Case Study 1:
Mobilizing champions to ignite strategic change

Client Profile

  • 100+ year-old organization that serves over a million people
  • Annual budget close to $50 million 
  • Over 300 staff members and hundreds of volunteer leaders
  • Global headquarters supports member organizations across North America

Business Challenge

Global headquarters often struggle to provide maximum value to its ‘field’ operations for a variety of reasons, including distance from the field’s needs and an inability to balance entrenched systems with the dynamism necessary to stay on the cutting edge. The leadership of this organization saw a need to evolve and offer its member branches new, provocative ways to engage youth in the communities they serve. They knew they could not simply roll out a new strategy, though, since the complexity of its stakeholders required a targeted and compelling process that engaged them in dreaming of, believing in, and championing the new strategy. Without this stakeholder ownership, the strategy would be developed fruitlessly, only to collect dust on a shelf. How could this organization create a visionary and actionable strategy, while eliciting the buy-in of its vast and diverse stakeholder groups?


ChangeCraft was engaged to design a strategic process that would not only result in a provocative and inspired strategy, but also would create ambassadors of this strategy amongst its critical stakeholder groups. To meet this complex challenge, ChangeCraft designed a process comprised of five stages. Throughout each stage, a deep communications plan ‘fed back’ the learnings to all stakeholders:

  • Learn from and develop relationships with stakeholders: build trust and knowledge through focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc.
  • The sky is the limit: test provocative ideas through online forums, allowing stakeholders to submit and test their own ideas
  • Scenario deep dive: form a subgroup of the most critical ‘strategy ambassadors’ to grapple with four scenarios and their implications in a series of traveling, in-person gatherings held across the country
  • Develop strategy: ensure that stakeholders’ input is prominently integrated into the document
  • Roll out the strategy: provide opportunities for critical stakeholders to not only be part of the development, but equally contribute to its communications and implementation

As a result of this work, the organization emerged with a clear and provocative strategy that has the unprecedented backing and support of its most critical stakeholders.

Business Benefits/Impact

The organization has achieved a number of early successes with the rollout of the strategy and forecasts many more in years to come, including:

  • Reduction of duplication, cost inefficiencies and lost opportunities as a result of the elimination of organizational silos
  • Integration of the most cutting edge practices of youth engagement into its service offerings
  • Addition of an innovation lab that will push the organization to continue to stay on the cutting edge of youth trends, along with professional development programs that will continue to drive and test these innovations
  • Recruitment of new staff attracted to the organization’s fresh positioning
  • Structural reorientation that positions the strategy implementation for future successure success