Feb 28, 2024 at 6: 31 pm

Collaborating for Success: How Michael Badham and Stuart Morley Used Strategy Tools to Win the Creative Collaborator Award

Michael Badham and Stuart Morley are two seasoned professionals in the fields of financial strategy, M&A, and fundraising. They have been collaborating on projects for 25 years, using their expertise to help mid-sized businesses in Canada grow and innovate. Recently, they won the Creative Collaborator Award at the Mayor’s Innovation Awards for their work with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), a hub for entrepreneurial education and support in Barrie, Ontario. The award recognizes their contributions to innovation and collaboration in the community, using Strategy Tools canvases and simulations to enhance their mentoring and training programs. We spoke to Michael Badham to learn more about his and Stuart's journey, their challenges, and their key learnings from using Strategy Tools..

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Firstly, congratulations on winning the Creative Collaborator Award! How does it feel to be recognized for your contributions to innovation and collaboration in the community?

Stuart and I are thrilled to be recognized for our collaborative and innovative approach using the Strategy Tools canvases and simulations. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with organizations in our community and this will help us win business across Canada.

Based on what you shared in the Strategy Tools Partner Group, the use of ST canvases and Scale Up! seemed to have played a pivotal role in this success. Can you elaborate on how your work with ST contributed to your creative collaboration efforts?

Our award recognized our innovative approach to using the Strategy Tools canvases and ScaleUp simulation in a Master Class for Mentors of founders in the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurial Centre.

The tools provided a better way to document discussions, while the Scale Up! Simulation is a great way for mentors to learn about the challenges and opportunities of fundraising, especially if they are not familiar with the process or the terminology.

How has your experience at the Strategy Tools Master Trainer contributed to your current way of working?

My experience at the Strategy Tools Master Trainer has been invaluable in shaping my current way of working. The program provided me with three important elements that have helped me become a more effective and efficient consultant and mentor:

  1. A network of like-minded colleagues around the world: I was able to connect and collaborate with other professionals who share my passion for innovation, strategy, and learning. We exchanged ideas, feedback, and support, and we learned from each other’s experiences and perspectives.
  2. Help sipping from the firehose of canvases: I was exposed to a wide range of Strategy Tools canvases and simulations, and I learned how to use them effectively and creatively in my projects. I also learned how to customize and combine the canvases to fit the specific needs and challenges of my clients and my participants.
  3. Designing strategy workshops and sessions using tools, MIRO and adult learning techniques to draw out the best from participants and help organizations (and mentors) craft their strategy.

Collaboration often comes with its set of challenges. Can you share a specific challenge you faced during the collaboration with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and how you overcame it?

Collaboration can be challenging, especially when it involves people with different backgrounds, experiences, and expectations. At the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, we faced some challenges in getting the mentors to participate fully and openly in the mentoring program. Some of the mentors were hesitant to admit that they did not know everything about entrepreneurship and fundraising, and they were afraid of being judged or criticized by their peers or the founders. They also had different styles and preferences in how they structured their meetings with the founders, and they were not always aligned with the goals and the standards of the program.

To overcome these challenges, we used a variety of strategies and techniques to create a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone. We emphasized the importance of humility, curiosity, and empathy in mentoring, and we encouraged the mentors to share their stories, their questions, and their feedback with each other and the founders. We also provided them with more guidance and resources on how to use the Strategy Tools canvases and the Scale Up! simulation effectively, and we gave them more opportunities to practice and experiment with different scenarios and situations. We also adjusted the timing and the format of the program to better fit their schedules and preferences, and we provided them with more incentives and rewards for their participation and their achievements.

Overall, we believe that collaboration is a journey, not a destination, and that it requires patience, persistence, and creativity to make it work. We are proud of what we have accomplished with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, and we are grateful for the lessons and the insights that we have gained from this experience. We hope that our story will inspire others to collaborate more effectively and more meaningfully, and to use the Strategy Tools to achieve their goals.

How do you believe your collaborative efforts have positively impacted the local community or the broader industry?

Our collaborative efforts have had a positive impact on the local community and the broader industry by providing entrepreneurs and businesses with more opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed. We have received interest and support from various stakeholders, such as the City of Barrie (Invest Barrie), who have asked us for a proposal to expand our program and to reach more entrepreneurs and businesses in the region.

We are also continuing our work at the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre with updates and (hopefully) an annual Masterclass for mentors.

Looking ahead, what are your plans for continuing to foster innovation and collaboration, and do you foresee Strategy Tools continuing to play a role in your future projects?

Yes, Strategy Tools is an important part of our go to market strategy and business development plans.

For individuals and organizations looking to enhance their collaborative efforts, what advice would you offer based on your own experiences?

Be patient. Be helpful.


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