A National Building Council  – Chapter Growth and Management Consulting

“I commend your Chapter’s Team for an OUTSTANDING accumulation [of data] and assessment of extremely valuable and interesting information.  There are tons of uses here — from setting the bar to readjusting our compasses to enhancing our collective sense of community … and more. I wanted you to know that you’ve done a terrific job with this.  Congrats … and thanks. Take a bow…all of you.” – Lee, Chapter Executive Director

Transformation of the Built Environment to Green Building Codes and Standards through Chapter Network Re-Design and Evolution

A national building council, best known for its LEED building standards, committed that within one generation all communities will be sustainable environmentally and all people will live, work, and learn in green and healthy buildings.  The national council is made up of tens of thousands of member organizations, 76 independent chapters, as well as student and community volunteers numbering at 30,000+.  Its membership includes a diverse group of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, teachers and students, lawmakers and citizens. Today the network is made up of 76 chapters, 13,000 member organizations with more than 10MM employees and 188,000 LEED professionals.

The biggest challenge was taking a massive diversified network of stakeholders and building them into one cohesive ‘team’ delivering on the national organization’s strategic plan consistently across the United States and building viable chapter organizations in all 50 states. The Thrival Company was retained by the building council ongoing to continue to support the chapter networks as leadership and strategy consultants over a multi-year engagement.

The scope of this project included:

  • DAPIM Model Implementation: An adaptation of the Define, Assess, Plan, Implement, Monitor (DAPIM) model was used to complete leadership development, leadership succession, strategic planning, internal and external engagement, hiring, development of performance metrics, surveying, fundraising, financial auditing and infrastructure, marketing, team building, and coaching.
  • Strategic Plan Adaptation and Implementation Support: The national organization invested a significant amount in the development of a long-term strategic plan which required cascading from the national organization to the entire chapter network. We also were required to develop plans, generate templates, create guidelines and develop recorded trainings.
  • Plan Development: Thrival was responsible for creating layouts, publishing, and presenting monthly reports, strategic plans, annual reports, and chapter training to executive level personnel. Over the duration of the contract, the Thrival project team prepared more than four dozen reports, publications and trainings to council leadership and delivered in person and in virtual forums content and performance reports to executive management and board members more than 50 times.
  • Organizational Structure and Design Work Plan: One of the challenges that national council was struggling with was the ‘one size fits all’ standard that was being disseminated to the chapter networks.  Thrival’s task was to assess and categorize the different types of chapters and recommend appropriate organizational design models. Finally, given their size, culture, and location Thrival had to determine which group dynamic models would work best for the organization, including facilitating chapter merger discussions.
  • Assessment and Measurement: One of our major efforts with USGBC was the development of the chapter annual report to allow USGBC to assess the health of the chapter network.  We developed criteria, a survey, and an annual report measurement template that allows the organization to annually review and assess the health of the network as well as determine where to focus their efforts nationwide.  We did the same with the strategic planning process used by chapters to verify whether they were making progress on their annual goals.
  • Team Facilitation: For many of the chapters, teams were dysfunctional and leadership mentorship and succession plans non-existent.  Training and coaching was provided on how to mentor, hire, and plan for change, how to form and manage teams, how to create operational plans, and how to design the best organizational structure based on the size, culture, and diversity of the chapter. Thrival Company was also engaged to conduct mediation and/or difficult conversation trainings and facilitated dispute resolution.
  • Internal/External Stakeholder Engagement: Thrival Company was involved in more than 300 chapter engagements with the council’s government agencies. Thrival also supported chapters in their work in legislative advocacy around the nation to support the passage of regulations promoting green and healthy buildings. Communication strategies and engagement plans were also designed and implemented.
  • Focus Groups and Surveying: When work began with the council, many of the chapters were successful and many chapters were failing. Focus groups and surveys were used across the network to create successful engagements and alignment across all chapters.  Data was collected and analyzed from thousands of board members, staff members, general membership, community stakeholders and legislative advocates to define ‘success’ based on location specific variables.