Preparing for the future by creating a culture of innovation
Taking a closer look at a key pillar of our new strategy
By Patrick Canagasingham, CEO
A big part of my job is thinking about the future — where we’re going, how we’ll get there, and how we’ll do it.
I look at the challenges that exist and figure out how we’re going to fix them. It’s not about what’s right or wrong. It’s about remaining focused on why we exist — to help children. And, if we really want to do that, we must innovate to find new solutions to existing problems.
Innovation is a key pillar in our four-year roadmap for change. It’s a clear vision of how we need to move forward.
Of course, to innovate we must breed a culture that encourages it. To re-energize that thinking, we recently hosted an innovation roundtable at our Canada office in Markham, Ontario. It featured prominent players in the field, including Robyn Stewart of Accenture; Aki Temisevä of Right to Play, Ron Subramanian of GO Productivity; and Jocelyn Mackie of Grand Challenges Canada — partners we value.
Our country directors from the six countries where we have sponsored children, as well as staff from our Canadian office attended the roundtable. It reminded the team we must be intentional about making continuous improvements, learning together with the global community.
The experts talked about finding the gaps in service and finding a “cheaper, faster and better” way to address challenges by taking an innovation risk — not an implementation risk.
We were reminded an innovation strategy should be less reactive, more prepared, less invention and more reinvention.
We’ve already had great examples of reinvention at work at Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC). We’re working with Google India and Tata Trust to teach women about the Internet, while educating them about the dangers of early and forced marriages. And, we’ve expanded our award-winning program, which teaches the value of learning through play in Africa. It invites parents to create toys out of simple household items, like an old water jug, and become active participants in their child’s development.
Talking to Aki (above) recently, after the roundtable, he said something that remains with me: “Innovation isn’t about complexity,” he noted. “It’s about actioning new ideas that work for the betterment of the children we care about.”
That brings me back to our key focus at CCFC. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our most important stakeholders — children and their families.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.