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Breaking Away from Convention to Increase Collaboration

By Jennifer Chernishenko, Administrative Assistant at Integrated Sustainability

Innovation and Communications Residency

A year has passed since Patrick Leslie, Director of Technology and Innovation, and Oksana Ogrodnik, Director of Sustainability and Risk, attended the Innovation and Communications Residency (the Residency) at The Banff Centre. They went to the three-day event with the goal of figuring out what strategic consulting could mean for Integrated Sustainability and how to make it a profitable part of the company. Additionally, they knew that a big challenge for their group was the missing regulatory skill set and they wanted to address that.

Programs each day were fully facilitated and focused on strategies for problem solving, leadership, and communication. Patrick described the event as a sort of retreat to get outside the office and to focus on effective communication.

Their key takeaways were:

  1. Recognizing the importance of stepping back to look at problems from a different perspective.
  2. Achieving their goals and being set up to take actions for the next year. 
  3. Gaining the necessary skills to identify and bring in the right people to fill the regulatory gap.

 One year on, leadership on industry collaboration

Since the Residency, Patrick and Oksana have helped Integrated Sustainability facilitate a workshop in coordination with the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC). The purpose was to get waste and wastewater professionals together to discuss key challenges in the industry. Through the conference, Patrick and Oksana were better able to understand challenges they were facing and how to bring solutions to market. The success of this collaboration has enabled additional growth to Integrated Sustainability’s Consulting and Regulatory groups.

In seeing the positive results that came from the Residency, it is clear there is value in attending retreats, such as the Innovation and Communications Residency, amongst other programs put on by The Banff Centre.

Part of our DNA

Integrated Sustainability has on its website the equation “Innovative People + Integrated Services = Sustainable Solutions.” With innovative people pooling their skills and being willing to address and reassess the way things are done, Integrated Sustainability not only challenges norms to provide sustainable solutions to clients, they bring about a sustainable company culture where staff are constantly improving their skills, expanding their knowledge, and searching for improved methods to provide the high quality of service they hold as their standard.


Photo: Patrick Leslie (back left) and Oksana Ogrodnik (foreground) spent time talking strategy with facilitator Elaine Broe (back right) during the Innovation and Communications Residency. Photo by Donald Lee, featured in The Banff Centre Blog article “Innovation and Communications Residency with Integrated Sustainability.”(Published at 2 December 2014.)