We don’t Just know governance…
Our understanding and connections are helping to Rethinking it
Advanced strategic thinking for governments who are looking for a fresh and modern rethink of how they operate
Governments today must learn to navigate through a mine field of administrative and legal challenges, while responsibly providing the most modern of services to the populations they serve.
We’ll help you challenge conventional thinking to clear the way for discovering the possibilities that will not only lead to meeting your full potential, but help redefine a culture of discovery once thought not possible.
When you partner with For Evergreen Innovative Strategies you get fresh, out of the box and independent design thinking. There are no “in the can” solutions, and no preconceived notions. We deploy years of hands on experience, rare insights, and a network of leading experts in all disciplines to effectively dig deep into your specific underlying issues, and architect winning solutions. Our core focus is innovation; pairing creativity and strategy to discover and realize possibility. We want to solve your toughest problems and work together on building an inspired culture of discovery.
Municipal transparency and regulation continue to evolve and with that continue to become more and more complicated. It’s law now that all municipalities have an integrity commissioner either on retainer or hired directly.
The law provides more access to the public to challenge municipal councils and administration. It is important to have an Integrity Commissioner who is experienced, and who understands the intent of the law. as deciphering the complicated rules while delivering on expectations will be critical in managing resources.
We are highly experienced in municipal governance and administration and will help you:
- simplify the understanding of the landscape;
- scan the current policies and practices to anticipate potential vulnerability;
- challenge conventional thinking and discover more practical functionality around addressing any vulnerabilities;
- use modern tools and communications vehicles to minimize cost and resources.
We structure our fees to recognize the need for councils to manage their resources effectively while maximizing practical and sensible impacts. For example, we charge a reduced rate on the writing of reports and correspondence than we do for on site practices, to help keep costs under control.
We’ll customize an Integrity Commissioner program that suits your needs and practically satisfies the legal requirements around this important service.
The historical status quo in government administrated operations tends to be administrative in nature. This means predictable, limited and risk adverse.
The reality is that reaching your operation’s full potential and discovering extraordinary outcomes actually requires opposite & competing attributes. In fact, while the administrative approach is effective at limiting liabilities, it also tends to limit the creative freedom needed to get passed what many characterize as mediocrity, and into a mindset of discovery.
Today’s modern governments see the need to be both entrepreneurial and administrative – That both can and must in fact be done. We’ll help you see how to elevate beyond the mediocrity of purely administrative government by unlocking the cultural habits of inspired thinking, while remaining responsible at the same time.
We’ll start by doing a 360 degree scan of the entire operation from supplier to supervisor, seeking a clear understanding of the status quo. Then we’ll work with you to design and architect a practical path toward maximized development and cost control.
Everything will be completely customized to your needs, your inspiration and your unique solution. Nothing comes in a can or cookie cutter.
Government administered economic development operates in a much more complicated vaccuum then other sectors. The creative freedom required to push boundaries, challlenge conventional thinking, even fudge rules when reuired runs contrary to the transparency and public scrutiny requiremnets of government.
At the same time, modern governments realize that the reality is in order to develop beyond day to day maintience, in order to place their organization in a competative place that grows, creative and inspired thinking is critical.
We’ll show you how to build an innovative, creative and inpired economic devleopment program that challenges conventional thinking while finding that responsible balance of meeting governments higher standard. We’ll get out of the box together and look at internal possibilities, as well as regional possibilities that allow for shared dynamics and even more cumulative benefit.
We can even look at using our extensive and dynamic network of experts to directly perform economic development for you either entirely or in some combination.
Governments end to focus on economic development as the backbone of their tenures and responsibilities. While this is obviously important, societies need social and recreational development just as importantly.
If one can’t be proud of where they live or celebrate who they are, or if there are limited social opportunities to raise a family in, then what’s the point if a booming economy? No-one will be there to fill the jobs being created, or the turnover will be too costly to sustain the economic development itself.
We’ll help you assess the status quo, identify the potential, and design a program that will allow you to responsibly invest in the outcomes being sought. As well, we’ll help you secure funding to pay for the majority of the costs in many cases. Who doesn’t want to develop modern social and recreational assets in their communities, especially if there is a responsible plan on how to do it and pay for it?
Social and recreational development can single handedly separate communities form each other in attraction and retention alone.
Newt Gingrich once summed up the devolution of one of history’s most revered innovation and idea institutions, NASA, by saying, “The one period of glory in NASA was the first nine years when they weren’t a bureaucracy yet … and they haven’t gotten back to that excitement, that adventurism, and won’t. So, I would take most of the NASA budget, and I would turn it into prizes for the private sector who still enable innovation and entrepreneurialism.”
