Client Results Achieved by Haines Centre for Strategic Management3

Client Results Achieved by Haines Centre for Strategic Management

Industry Type Location Public/Private Annual Revenue Length of Engagement
Credit Union (FP) California Public Not-for-profit 9 years


From: An entity with real board/management conflict. To: A successful, thriving entity on the brink of large growth.


Business Problem Solutions Major Results
  • Lost corporate sponsorship and had no clear idea of corporate identity or target customer base
  • Facilitated meetings between management and board
  • Introduced Strategic Management System to determine competitive business advantage and strategic business design
  • Created a new vision and mission statement that transformed their position in the marketplace
  • Have a new name, market area, customer base, and strategic focus
  • Management and Board not cooperating—to the point where organization might not survive
  • Used Systems Thinking Approach to take the focus off the personality clashes and give them an effective structure within which to work
  • Strategic focus on profit and growth maintained as overarching focus in all initiatives
  • Now have a Strategic Plan which everyone has ownership of because each employee helped to create it
  • The Centre’s approach to planning allowed the management team to educate the board on the benefits of decision to divest of certain assets and move into new markets
  • Wanted to increase total asset base and net worth as well as total relationship with customer
  • Created projections on how to increase growth based on various scenarios, including a Merge with another credit union to increase asset growth quickly, a Merge with two other credit unions, or an aggressive strategy to grow organically
  • Developed strategic plan around steps to carry out a merger successfully, with clear path on how to reach the BHAG’s
  • Communicated benefits of plan effectively to board to gain agreement and support
  • Large changes in organization meant employees often felt lost and confused
  • Used Strategic management System and Yearly Planning to communicate vision and mission to employees
  • Involved all stakeholders in Strategic Planning process so that they “own what they create”
  • Employee perception of organizational leadership, training, communication, work effectiveness, customer image and performance all increased by more than 17 percentage points.
  • In most employee satisfaction categories, organization was 10 points higher than its peers


“As a client for eight years, we’ve discovered that Steve’s Systems Approach is logical and effective. He has earned the respect of management and the Board.” Former CEO of Credit Union

This company had no formal planning process and was in desperate need for a strategic plan that would align the board and the management team. They had recently lost their sponsor and were facing a major identity crisis.

The first step Steve helped with was to improve the relationship between the management and the board. The process of working through the model took the focus off the personality clashes and gave them a structure within which to work. With this step, the two groups were able to start to work together. They changed their name, their sponsorship, and their strategic direction, from a corporate sponsored entity to a community-chartered credit union. It also provided a process to document the strategic plan that the management could take to the staff and communicate the new direction and helped to get them all working together.

A major learning for this organization has been to keep the strategic plan in mind at all times. Steve has shown them how to not only focus on the tactical, but also to think every day about how their actions relate back to their strategic plan.

One of the major decisions made was to sell of the credit card portfolio. The board strongly resisted this decision. The Centre’s approach to planning allowed the management team to educate the board on the benefits of this decision, and show them how this would have a positive impact on the members. “Steve has a great way of managing the facilitation process. We had to make some difficult decisions, and many people did not agree with our direction but remained silent. Steve asked the right questions and if a senior person was being passive-aggressive, he called them on it. He has a way of bringing hidden issues to the surface – he is very intuitive that way. Plus, he will keep at it until everyone has been heard and the group reaches consensus.” (COO)