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Laying the foundations for transformation

A well-recognised charity redefined their core identity and strategy

"It was clear from the start that Telos were in this for the long term. They invested time to understand our organisation, its stakeholders, and each director. They steered us through, at times, a very dark forest and helped us create the path forward. They also helped bring our people with us so that morale improved and energy returned."

In September 2010 the membership of a well-established and nationally-recognised charity approved the recommendations of a year-long independent strategic review. The review had been initiated after a number of years of gradual decline had led to serious financial pressures, exacerbated by the credit crunch, with knock-on effects in terms of operations and staffing levels.The recently appointed CEO and the new Chairman now had a mandate for change but were starting from a very low base: governance arrangements in transition; an under-strength senior team; little shared sense of organisational identity, vision or strategy; and low-levels of engagement, trust and collaboration throughout…

How did we help?
We worked with the CEO and the senior team to: review and rearticulate the purpose and values of the organisation; scope the 5-year Corporate Plan, including the vision and strategic themes and initiatives; support them in engaging staff and other key stakeholders (eg. members and volunteers) through roadshow events and other activities.

In addition, we worked with the CEO and Chairman to facilitate conversations with the new Board when it was convened half-way through the process.


What were the outcomes?
In September 2011, the new board presented the 5-year Corporate Plan to the membership. It was approved. Also, by this stage, the senior team was fully-formed, committed, aligned and ready to lead the transformation.

Subsequently, the financial situation of the organisation has improved, as have, significantly, the results of the internal staff survey, particularly in terms of quality of communication and in feeling confident in the leadership. The reputation of the organisation with key stakeholders (as seen by coverage in the national press) is also now very positive. In addition, there was real, shared clarity of what needed to be done over short-term (next 18 months), within the framework of the longer-term ambition and strategy, as well as greater alignment with the Board about the longer-term.


Hard components

  • Delivery of five year corporate plan: a framework and constant for subsequent annual strategic plans

  • Affirmation of an agreed mission for the organisation.

  • Clarity of strategy and deliverables

  • Fully inclusive and wide-ranging engagement programme to ensure buy-in of staff and multiple stakeholders.


Soft components

  • Support, advice and challenge for the CEO throughout the process

  • A confident and committed CEO and senior team

  • Clarity of leadership team roles, behaviours and responsibilities

  • Increased energy, confidence and pride throughout the organisation.

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