Government institutions are tried and tested models of predictability, hardened over time. Understandable, given the environment of public scrutiny and transparency. The administration of government is highly prescribed and designed to limit unpredictability and grey understanding. The institution is difficult to change and even more difficult to maneuver through modern challenges.
The great irony though is that governments have the tools and ability to define their own governance models should they so choose. Very few venture there in fear of the many possible pitfalls that lie in the way.
We’ll help you determine the model you prefer, that best suits your political and administrative goals, and how to define the rules that will lead to this. We’ll help you understand why your organization is structured as it is and what is important and what really isn’t. We want to help you create a model that inspires creativity, discovery and innovation. It’s how you will find the new revenues and opportunities to not only manage the current challenges that seem to be accumulating, but how you will develop above and beyond the status quo.
A properly developed governance model will create a more functional environment for staff and governance while helping to limit human resource costs associated to frustrated and struggle work environments.
Historically government has been conditioned to operate on a strictly cash basis. The notion of managing any kind of debt or strategic financing has been looked down upon. After all, it’s someone else’s money that is being managed and one can’t take chances – right?
Well, the reality is that it’s not so simple. Almost every fortune 500 company leverages financing to create the revenues, cash flow and opportunities to leverage further and compound revenues. It has been said that capitalism is you buy two Cows, breed them into forty Cows, sell them and retire. But you have to buy those two Cows or you get nothing.
Modern governments have no choice but to rethink their financing acumen and learn how to become effective capitalist. Infrastructure is deteriorating and almost every municipality is in some sort of daunting infrastructure backlog. The reality is new revenues have to be realized and governments have some of the best financing rates and opportunities available. Leveraging is least risky in government than anywhere else because of this.
We’ll show you how to use modern strategic financing tools to leverage new revenues while remaining responsible and relatively risk manageable. it doesn’t mean you carry a large debt. It means you identify what functional strategic tools are available to you, create policies that control risk and ensure financing is done responsibly.
Today’s governments are learning how to do this. We can show you how to do this and unlock your development possibilities.
Governments and especially municipalities need to find ways to lower costs while increasing revenues. Partnering with surrounding municipalities to provide administrative services, economic development, social and recreational development and to build strength political political representation, is making more and more sense.
The challenge of identifying the right opportunities, and designing the right partnership is where the challenge lies. It’s not enough to just architect the sensible logistics around what would create benefit, the very real challenge of maintaining independence and eliminating risk to that independence is the real issue that can make or break partnerships.
We’ll help you identify your needs, the opportunities, the competing interests at play and the independence variables required punt the right plan together. Then, we’ll help you build a road map and negotiating plan to position all players to be likely to accept the arrangement’s.
It’s one thing to develop the wings to get an idea off the ground, it’s quite another to develop the landing gear require to land the idea when needed.
Many folks are elected with little to no experience operating a governance body like government. The intricate web of rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts, and controls on expression can be daunting at the best of times. Many great ideas, perspectives and solutions never even get expressed because folks are too intimidated to speak up. Reciprocally, some can be obstinate to those rules and hijack meetings turning them into personal soap boxes of opinion and micro management.
We provide, practical, easy to understand training for boards and administrators that help define the difference between governance and management while recognizing the many variations of governance modeling. We’ll help you define that model, while also understanding the confusion between the municipal regulations applicable to government and Roberts Rules of Order used in not for profits and private sector. We’ll provide you the tools to effectively navigate that functional chasm which for many can happen daily.
We can conduct an organization wide training program to help new boards and committees function more proficiently which in turn will help limit volunteer loss associated to frustration.
As the saying goes, if you don’t have your own strategy, you’re likely part of someone else’s.
The importance of a strategic plan is best illustrated by the metaphor posed by a river crossing where the water is very turbulent. If we simply jump in and try to cross we can get sucked up by the river and deposited somewhere downstream of the rivers choosing. However, a strategic plan acts as the proverbial rope one uses to cross the river and get to exactly where they choose. When the turbulent water pulls and tugs, we squeeze the rope (the Plan) and continue to navigate to the point we are going.
Especially true in in very complicated environments where variables change regularly and force fire management of crises.
Albert Einstein once said, “if one judges a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, the fish will spend it’s entire life believing it’s stupid”. Nothing is more frustrating then to realize in the end that the process and plan missed the mark. Nothing kills creative culture and confidence more than the wrong metrics and assessment of success.
We’ll help you understand where your operation is, what your real needs are and how to practically achieve them. The exercise itself provides laser sharp focus, but the plan is a functional tool that allows focused choices to be made when matters change, simplifying the reaction and being proactive in nature.
