Frequently Asked Questions
How were the financial arrangements structured for the partners?
The Counselling Foundation is the lease-holder and there is Memorandum of Agreement in place with all three partners that specifies cost-sharing apportioned based on the number of staff in each organization. “Rent” received is taken off the top each month and the remainder of the rental and other expenses is divvied up between the partners.
How was the “rent” determined for the organizations that joined Foundation House?
Research into “rental” and “usage” rates in other shared work environments in Toronto was completed to come up with a rate for private, open workspaces and related amenities. Some supplies and services are included in the rate, such as internet, meeting space and kitchen beverages. Phone system requirements are charged separately.
Cultural differences between organizations may have a significant impact on the success of FH. What steps have been taken to maximize the benefits of these differences?
The initial work on recognizing and affirming the unique elements of the FH workplace culture will be helpful including the “Principles We Live By”. The intention is not to change the culture of an organization but rather to find the most effective way to identify and develop a positive work culture in the space that is known as FH.
Where do individual staff mandates and organizational purposes fit in the FH model?
Individual mandates will continue to be assessed as part of the annual performance processes unique to each organization. The strategic and business planning processes enacted by each organization continue to be a primary focus. The FH vision centres on the actual and potential areas for overlap and alignment how these are recognized in strategic and business planning by each organization.
Is there a process for managing disputes among the various staff?
This issue will be addressed in the initial culture work and through ongoing FH workplace discussions. Issues will surface in different ways over time, particularly as staff evolve in their own roles and organizations refocus their individual strategies.
Is there a management committee that oversees the operations?
The leaders of the three partner organizations functioned as a management committee in the first months. In the summer of 2016 a more broadly-based management committee will be created.
What happens if one of the partner leaders leaves their organization? Will the vision of FH be at risk?
Leaders will continue to work with their Boards and staff to ensure there is continuity and connection the FH vision regardless of who is at the helm.