A breast cancer foundation in New York substantively increased its capacity and impact by mobilizing voluntary leadership and investing in staff.
With almost ten years of steady growth, the founders realized that the organization needed to “grow beyond” their leadership, but felt stymied. Strategies for Change Now designed a board retreat that incorporated in-depth leadership interviews with the founders and key board members in advance of a daylong planning session. This pre-work provided a starting point for the retreat and gave the group “permission” to talk about previously unnamed issues and concerns. Open, honest dialogue unleashed board members’ passion and personal commitment to the organization’s long-term success. At the conclusion of the retreat, the group had established a vision, strategic priorities, and a structure for implementation. In the succeeding months, the board and staff achieved new levels of shared leadership, and transformed staff, committee and decision-making structures to support increased activity and creativity.