Strategic plans require an investment of time and energy in the short term to save time and energy in the long term. Effective plans are dynamic and live along side the operation. They’re focused and flexible allowing simple and frequent adjustments to be made. This is critical to implementation.
We’ll help you build the right plan with the right focus and logistical flexibility.
Lobbying is one of the single most effective ways to help get your initiative the attention it needs, the understanding required to raise its value, and the direction needed to achieve success.
It’s all about who you know, and knowing who you need at any given time. We have built an incredible network of key decision makers in government, indigenous affairs and commercial development. Our experiences include relationships with Provincial Premiers, key Ministers and key ministry staff, along with key Grand Chiefs and Chief’s across the country.
- Our industrial relationship in the natural resource industry have been built over the span of thirty years.
- Our relationships with municipal Mayors and councils spans ten years.
- Our relationships with indigenous leader of today across the country has been built over twenty five years.
- We’re also well connected with other lobbyists who provide access to many more layers of leadership.
Understanding the complicated mine field between your organization’s opportunities and the intricacies of indigenous affairs and rights is the single most important step to take for anyone aspiring to develop natural resources in Canada. The next most important step is to invest the time and resources needed to build relationships and trust with the indigenous community who have historically learned not to trust. To build an understanding there of the reciprocal opportunity and to establish value in their eyes for that. It’s here that many other approaches fail, because when there is a winner and a loser, the loser is always looking for a way out. When this dynamic is created, ongoing business costs begin to mount along with it.
Understanding how governments (beyond your own level( actually work, the different priorities that drive decisions, and what the nuances are in each various layer of government, can make or break even the simplest and most logical initiative. For municipal governments for example, they are directly engaged with their constituency – especially in small rural communities. There is little arm’s length and no getting away for the scrutiny. Recognizing this and how it changes the government priorities at this level is where many approaches can and in fact do fail.
We can help you:
- raise the value of your stock in the eyes of the those you are lobbying,;
- position your funding request to upper levels of government for success;
- bridge a negotiated arrangement with indigenous communities;
- gain regional support from political leaders and municipalities;
- build the relationships needed to manage the most difficult and competing challenges.
Our company has been managing aboriginal, industrial and governmental impasses for decades. We bring to the table a multitude of experience and insight from both aboriginal and non-aboriginal perspectives, along with a deep network of professionals in all disciplines of the field. We have decades of experiences, relationships and credibility built from the ground up that adds a rare element of opportunity to build the critical trust needed to start the process of hope. By focusing on understanding the issues and each others interests, rediscovering hope, and through proven and innovative dialoguing techniques, we will structure a dynamic plan to facilitate even the most improbable impasses or initiatives to success for everyone.
We can rely on our decades of experience as an indigenous adviser and negotiator, a senior government official and regional leader, and natural resource executive level industrial manager, to effectively create the awareness needed to gain trust and inspiration about the initiative being proposed. We’ll simplify the message and build the understanding of the win for each beneficiary of the direction to facilitate the path forward.
Diverse understandings of and experience in, aboriginal, industrial and government, bringing:
- Credibility developed from decades of ground level experience;
- Trust from decades of ground level relationships and networking;
- Quick resolution;
- And maximized opportunity for success.
Unparalleled network across each discipline and access to unparalleled insight;
Leading edge techniques and tools;
A track record of success where others before have failed:
- We’ll challenge conventional thinking, get out of the box, and even throw the box away if needed, to see opportunities that others may have missed.
Diffusion of issues causing friction:
- Step away from issues and re-establish relationships using proven techniques designed to engage parties;
Analysis and understanding of dynamics at the table:
- Profile each personality to understand the unique dynamics of each group,
- Plan a strategy around the group dynamics and aspirations,
- Create clearer understandings of issues and challenges of each party using innovative and proven techniques;
Direct facilitation of success:
- Using decades of experience, application, and study, and the latest techniques,
- Applying the unique knowledge of aboriginal culture, history, and heritage, to the established insight of natural resource based industry and governmental affairs, to flush out workable and wining solutions.
Guide newly elected council through development of strategic priorities for the upcoming council term.
Conduct online survey.
Undergo complete planning workshop engaging both council and operational staff in idea generation and priority development.
Develop Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis.
Write complete report identifying priorities, and focus lanes for future adjustment.
Conduct both internal and external engagements, undertaking For Evergreen’s unique situational scan process.
Produced a stand alone Engagement Report for future reference, and to assist in plan development.
Assess and build Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat analysis which served as the core of the plan development process.
Develop Key Strategic directions to guide future plan adjustment and redevelopment and respective task strategies.
