Environmental Protection Organization
A nonprofit environmental protection organization engaged Bonnie Edelstein and Alan Krieger to address some organizational and leadership challenges that were limiting its effectiveness in meeting its mission and goals. With a staff of 40 located in a central office and several field offices, the organization had experienced significant growth over the past 3 years. But decisions regarding expansion of programs were made reactively rather than strategically. Staff members were feeling high levels of stress, as a result of demanding workloads and a constant environment of chaos and crisis. Conflict existed within departments and between departments, and the level of dysfunction had begun to seriously impact the organization's productivity.
We conducted a comprehensive assessment of the organization's structure, staff, communications and teamwork, which included a written opinion survey of all staff members as well as in-depth individual interviews of the leadership team and other key staff. Assessment findings and recommendations for improvement were discussed at a staff retreat, where strategies and action plans were developed. A six-month Improvement Roadmap was developed, with activities at all levels of the organization. Executive coaching was conducted for the executive director, including providing counsel on staff and structural changes. There were numerous follow-up meetings with the leadership team to monitor and assess progress and to introduce new tools for effective meeting management, process improvements, problem solving and conflict resolution.
Two years later, this organization was streamlined and highly effective in maintaining focus and attaining its strategic goals. The executive director had made positive changes in his own leadership style. Staff morale was greatly improved and the environment was one of collaboration and a "can-do" attitude. The group received national recognition for its progress and achievements.