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  • Ian McCormack

Pulling Teams Together

The nature of work is increasingly such that the knowledge of a single individual isn’t enough. I know what I know, and perhaps more importantly, experience has taught me that I also know what I don’t know. Part of the fun of the advisory types of assignments with which we are asked to assist is that we get to create and propose focused teams that maximize the value for Strategic Steps’ clients.

It is rare that an assignment for Strategic Steps involves just one of our people. For this reason, we have a stable of experts in a wide range of subject matter areas that we can ask to join our project teams on a case by case basis. We can provide our clients with people who can focus on delivering whatever the client’s needs are.


Our vision is that we ‘walk with our clients to cultivate good governance together.’ The teams we build and deploy are focused on this vision. The members of our various teams are all people we trust and who we know are experts in their own fields. We work with people who share our values and principles, but who’s areas of specialty differ from one another. We know that our reputation goes with whomever the client sees, and we know that our reputation is key to our success.


It is not uncommon that we find a project deviating from its originally anticipated path, usually because we have found out something that was not originally scoped. Working in a team environment means we can quickly draw on talent and apply it to the situation at hand.


While we focus on governance, that’s often the ‘how’ of our clients’ needs. Commonly there is a technical component as well; things like training, human resource management, change management, legislation, intermunicipal agreements, and the like. All of these involve teams of people, both on the part of the client and on our part as well.


Something new that we are trying in an attempt to build the team’s capacity is what we are calling ‘innovation happy hour’. We’re finding a patio – at least until winter hits – and inviting one or two guests to spend an hour or two with us talking about the issues of the day and addressing items that might lead to new ideas that benefit us, or guest and our clients.


To me, work is supposed to be fun. I find that building and working with teams of great people makes this work fun. We are in a people-focused business and it’s important to understand and celebrate the differences we all bring, differences that provide a better end product for our clients and for the company as well.


If you’re interested in knowing the members of our core team, here’s a link to our associates.


As always, I’m interested in your thoughts about this topic. Are teams the new way of doing business in your world as it pertains to providing good governance? You can find me at ian@strategicsteps.ca or on Twitter @strategic_steps.

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