Case Study 3

Business Strategy for an international non-profit

The challenge

The Canadian branch of this international nonprofit was not growing, had an ineffective board, and significant market hurdles. The New Zealand based CEO was considering having the U.S. branch take over the Canadian branch, but wanted to look at various strategic options. I was asked to lead a team of Canadian and U.S. board members through the strategy formulation.

What I did

I guided a team of six board members through a strategy development process. This included agreement on strategic objectives, development of alternative futures, assessment of strategic, operational, national identity, and other issues. The group considered a range of options including merger of branches, shared services, independent branches, the role of boards, requirements for success, financial requirements, talent considerations, etc. The team completed a large amount of work in only eight weeks and prepared a report including recommendations for the CEO.


In less than one year, the Canadian branch firmly reestablished itself and achieved significant market penetration and growth that had seemed impossible only a year before. Key board and operating personnel changes were made which strengthened the Canadian operation. The CEO was very pleased with the strategy and quality of the work, acknowledging that the team’s thorough work and documentation fully supported the recommended strategy. The reinvigorated Canadian board, along with the executive director, continues to be excited and moving ahead with innovative growth plans.

"Bob worked closely with our board on a North American business strategy which saved our Canadian branch from collapse. The resulting strategic recommendations provided an immediate payback and longer-term value, especially in regards to our development needs and capabilities. His work was very well-received by our international CEO in New Zealand."

Stacey Lyon
Executive Director McKenzie Institute U.S.A.