Develop implementation strategy.
Developed and facilitated a government to government workshop on local tourism for the Bruce Peninsula between the Town of Tobermory, Ontario Provincial Parks, and Federal Parks Canada.
The workshop was also broadcast live with the broadcast audience interactively engaged in the discussion using modern telecommunications tools. Included in the workshop were funding and technical resource expertise.
The participants were engaged in an energetic and completely interactive facilitation that developed several strategies for the regional tourism network to build upon.
Provided Municipal Council training for the Town of Kingsville Ontario, that:
- used real life examples of do’s and don’ts;
- focused on modern applications of age old legislative requirements;
- described the differences between commercial board governance and municipal governance regulated by parliamentary rules;
- connected the symbiotic relationship between municipal, staff (operation) and municipal representation (public politics).
The exercise relied on interactive role paying, select videos and a comprehensive look at regulations and what they really mean. Focus was placed on navigating through the entrenched perceptions of everything one cannot do, to understand what could be done instead – breaking through disabling thinking to adopt enabling thinking realized through the mutual connection between the council table and the operation.
Lead to a paradigm shift & renaissance around modern, progressive, strategic & responsible thinking, in a municipal culture historically adverse to change.
Municipality is now one of the most actively developing in the region, has created nine jobs for every one lost, and has some of the lowest taxes District wide.
Set a course in place that lead to a community completely developing its waterfront, create new outdoor recreational programs, and to the development of extraordinary generational legacy architecture.
Deployed innovations like Pop-Up Pianos and the only free Bike Share Program in Ontario.
Social and cultural assets have become a regional strategic advantage by five fold over all other major community assets.
The multi-million program utilized a strategic financial plan successfully acquiring 90% funding.
Reformed financial structure and culture of a municipality who was borrowing millions of dollars per year to offset loss of provincial funding for being 3 years behind in reporting. We uncovered the underlying barriers and adjusted to:
- Reset the structure and cultural mindset;
- Adapt modern strategic financing tools;
- Adjusted salaries to be competitive;
- Established effective training regime;
- Establish some of the lowest taxes in the region.
- Recovered provincial funding to prevent the need for further borrowing.
Challenged the conventional, no risk thinking of municipal financing by adopting a modern, progressive financial leveraging acumen similar to large fortune 500 organizations, that sees the leveraging of financing to create and grow new revenues.
Municipality was able to increase revenues and cash flow by 10%, for a cost of only 2% on budget, leading to infrastructure development previously seen as unattainable.
Undertook a comprehensive consulting assignment to conduct a socio-economic impact analysis regarding the Municipality Cochrane, Ontario, struggling through an economic downturn, for the Cochrane and Area Community Development Corporation.
- Analyzed current social and economic status;
- Researched and identified trends;
- Managed and actively engaged a Stakeholder Steering Committee;
- Identified local and regional comparators, indicators and critical criteria;
- Ran comprehensive economic modeling;
- Developed a comprehensive multi-binder report highlighting:
- Detailed context.
- Recommendations, laid out in short, medium and long term priorities, and stratified as building blocks, tools or stand alone focal points.
- Referenceable citations and support documentation.
Undertook an accelerated population growth and impact assessment for the Caisse Populaire Bank. Assessing:
- The local and regional economic impacts, potential growth and outlook associated to a mining boom;
- Several permutations of growth and their varying economic impacts;
- Economic modeling and impact forecasting.
Strategically positioned issues and players to successfully move on critical regional matters posing a threat to regional viability.
- Organized 160 municipalities to completely reform provincial policing costs;
- Re-Established an ethical Spring Bear Hunt balancing conservation and safety;
- Prevented the complete provincial divestment of rail services, maintaining freight services critical to regional growth.
Transitioned A Public Utilities Commission into a modern, entrepreneurial business center. Introduced the first fiber optics to the municipality, built a modern Wifi dome over the municipality creating a competitive advantage, and successful won a competitive turf war with one of the country’s largest telecommunications providers.
Led a municipal hydro distribution utility to reform its administrative end to eliminate over $100,000 in costs while flat-lining the hierarchy to be more responsive and cost effective.
Leveraged modern financial tools and effective lobbying to secure funding and resources to realize an unprecedented development plan. The municipality saw both social and economic development surpass decades of precedent, while also seeing taxes become some of the lowest in the region.
The modern strategy saw important infrastructure developments that upgraded threatening deterioration in existing assets mitigated while developing new, modern traffic management assets at the same time. Important social and recreation developments were established the saw historically accelerated creation of generational assets.
“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
138 Third Street West, Cochrane, Ontario Canada