Council of Canadian Innovators – Executive Director


About the Organization 

The Council of Canadian Innovators is a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to helping high growth Canadian-founded and operated technology firms scale up globally.  Members of the Council understand that the innovation economy is created, regulated and managed by the public sector (governments, legislatures, courts and international organizations). Innovative companies cannot afford to play a passive role in shaping the regulations, laws and international agreements that have profound impacts on their businesses. While this has been and remains the case in leading innovation nations, there has been a gap to date in Canada.

The Council of Canadian Innovators will fill this gap by serving as the vehicle for this sector to engage with governments and other relevant stakeholders. It will also serve as a business development group for Canada’s most promising technology companies on key topics including growth, access to capital and talent.

Scope of Position

The Executive Director will be responsible for all aspects of the organization and ensures that the Council of Canadian Innovators functions and thrives in accordance with its mandate, strategic plan and financial resources. The Executive Director will report to a broadly representative voluntary Board.

Functional Tasks

  • Work with the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors to refine the strategic and operating plans, priorities and options.
  • Create and lead a modern member-driven organization: Solidify the interest of potential members into becoming fee-paying active members: In consultation with the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors convene the inaugural board and set policy priorities, implement tactics, budgets and performance management infrastructure: Develop the brand and public-facing identity of the organization.
  • Using education and persuasion, build and represent a movement of Canadian innovators: With provincial and federal governments (both elected officials and civil servants): With members of trade and mainstream media: Other stakeholders and intersecting interests: Canadian voters via social media and public events.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization to ensure the timely implementation and execution of the business and financial plans.
  • Architect the organization ensuring that it has in place the people, resources, processes and operational capabilities by which to execute and the corporate culture to outperform.
  • Provide ongoing direction, performance management and developmental support to the team. Continue to build world-class capabilities. Focus the team to accelerate and drive the organization’s agenda.
  • Ensure milestones are met on time, with high quality and that they meet the cost objectives that are established
  • Remain abreast of the industry and trends with a view to ensuring that the Council anticipates and addresses matters material to its interests.
  • Report regularly and proactively to the board of directors on results and plans going forward.

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are among the deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Specific measure of performance will be discussed and agreed upon with the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors prior to commencing in the role.

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of Executive Director at the Council of Canadian Innovators:

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far reaching ideas.

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.

Makes an immediate positive impression upon others. Has presence and commands respect. Comes across with force and quickly establishes credibility. Accurately predicts the effects of own words and actions. Makes an immediate positive impression upon others.

Leading Change
Recognizes when change is necessary. Challenges the status quo and champions new initiatives. Acts as a catalyst to change and stimulates others to change. Develops an effective action plan to implement change and monitors results.

Customer/Client Orientation
Strives to provide customers/clients with personalized and efficient service. Anticipates customers’/clients’ needs. Quickly follows up on customer/client contacts and complaints. Monitors and acts on measures of customer/client satisfaction.

Imagines future possibilities. Thinks broadly and investigates a wide-range of alternatives in developing a vision for the future. Selects the most promising vision from a range of alternatives and communicates this vision to others.

Industry & Market Awareness
Seeks to anticipate and respond to industry and market changes/challenges by understanding key characteristics, issues and the factors driving them. Aware of competitor’s products, services and position.

Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.

  • Strong relationships in federal and provincial governments, both political and civil service circles
  • Credible voice on economic/innovation issues (credibility could have been achieved through business, academia, government or other relevant experience)
  • Supports the vision of strong innovation in Canada and is able to articulate that goal in appropriate language with relevant stakeholders
  • A highly intelligent, strategically minded executive with superb communication and interpersonal skills and a willingness to roll-up his/her sleeves.
  • Track record defined in part by an ability to consistently executive on agreed upon objectives and the drive to do it again
  • A proven team builder and leader, able to manage and motivate staff and coordinate their efforts to achieve rapid tangible victories
  • Ability to work collaboratively with Chair and Board of Directors, providing strategic guidance  and taking direction
  • Charismatic personality and articulate, compelling public speaker with media experience
  • Bilingualism is an asset
  • Toronto or Ottawa-based or willing to move to one or the other
  • Willingness to travel as required

Remuneration & Benefits 

  • Highly competitive compensation package tailored to the successful candidate.

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