Case Studies

The following are several case studies that exemplify the power of our work. 


Governance and Strategy Case Study

Science Society, 2008 to 2010

Initial Task: Assess how the organization needed to change the way it did business in order to achieve its vision and mission and remain a preeminent organization.

Key Results: 

  • Adopted modern bylaws by membership vote, which transformed governance by:
    • Creating a 16-member board of directors to nimbly govern the organization;
    • Expanded its Council to oversee the future of the science;
    • Adopted a new nominating process to ensure diversity, evaluate needed board qualities, vet performance, and train and develop future leaders;
    • Completed a broadly participative strategic planning process to clarify goals and galvanize the member community; and
  • Engaged a new CEO and new board-staff partnership to lead the change. 

Post Change Evaluations:

  • Surveys conducted in 2013 reflected increased satisfaction in both members and leaders.
  • Leader quote: “The new structure has allowed us to act on and accomplish things we could not even imagine before the changes.”

Governance Case Study

Science Society, 2013-2014

This organization was concerned its governance and leadership structures were outdated and less than optimal. As one leader put it, “Our current structures and processes are ineffective and don’t get the best out of very good people.  They hinder being able to do what we need to do!

Initial Task: Assess what governance and executive structures and processes are needed to support us doing our best as leaders on behalf of our members?

Key Results: 

  • Adopted modern Constitution and Bylaws by membership vote, which transformed governance by: 
    • Executive Board, which was formerly an Executive Committee of voting body, became 14-member Board of Directors with responsibility for all matters of governance and finance.
    • Council, which formerly was voting body on all matters and met twice a year for a few hours, became a representative forum for science, membership, honors and other non-governance matters.  Elects 9 board members each year.
    • Changes from Executive Staff Triumvirate to single CEO accountable to the board.


For a summary of governance changes and an excellent communication resource for getting out the member vote click 'Learn More' 


Strategic Planning Case Study

Academic Health System

Leader of a major health system requested a strategic planning process.  Because the health system is so complex, the process and the planning results needed to be elegantly simple and focused.

The Process: In the words of one participant, “We did a significant number of conversations with a large number of stakeholders.  We didn’t rush it.  We invested adequate time in each meeting.  It was worth it.”

  • The entire system had the chance to engage in some way
  • Leaders invested 3-days into creating a set of six key themes
  • The entire system, including its external community, were asked to vet the first draft
  • A second group of leaders used the feedback data to redraft the theme
  • Every school, department, division, center or office was asked to populate each theme with up to 5 goals they have that support the theme

The Results:

  • A simply set of compelling goals/themes that all can carry in their pocket;
  • Achievement of wide spread buy in and interaction among key leaders;
  • Many sightings of people interacting and discussing the plan as it moves toward the “department level;”
  • Now departments are developing their own plans linked in alignment with the health system plan, but with full autonomy.