Rick Anderson Consulting Ltd. is a consulting firm providing communications services to the public, government, private and not-for-profit sectors.
“Our goal is to provide engagement, planning, relationship management and conflict resolution services with integrity - fairly providing all sides of an issue with the opportunity to express and understand from a position of equality, honesty, and respect."
"We help individuals and organizations find their best solutions, and deliver results they can be proud of."
What people say about us...
Rick is a trained and experienced facilitator, mediator, negotiator and ombudsman. With extensive experience in multi-stakeholder / multi-discipline / synergy group arenas, he is uniquely qualified to work on a variety of projects and issues either one-on-one or in larger groups.
Rick offers expertise in strategic planning, public engagement and management of complex community relationships. He is known for his ability to connect and communicate across various industry, agency and community sectors and facilitate strategic, synergistic approaches to addressing communication issues.
Creating successful strategies for effective working relationships.
Helping businesses, organizations and individuals to...
Whether trying to get a collaborative effort off the ground, or dealing with a contentious situation, we are highly skilled and experienced in managing the discussion process and assisting all parties in being heard - a key component to achieving successful outcomes. We provide services specifically suited to your needs, ranging from behind the scenes coaching and meeting preparation, to acting as an intermediary or negotiating agreements on your behalf.
Organizing and developing an effective group or team requires a diverse set of skills. We have a proven track record with multi-stakeholder initiatives and synergy group development. We will help you to build a solid structure, along with appropriate and effective processes essential for a group's functional success and ability to maintain ongoing focus.
The key ingredient often missing in many planning processes is an understanding of strategic thinking. Developing sound decision-making tools and strategies takes your plans from action through to achievement. We help you to build these skills as we take you through the planning process. This will assist your organization in remaining on course during the implementation stage.
Contentious issues are often fraught with nuance and communication deficits. We can help you to assess the conflict environment and provide you with coaching and strategies to communicate effectively and navigate challenging projects or issues.
When agreements become focused solely on compensation, other considerations key to successful long-term satisfaction are often overlooked. We go beyond compensation, working directly with landowners and industry to determine appropriate siting and operating commitments, all based on mutual understanding of the needs and perspectives of both parties.
Increasing knowledge and resources in the areas of communication and conflict management are critical for success in today's environment. We can help develop capacity within your organization by providing workshops and presentations in any of our areas of expertise.
The best part of what we do is meeting and working with wonderful people. It's truly a pleasure and a privilege to help individuals and organizations create positive outcomes.
“Some of the qualities I appreciated when working with Rick Anderson Consulting included their honesty, enthusiasm, a willingness to help others and a great attitude towards building lasting relationships.
Rick and Ila aim to set the bar very high in achieving excellence in results. They are guided by their vast experience and expertise with a foundation built on integrity, trust, customer-oriented values and a genuine desire to gaining an understanding of your personal and business needs.
I found their innovative approaches extremely helpful when developing strategies to ensure that our desired outcomes were met in both a cost effective and timely manner. Their highly ethical leadership styles exemplified this drive for success. They also bring a great sense humor to the table mixed with a flair for making the workplace fun.”
“He provided an environment which valued our voices and opinions. He was great at hearing beyond our words. I feel energized to move forward.”
Alberta Association for Mulitcultural Education
“I've known Rick for almost 20 years as we've travelled in similar circles working on improving relationships between oil and gas companies, agricultural producers and general community members. During this period of time Rick was a participant from all three sides...no mean feat! His background includes representing government, landowner and industry in land use issues.
His respect for each participant and their opinion never waivered. He seemed to handle these differences with insight, integrity, patience and of course humor. I've watched him make presentations as an Industry Rep and as a Synergy Rep and it amazed me how well he connected with "the other side" so comfortably.
When I was on the Synergy Alberta Board of Directors and Rick and Ila were the ED team, I was very impressed with their professionalism, their organizational and communication skills, their strong work ethic, their respect and integrity for the office. Best of all – they are good people.”
West Central Stakeholders
“I have been fortunate enough to have experienced working with Rick through several Synergy Groups, committees, and the Energy sector in general throughout the last 12 years. Rick routinely adapts his facilitation skills with differing groups, both large and small, cordial, and challenging. With his calming demeanor, I have been impressed by his ability to bring the group along, engage our input, keep us to task, tie a multitude of complexities together, and cultivate collaborative outcomes. He has a highly developed understanding of leadership and interpersonal relationships, an acute perception for understanding for the room. I would highly recommend Rick’s facilitation services.”
“Rick provided great value to our organization through facilitating our strategic planning. (He) was very good at pulling important points from conversation and creating strategy points.”
Alberta Association for Multicultural Education
“I have had the privelege of working closely with Rick for the past 5 years following his work with Synergy Alberta and its affiliates. Rick is a great facilitator and keeps up to date with all issues that affect landowners, industry and government. Integrity, honesty and hard work are the qualities I most admire about Rick Anderson.”
