Igniting Corporate Innovation

In 2015, Berlineaton was asked by then Vancity President and CEO, Tamara Vrooman to provide a diagnostic analysis and report of recommendations regarding organizational and cultural improvements that would enable Vancity to attain its ambitious 2020 goals as stated in Vancity’s business plan: Redefining Wealth.

A Profound Experience

This work was initiated through a report of recommendations, one of which was to create a different kind of organizational structure that would enable Vancity to operate at two speeds – one speed that meets the regulatory requirements of a credit union, and another speed that embraces design thinking and innovation.

Berlineaton was asked to assist in the design and implementation of this two-speed organization, which resulted in the creation of the Explorer Network at Vancity, a new, non-hierarchical network of employees tasked with discovering new opportunities to achieve real impact for members, and that are scalable across the Vancity enterprise.  

Practical Solutions

Over the course of two years, we worked with Vancity, engaging with well over 500 staff from the frontline to the C-Suite, in support the Explorer Network, a unique approach to igniting corporate innovation Delivering large-format Open Space Conferences, while supporting a series of well-led retreats engaging all management-level staff, we served alongside Vancity’s CEO and VP of Strategic Management to provide employees with the opportunity to discover, design, and test innovative ideas in support of the organization’s future vision. 

Bolder Futures

Dozens of these new ideas were championed forward, with the most promising ones being presented at a company-wide “pitch fest” for real-time peer evaluation and further feedback. Top-rated pitches became leading candidates for corporate innovation projects, and this novel approach continues to generate positive improvement and action throughout Vancity.

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  • I’ve worked with the Berlineaton team on a number of strategic initiatives for Vancity. Berlineaton has been a great collaborator in the design, development and launch of an innovation network designed to accelerate our transformation. My standards have always been high and they have never disappointed in their ability to deliver.

    Lori Block, Former Vice President,


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    Shelly Berlin

    Strategist, Confidante, Entrepreneur.

    Shelly is a co-founding partner of Berlineaton and has over 25 years’ experience in management consulting in strategy, process improvement and leader development.  

    She’s worked extensively with public and private sector organizations, and she is a professional facilitator, expert in the design, development, and execution of strategy. She is a certified executive coach and a Fellow of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants. 

    Shelly’s passion is to help leaders and their organizations achieve extraordinary success through bold thinking, courageous risk taking and disciplined action planning. Dark chocolate helps too.

    Richard Eaton

    CD, BA, MA (Leadership) FCMC, ACC
    Adventurer, Process Whisperer, Force of Nature.

    Richard Eaton is a co-founding partner of Berlineaton, a senior management consultant and a certified executive coach. Over the past 25 years, Richard has facilitated significant and positive productivity focused culture shifts within large and complex organizations. 

    He specializes in delivering a leader and team-focused approach to process improvement and is highly skilled in helping clients realize significant performance improvements.  

    Richard is passionate about adventures of all kinds, from parachuting, scuba diving and high-altitude mountaineering to a broad array of fascinating consulting assignments. He approaches everything he does with humility, wonder, deep engagement and sturdy footwear.