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Case Studies

These case studies exemplify how corporations benefit from the components of our unique approach, while enhancing sustainable value.

Learning from nature

A network association hit a crisis of relevance to its members; how to provide value while maintaining integrity. Catalyst Mind introduced an intervention for a board of directors strategic planning session. By envisioning the association as an ecosystem, the board of directors were able to shift perspective. The organization’s role was perceived in a new way and the board developed a plan to create sustainable value for members and to effectively navigate threats.

After reflecting on patterns on a forest floor, the design team of a carpet manufacturing company achieved a breakthrough and changed a whole industry. This case from InterfaceFLOR is a classic example of learning from nature to provide sustainable value. By mimicking random patterns of nature, carpet panels were designed to be replaced only where worn, initiating a new business model to lease carpeting. This is an exemplary example of sustainable value to the manufacturer across people, planet and profit dimensions – increasing user health, recovering waste and increasing sales.

Shifting a mind-set

The Canadian International Development Agency was about to be absorbed into another governmental department. The organization was paralyzed as employees feared the loss of social agency values they held dear. In an organization-wide intervention, Catalyst Mind integrated a model for insight that allowed employees to reassess; the result was that organization-wide panic was replaced with a culture of resilience.

Young entrepreneurs in Africa attending sustainable livelihood training learned to build on their own strengths and passions and to assess their surroundings based on asset mapping. This perspective had a profound impact, as the following comment reveals; “We have seen a great psychological change in the beneficiaries who have taken this training. There was a sense of hopelessness among the young people here but after the training they seem to see a brighter future for themselves and the community”, Abera Ogato, program coordinator.

Integrating across the organization

Colonnade, a medium sized organization of property managers wished to initiate a corporate social responsibility program, with few resources and no dedicated role to drive the initiative. Catalyst Mind introduced a corporate-wide program of integration so that corporate social responsibility was embraced as a core organizational value. This program was then maintained through a steering committee and by tools such as regular lunch n learn sessions, social media and employee empowerment to share best practices throughout the organization.

The Long Term Care Branch at the City of Ottawa was required to integrate in order to find efficiencies. Directors were resistant and mutually suspicious of each other. Catalyst Mind introduced a series of interventions that shifted the mind-set and initiated integration across the organization. This resulted in new collegiality among directors and other employees, and a cohesive, efficiently run department.

“The sustainability strategy coaching program I took with Hilary helped me redirect my energy and focus. I was able to chunk out my work on our department’s sustainability plan to come up with relevant next steps as we proceeded.

Every session was geared towards exactly what I was working on at the time and structured so that I could apply each tool right away. There was definitely a lot of information and the program has been really practical.

I now have new ways of working in my tool-box and know how to engage the right people to help me move things forward. I really liked the one-on-one approach, which allowed me to ask questions as they came up. I have improved a lot and definitely feel more confident today than when we first met.”

Micheline Asselin, Sustainability Coordinator
Department of Justice


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