New Governance, New Comity, New Commitment to Markets

The Challenge:

After years of division the CEO was on his way out.  Half of the staff was gone and the other half felt threatened. Governance/management distinctions had broken down as board members forced long postponed decisions on management and personally filled staffing gaps.  Membership and revenues were declining. The organization had not introduced new programs or products in years.  The board was acutely divided.

The Approach:

The Executive Committee of the Board committed itself to reassessing the mission and markets, healing wounds and empowering management with strong standards of accountability.  Together we launched a fundamental governance review, an aggressive pursuit of new revenue sources, short-term and long, and structural changes in costs.

The Results:

  • Revamped governance structure (adopting the Carver Policy Governance model
  • Reformulated basic strategic direction, moving from imprecise descriptions of the role (e.g., the “voice of the industry”) to clearer articulations of member needs
  • Refocused markets and introduced several new products and programs
  • Introduced a new national education program, raising sufficient funds for the start-up
  • Developed a pilot program for restructuring the federation service model
  • Sponsored a convention and trade show that met 90 percent of its aggressive goals;
  • Initiated the consolidation of several related trade shows into a major industry-wide show
  • Reworked the relationship with corporate partners, dramatically increasing their expressed satisfaction and financial support
  • Relocated headquarters, under budget, to a city where access was better and operating costs were projected to be 30% lower