Designing a strategy for resilient community building

Messaging, Positioning

Developing Toronto

TAS is a mixed-use developer working on community-driven projects in Toronto. Run by a relatively small team, its work is centred around resilient, future-oriented planning and programming. To date, TAS has completed five major projects and has sixteen properties totalling over four million square feet in various stages of development. Frontier was approached by TAS’s CEO to lead a company-wide positioning initiative to help the team clarify how they talk about themselves, align internal activities, and ensure everyone is working toward the same ambitious goals.

Food, Family, Future

Frontier engaged the company at all levels to understand the team’s existing challenges and needs. We attended ground-breaking ceremonies, city-wide property tours, internal team meetings, and visited projects in all stages of development. We held several interviews as well as led large-scale workshops across the company. The result was a strategic framework collaboratively built on the principles of Food, Family, and Future. The “Three Fs” represent a north star for TAS’s internal initiatives, long-term ambitions, and a lens through which to talk about themselves.

Making it Real

Upon establishing a strategic framework, Frontier continued to work with TAS’s leadership team to embed these ideas into how the company operates. We developed a set of criteria that considered values, implementation, community benefit, and impact to gauge the strength of new ideas and programs. We co-designed key performance indicators to evaluate and enhance the impact of ongoing activities. And we established over thirty recommendations for actionable strategies across all aspects of TAS’s business, from policy engagement to original content development to customer services and sales.

We hold research workshops to hear from diverse voices and ensure that our work reflects the needs and values of the organization at all levels. Purpose-built activities are a key input tool we use, like the example below. This activity asks participants to imagine how they would approach their work if the company operated in a complete different industry—like starting a museum or opening a bank.