Just before Christmas, CAN received a Strategy Review from Key Business Partners (KBP)
The review was based on terms of reference that the CAN Committee drafted in September 2015. We developed the terms of reference after discussing with local groups and other interested parties the fundamentals of what CAN is and how it functions.
It took some time to find the best team to carry out the review, but we felt that KBP had the right experience and expertise to give us the feedback we need and their concise 19-page report certainly pulls no punches.
NZTA generously covered KBP’s professional fees for the work.
We’ve written about these issues for the upcoming edition of Chainlinks and mindful that the AGM's coming up in mid-March, emails have been sent to CAN members where we have their email addresses and also during February, all local groups received a heads up email regarding the report.
A copy of both those emails is attached to this post as PDF files.
A Summary of KBP’s Strategy Review:
- Author Iain Miller consulted with several stakeholders, reviewed CAN literature and reviewed examples of comparable groups;
- Proposes variations to CAN’s current Mission and Vision statements;
- Concludes that the current CAN structure of local groups supported by a national office and a volunteer based committee running the registered charity/incorporated society on a consensus basis and contolling a number of project staff is unsustainable;
- Presents a SWOT analysis:
- Passion and knowledge of CAN members is a positive;
- Thin spread of limited resources across too many tasks causes weakness.
- Sets out three options:
- Retaining the status quo;
- An improved status quo with renewed energy, mostly from the larger regional groups nominating members to the national committee;
- Full professionalisation of CAN:
- Appointment of a well-connected, business-experienced CEO. The CEO would establish and maintain income sources from commercial activities (offering tangible benefits to members), corporate donations/ partnerships and Government/ NZTA funding. Iain suggests that a consultancy organisation involved in the transport or infrastructure sectors might allow CAN to co-opt a suitably skilled senior executive for a fixed period;
- Election of a Board with members from each main regional group (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin) plus two new members having ‘status and experience necessary to open doors’ to potential funding’;
- Find a Chair of the Board to 'fly the flag and promote the organisation';
- CAN to model itself on membership-based organisations like Automobile Association, Federated Farmers or Telecom Users’ Association of New Zealand TUANZ.
- New Board should be constituted to improve CAN’s gender, socioeconomic and racial diversity.
- KBP recommend this third option and feel it's achievable in 5 years.
- Four phases are envisaged, culminating in 5 years’ time when the CEO plus 3 to 4 regional employees would be engaged in championing CAN’s mission; over 10,000 members would signed up; commercial partner alliances established with at least two corporates; operating budget targets reached; expertise in cycling established and recognised by NZTA and others; regional groups regularly seeking CAN’s advice and support and confirming CAN’s efficacy.
- Iain's report proposes:
- Eventual annual budget of $600,000;
- Three to four regional employees;
- The role of the CAN national organisation is to focus on specific projects and initiatives that it believes will deliver measurable value to members;
- To attract support from NZTA, local groups and the national organisation needs to identify specific, targeted projects that aid the NZTA in achieving its mission.
- We need to assess the feedback from our members, so we’ll discuss all the implications at the CAN Do and AGM in Hamilton on March 19th/20th. Because it's a pretty fundamental shift, and the AGM is approaching soon, we are proposing ratifying the changes including any rule changes at a SGM within six months of the AGM. This will let all members and local groups consider and give feedback on the proposed changes.
Further, a copy of the KBP Draft Report is attached as a PDF.
There were a number of reasons why the Committee did not release the KBP draft report prior to the emails to groups and members being sent out. These were:
- It was agreed with KBP that the national committee was to take out of their draft report what it felt was the best way forward and present that to the Network with a firm recommendation. This approach was also KBP's understanding of the views of those they consulted as to how the findings should be presented to CAN's membership.
- It was often not clear which part of CAN was being referred to in the report and it was felt that the report as it was, would further the mis-understanding that the Network is the national committee, its employees, contractors and volunteers.
- There were a significant number of questions regarding the proposed Option 3 and how it would work.
- There were inaccuracies in the representation of what currently the Network's structure is, what the national organisation undertakes and how it is funded.
- The draft report was unclear on how the new organisation and the local groups would fit together.
- The situation of the current paid staff was not addressed.
- The additional cost to the Network for the KBP report to be revised.