Strategic Alignment: Matching Aboriginal Community Objectives with Industry Opportunities


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Cheryl Brooks of Indigenuity Consulting Group presents on the topic of Strategic Alignment: Matching Aboriginal Community Objectives with Industry Opportunities at the Expanding Our Knowledge Conference in Vancouver, BC on April 15, 2013.

Cheryl who is a Sto:lo from the community of Sts’ailes in the Upper Fraser Valley of BC, has been the President of Indigenuity Consulting Group for the past 10 years. Prior to this, she was the first aboriginal woman to achieve Associate Deputy Minister status in the BC government, holding that position in the Ministry of Energy, Mines. Cheryl has also held several other senior positions in aboriginal organizations and the corporate sector including that of the founder and first Manager of BC Hydro’s highly regarded Aboriginal Relations Department.

In 1994, the Canadian Business Review recognized Cheryl as one of the first people in Canada to publicly express that relationship building between indigenous and other peoples, was the needed foundation for solutions to socio-economic disparity and its resulting tensions and conflict. The article she then wrote for the Business Review has been quoted as a seminal reference. Around the same time, her work was cited in the Hill, Sloan book on Best Practices in Aboriginal Relations. For the past 25 + years, Cheryl’s work and voluntary efforts have been focused on creating practical approaches to developing relationships that deliver tangible benefits to both the aboriginal and non- aboriginal parties in relationships.

The Expanding Our Knowledge Conference was hosted by Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples(TM).com and is powered by Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. and would like to thank Cheryl for sharing her time, these slides, and for allowing us to post.

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Strategic Alignment: Matching Aboriginal Community Objectives with Industry Opportunities

  2. 2. Indigenuity Consulting Group Inc.• 100% Aboriginal Ownership (since 2000)• Strategy for Aboriginal & Corporate prosperity• Partnerships that create tangible benefits• Consultation – meaningful & results producing
  3. 3. AN APPROACH FOR SUCCESS RECOGNIZES• Societal landscape is evolving and relationshipstructures need to change with it.• Both aboriginal and corporate organizations aredriven by multiple forces.• Maximizing the potential for best results requiresthat you engage and work strategically.
  4. 4. WHAT IS STRATEGY• Shaping the future in way that gets to desirable endswith available means.• Achieving goals under conditions of uncertainty, such aswhen there are insufficient resources to achieve thesegoals..
  5. 5. STRATEGY IS DYNAMIC• When the world around us in a state of constantchange and growth it means that effectivestrategy cannot be static.• Strategy must shift in response to known oremerging office@indigenuity.ca250~746~1040
  6. 6. APPRECIATE DIFFERENCES•Each community is unique in terms of capacity•Some struggle with high levels of stress/distress withlittle space to act beyond the short term•Others are skilled and experienced at workingstrategically, while still facing many challenges they canmanage opportunities and difficulties strategically
  7. 7. UNDERSTAND ABORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE• Economic growth, jobs or higher personal incomesmay be important, but may not be the community’sultimate goal.• Learn about what future the community is seekingthat suits the values, priorities and needs of itsmembers.• This could take a very long time
  8. 8. UNDERSTAND COMPANY PERSPECTIVE• Each company is unique in its capacity• Some struggle with high levels of stress anduncertainty• Others are skilled at experienced at workingstrategically with First Nations• Some are new to this work and enter into it withsome fears and office@indigenuity.ca250~746~1040
  9. 9. PERCEPTION VS. REALITY• Don’t confuse your perceptions with reality• Don’t deduce the other parties intentions fromyour fears• Try to put yourself in the other party’s shoes• Withhold judgement while you “try on” theirviews• Test if your proposals are consistent with theother party’s values.
  10. 10. MORE THAN FACTS/FIGURES• Accept that the process involves way more thanexchanging information• This is about people making connections – get thispart right – the rest flows• Human connection means there will beemotional, spiritual and physical factors in play• Be open to all the dynamics this will bring; asnecessary be explicit about recognizing what is inplay – name it – talk about it.
  11. 11. INTERESTS• Know that behind apparently opposed positionslie shared and compatible interests, as well asconflicting ones - Identify both• If you want the other party to appreciate yourinterests, begin by demonstrating that youappreciate their interests.• If you actually cannot figure them out - Ask
  12. 12. ASK YOURSELF• What are my long term interests?• Within those interests – what are theopportunities and possibilities forcooperation, mutual growth and sharedbenefits?• Are there alternate pathways to realizing theopportunities and benefits?• Which pathways are most compatible with thevalues that have been identified? office@indigenuity.ca250~746~1040
  13. 13. ALIGNMENT• Today, what are the community interests?• What company objectives can contribute toaddressing those interests?• Stay open – Often even in very openbrainstorming, participants are already leaningtowards what they perceive as the one bestanswer.• Take the time that is needed for true dialogue
  14. 14. CREATIVITY• Separate the creative act from the analytical anddecision making.• Or separate the process of thinking up possibledecisions from the process of selecting amongstthem.• Invent options first - Decide later
  15. 15. Ch’ithometsel – I thank you for beinghere and for listening to meIndigenuity Consulting Group Inc.www.indigenuity.caoffice@indigenuity.caTel: 250~746~1040