F0592 - Donald G. Simpson fonds


Series Number:S00506
Series Title:Innovation
Extent:7.92 m of textual material
26 photographs
3 posters
3 objects : baseball hats, clapper
11 computer diskettes
3 DVDs
4 CDs (textual records)
6 videocassette tapes
Biographical Sketch/Administrative History: Simpson's innovation work began with his position as Vice President at the Banff Centre for Management in the 1990s. His company, the Innovation Expedition (IE), originated in 1991 as the non-profit International Institute for Innovation, or Triple i, an initiative within the Banff Centre. The Triple i operated with a small core staff and numerous external colleagues. Founding corporate partners included Occidental Petroleum, the Alberta Research Council, Trans Alta, Syncrude Canada and the Stentor Consortium of Telecoms. The International Development Research Centre and the Banff Centre also gave financial support. The testing ground for the Triple i was the Alberta roundtable process, which was part of a major economic planning initiative, Toward 2000 Together (T2T), initiated by the Alberta government. In 1991, the Alberta government commissioned the Banff Centre and Triple i to design and facilitate an innovative public consultation process to shape the province's future economy in the new information society. With Simpson as chair, seven roundtables were held on different cross-sectoral themes between November 1991 and April 1992. They brought together representatives of business, government, labour, education and non-profit organizations. Following this, Simpson was engaged as co-chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee appointed by the government to draft a new economic strategy for the province. Triple i's unique dialogue process was the beginning of IE's flagship, an organizational performance improvement system called the Challenge Dialogue System or CDS(TM). In 1994 the Triple i separated from the Banff Centre and began functioning as a stand-alone non-profit business under Alberta law. Then in January 1996, it transferred its business sector portion to AXIA NetMedia, a pioneering online knowledge management company. As part of AXIA, the Triple i worked with the AXIA Performance Centre, and the mentoring unit of Triple i became the AXIA Innovation Mentoring Unit or Global Mentoring Team. The non-profit organization grew from an original team of nine people in 1996 to a staff of 700. The Innovation Mentoring Unit was based in London, Ontario, at the national headquarters of AVCO Financial Services. Another change came in the spring of 1999, when AXIA merged with Lifeskills International, "the people performance company" based in the UK, and the Innovation Expedition unit was officially formed. At this time, the unit had forty full-time personnel, a base in Yorkshire, England, and Canadian bases in London and Calgary. IE was also involved in the establishment of The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, which rewarded successful applications of innovative practices in the non-profit sector. The Foundation (now renamed the Leader to Leader Institute) was named for "the father of modern management," Peter Drucker, whom Simpson and his colleagues admired for his Renaissance man ingenuity. Leaving AXIA in 1999, Simpson became sole owner of IE, which was incorporated in Ontario. Then in late 2005, three long-time supporters (Stephen Murgatroyd, Dawn Ralph and Keith Jones) joined Simpson in forming a renewed Innovation Expedition. They retained the Ontario incorporation but ran the company as an Alberta-based national and global business.
Scope and Content: Scope and content: Series consists of records documenting the work Simpson categorized as "strengthening and creating cultures of innovation." The series documents the founding and development of the Innovation Expedition, from its origins as the International Institute for Innovation or Triple i at the Banff Centre for Management, to its association with AXIA NetMedia from 1996 to 1999, and then its emergence as an independent company after 2000. The series consists of draft and final reports, concept papers, presentation diagrams and overhead transparencies, clippings, articles, book chapters, conference materials, booklets, brochures, toolkit elements, government publications, meeting and conference agendas, notes, speeches, correspondence, memoranda and newsletters. The records include general secondary resources on innovation including the following topics defined by the donor: innovations in education; measurement innovation; performance improvement toolkits; non-profit work; and understanding innovation. There are examples of innovation projects with which Simpson was involved, including the Science Council, IE's Global Innovation Congress, Textron, Banff Centre programmes, London Investment in Education Council (LIEC), Miles Canada (Bayer Pharmaceuticals), and EKS strategy of Germany. There are also several theme files which may have originated with the Mentoring records in S00508 but have been kept with this series as received by the donor; and collected reports, usually by the government, on Alberta. Records pertaining to the Alberta Roundtables and the Towards 2000 Together initiative include participant lists, working papers, final reports, preparatory readings and backgrounders on each roundtable issue. There is also material on the Premier's Conference on the Alberta's Economic Future in May 1992 (the culmination of the roundtables); and the Advisory Committee on Alberta's Economic Future (or multi-stakeholder advisory committee) of which Simpson was vice-chair following the roundtables. Records of the Triple i document its formation; strategic planning; initiatives and programs, including the genesis and launch of the Innovation Expedition; promotion; writings; and partners.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Files containing personal information of third parties are closed to researchers. Individual item restrictions will be lifted in years between 2061 and 2090. Researchers wishing to consult this material must apply to the archivist to enter into a researcher agreement.
Arrangement: The series is arranged in chronological blocks of related records based on the organizational phases of the Innovation Expedition. The first block of records is general innovation-related resources; this is followed by sections for the Alberta roundtables and Towards 2000 Together; Triple i; Innovation Expedition (AXIA NetMedia); and Innovation Expedition (AXIA NetMedia and Lifeskills International); Innovation Expedition post-incorporation; and the Peter Drucker Foundation. Within each section, files are arranged alphabetically.
Language of Material: Some applications to the Drucker Foundation award include material in French.
Other Notes:1. Other areas of work undertaken by IE include learning and leadership development (S00507); mentoring (S00508); transforming organizations and sectors (S00509); and knowledge management (S00510). The story of IE is also told in chapter 11 of A Canadian Odyssey, records of which are in S00514.

File List - S00506.592.htm

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