Client Results Achieved by Haines Centre for Strategic Management1

Client Results Achieved by Haines Centre for Strategic Management

Industry Type Location Public/Private Annual Revenue Length of Engagement
Hospitality Arizona Private, Non-Profit $165.4 million 5 years


From: A membership association troubled by bureaucracy and politics, scant management, and financial instability To: The globally preferred brand for a wide range of accommodations and hospitality services within the broad midscale market


Business Problem Solutions Major Results
  • A membership association with elected board members who come into constant conflict with the executive committee
  • Proposed plan to develop alternative organizational and financial structures, including approaches to governance that would provide strategic consistency and operational flexibility
  • Suggested giving stock options to owners
  • Company decided to maintain its corporate structure, but continues work on Governance Process
  • Board members’ terms reduced to 3 yrs
  • Association now provides revenue generating opportunities and the leverage of purchasing power to its members
  • Few business standards
  • Developed and implemented 17 new business standards
  • Developed Strategic Plan with annual review
  • Proposed plan to reinvigorate a member service focus (“member-helping-member”)
  • Annual revenue grew $10.7 million over 4 years
  • Established property transition team to help new members become full-fledged members
  • Implemented first Global Community Relations Week with members, affiliates and employees in 2002
  • Build annual Business Plans to reflect Strategic Plan
  • Absence of key executives
  • Recommended hiring head of Strategic Planning
  • Mentored and Coached other key employees, focusing on career advancement
  • Hired Head of Strategic Planning
  • 3 additional members of Executive Staff: Vice President E-Commerce, Vice President Information Services, Vice President Operations & Strategic Services
  • Lack of strategic business practices
  • Developed marketing programs to expand distribution channels, establish strategic partnerships, strengthen brand image globally and enhance member profitability
  • Suggested proactive, cost-effective and efficient technologies to enable global success
  • Developed global enterprise-wide e-business strategy
  • 26 new N. American memberships and affiliations in 4 yrs
  • 22 new international memberships and affiliations in 4 yrs
  • Achieved highest advertising brand recognition, 2002
  • Re-launched Elite Membership Club program
  • Launched several web-based services
  • Implemented continent-wide sales infrastructure in S. Amer.
  • Opened new reservations office in Australia in 2000
  • Implemented quarterly review sessions
  • No clear corporate culture
  • Proposed culture that develops and values talented and diverse people and fosters teamwork, trust, communication and collaboration in a team environment throughout the organization
  • In 2002, trained 2,000+ managers, members and staff in 73 different voluntary training programs
  • Chairman of the Board, President and CEO and senior staff attend Spring Educational Meetings
  • The Board and Executive Team now work cooperatively and trustingly


Steve Vande Berg (Chairman of the Board):
“All the members of the Board and the senior staff have been impressed at how quickly Steve was able to comprehend the dual nature of [our company’s] personality and his ability to work within philosophies and prejudices that have been ingrained for decades.” “Steve’s flexibility, keen understanding and positive attitude are in no small measure responsible for what I believe has been a remarkably successful self-assessment.”

This company boasts “the largest hotel chain in the world” status. It is unique from other hotel chains because it is a membership association incorporated as a non-profit organization. In other words, the company is an association of member hotels established solely to provide revenue generating opportunities and the leverage of purchasing power to benefit its members. The Board consists of 7 elected members from each US district.

Before working with the Centre, there were frequent, highly emotionally charged board meetings and hostile disagreements between those who voted in opposition to one another. Trust was at a low, the organization had little-to-no focus, and finances were less than desirable.

Due to the volatility and poor planning of this association, the independent lodging owners began to leave and go to other hotel chains. The company’s quality has since seen drastic declines.

When The Centre was called to assist this association, the top coach helped them develop and implement their first Strategic Plan. Prior to this time, no other consultants had been able to effectively work with the association members. The 17 new business standards the Centre developed and helped implement provided the company much needed guidance. The Centre’s top coach also demonstrated how to implement annual reviews of their Strategic Plan, and he helped them hire key employees. Intensive mentoring and coaching, especially focusing on career advancement, enabled one new employee to become Head of Strategic Planning.

Although the Centre’s top coach suggested that the association go public and give ownership to the independent lodging owners, they have not done so yet. The fact that there are no criteria or sanctions in place for the Board members makes it very difficult for thoughtful and wise business decisions to be made.

When the old CEO retired, an expert in marketing filled his position. This new CEO worked well with The Centre’s implementations, and the association began to improve. Unfortunately, this progress was short-lived, as the Board decided to bring in a different CEO who has been hesitant to utilize initiatives that had existed prior to his taking office.

The fact that the Centre was able to effectively institute a Strategic Plan with annual reviews is remarkable, considering the company’s operational and management difficulties. Its survival and continually increased revenue are thus testimonies to The Centre’s effective work.