fbpx

Case Study

Social Innovation at Scale

 Overview

The CEO of a Washington DC-based social innovation nonprofit engaged Conscient Strategies to help them develop an organizational strategy. The organization had been the cusp of shuttering their doors when they received a series of small grants followed by a $25 million investment that launched the CEO and her team into a period of rapid growth and scale.

The company was growing significantly in terms of revenue and team size but had not scaled its organizational structure or processes to match that growth. At the same time, key leaders were preparing to transition out of the organization, leaving significant leadership and skill gaps in their wake. Conscient Strategies worked with the organization to conduct leadership and organizational assessments. Then, in partnership with the CEO and board, implemented a multi-faceted project focused on leadership transition and development, organizational stabilization, operational support for rapid growth, and strategy development.

Assessment

Conscient Strategies launched the engagement by conducting a multifaceted leadership and organizational assessment. The assessment analyzed past experience, current context, and future opportunities in light of the mission, programmatic approaches, structure, competing organizational cultures, leadership capabilities, team dynamics, and practical realities that shape day-to-day decision making.

What we discovered

The assessment revealed that the organization lacked the systems and infrastructure to support growth, suffered from extreme leadership gaps (both in terms of sufficient staffing and capabilities of existing leaders), and that the strain of rapid scale had pushed the CEO and global team into a place of extreme unhealth and ineffectiveness. Without a clear organizational identity, objectives, or strategy, the global leadership team was spread thin and wasting significant resources on inefficient decision-making and processes. Additionally, we identified a set of root issues with the finance function and operations teams that posed a significant risk to the organization’s success and sustainability.

Conscient Strategies worked with the organization to conduct leadership and organizational assessments. Then, in partnership with the CEO and board, implemented a multi-faceted project focused on leadership transition and development, organizational stabilization, operational support for rapid growth, and strategy development.

What we did

Out of this assessment, we engaged the CEO and her direct reports through leadership development and advisory services to drive necessary organizational restructuring and position the team for strategic growth. We also provided embedded operational support to help the Board and CEO stabilize the organization, with a particular focus on the finance functions and infrastructure. We:

Established priorities and developed a roadmap to stabilize the organization

Guided the CEO and board through significant leadership transition and helped identify, hire, and onboard senior leaders

Integrated improved leadership behaviors and aligned the organizational expectations and behaviors of the global team in service of the mission, values, and strategic objectives

Designed and helped implement a new organizational structure

Developed a new organizational identity including vision, mission, values, goals, and strategy

Results

As a result of the engagement, the CEO significantly increased her leadership capabilities, particularly in the area of communication, vision-casting, decision-making, outcome-driven accountability, and prioritization. The organization has stabilized from a leadership and financial perspective. Today it has a full leadership team in place, is aligned around a new vision and strategy direction, and successfully secured additional funding in line with that strategy. We continue to provide ongoing advisory support for the CEO as she implements the strategy.

Ready to grow a stronger organization? 

Contact us to get started.

3 + 2 =