“The first time I met Rick I wondered how this fellow...was going to get the landowners and energy companies working together. Rick accomplished this by letting all individuals sitting at the table be heard. At times this was not an easy task as there was limited positive interaction taking place. As a facilitator, Rick showed me how communication and education helps to resolve disputes and misunderstandings. He has always been approachable.”
Calumet Synergy Association
“I have had the privilege to work with and collaborate with Rick for more than 12 years. During this time, I have been extremely impressed with his ability to understand the needs of those around him and to ensure that stakeholders are actively engaged in the conversation.
Rick has the ability to distill complex issues into manageable solutions that resonates with participants and leaves people with clear and actionable next steps towards implementation. I look forward to continuing to work with Rick on many fronts and appreciate his ongoing commitment and support for community-based stewardship in Alberta.”
Land Stewardship Centre of Canada
“Rick relates so well within rural folks both in the way he communicates and the process he uses. (He) is skilled in summarizing points and input – easily interpreted by others.”
“I can unequivocally say without hesitation that the role you played in the formation of the Calumet Synergy Group (now Association) was pivotal. You were able to encourage and cultivate an atmosphere within which the parties seated around the table were able to converse in a cooperative manner. You guided without coercing. You remained at an arm's length allowing the discussions to happen, but also helped to maintain a focus on the goal ahead. And eventually it happened... landowners, energy companies, and regulatory bodies merged together into a community group centered around openness, honesty, and cooperation. There was never a sense of you trying to sway or control any discussion. You just let the group evolve and grow stronger. I have a saying that I use sometimes when describing the capabilities of an individual - "He may not be the best, but there is nobody better!" This would sum up my assessment of your character and abilities in the facilitation world. Watching you work with a small group or as the Master of Ceremonies at a Synergy Conference, I have respected your ability to handle any situation and have appreciated your demeanour.”
Calumet Synergy Association
“Rick is very good at “hearing” the thoughts, unscrambling the wild ramblings and pinpointing what you really meant to say.”
“The session was wonderfully stimulating and thought-provoking. Time really flew and it was a reminder how much the Centre achieves with such a small staff.”
Alberta Civil Liberties Research Council
“Kept everyone thinking and participating.”
Alberta Association for Multicultural Education
“Rick has a vast repertoire of contacts in his network and is able to source both knowledgeable speakers and subject matter expert resources.”
West Central Stakeholders, Red Deer River Watershed Alliance, Clear Water Landcare
“We have known Rick and Ila for twenty plus years... Always the voice of experience and reason when issues can, and do, go off the tracks. Very professional, competent business people.”
Hallahan Holdings Inc.
Synergy groups are essentially multi-stakeholder groups consisting of industry, community and government/regulatory representatives. These groups were typically formed in response to concerns and pressures arising from oil & gas development. They provide a means for sharing information, building relationships, reducing conflicts and informing more effective decisions about energy development in Alberta.
Members of these groups purposely focus on working together respectfully and collaboratively in an effort to address local needs and tend to benefit all involved. In many cases these groups not only improve local relationships, but also positively influence local operational practices and have even influenced regulatory change.
My involvement in what later became known as ‘synergy’ initiatives or synergy groups began in my own community in 2001 as a founding member of the West Central Stakeholders. As part of this group, I had the opportunity to experience 'synergy' firsthand - people from dramatically varying perspectives coming together to work on what the current issues were, learning to understand each other better and ultimately, making our community a better place to be.
My experiences in that local initiative led me to use my mediation and facilitation training and experience, as well as my background in multiple-use land management, to assist in developing and establishing several other groups in the province. Over the next few years, I participated as a team lead in the development of Synergy Alberta, a provincial organization formed to support the networking and collaboration of various synergy groups in the province. Member groups agree to shared principles of transparency, respect, accountability and responsiveness. In 2006, Synergy Alberta was formally incorporated as a not-for-profit-society and existing and newly developed groups across the province began to join the Synergy Alberta network.
From 2017-2020, I had the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director and management of Synergy Alberta, until COVID-19 asserted its life-changing impacts on the world. During my time in the role, we were excited to be able to get two new synergy groups up and running as well as launching the organization’s new website. The site is now providing ongoing support tools until the world is able to resume its regular operations.
This long-term view of the synergy movement has allowed me to see the principles in action in multiple communities – each facing their own unique challenges; as well as from multiple perspectives – as a landowner and community member, as a facilitator and consultant specializing in group development and conflict management, as an industry representative, and now also through the lens of having been the Executive Director of Synergy Alberta. I’ve observed successes and failures and had opportunity to reflect on those and hopefully use them wisely to inform my consulting, as well as the mentorship and other services I provide to clients as these types of initiatives expand to new regions and areas of practice.
The shared experience of coming together with people from various walks of life and different sectors, developing relationships, finding common ground to improve community interactions and resolve issues, is truly rewarding and has far-reaching effects. As resource development continues to shift and change, synergy and other multi-stakeholder groups have both the opportunity and the ability to engage and influence communities for the better and continue to play a significant role in Alberta.