiful to see: Typically, senior leaders schooled in the realm of traditional management philosophies will follow a rather conventional top-down approach: “we make the plan, the staff executes it.” Rather than taking this usual hierarchical, hand-me-down route, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation recognized that when team members are involved in the creation of a plan, not only does their level of commitment increase, but so does the quality of the plan itself, and the potential for deeper transformation. 

Choosing the path of co-creation is leading to greater buy-in from their team, and building an organization that fully understands its role in the community to champion child health and wellness. Their staff report greater levels of engagement, and ACHF’s co-creative methods were recently shared with other children’s hospital foundations from across North America.

“ has had a transformational impact on what happens here at the Foundation.”
Jody Schwartz, Vice President, Communications & Community Engagement, ACHF
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