Light Trail’s Positive Community Impact with Brightside Homes

by | Apr 13, 2021

Case Studies > Brightside Homes

Situation

Steve and Greg from Light Trail volunteered as Board members and in key Officer positions at Brightside Community Homes to help guide and build capability within the organization’s leadership team and create a clearer strategic planning and organizational framework.

Outcome

Brightside transformed its image, effectiveness and overall ambitions, with a transition in leadership creating clearer strategic thinking and better understanding of expectations.

Brightside Community Homes

Since 1952, Brightside Community Homes has been dedicated to a clear focus – working toward a future where people of all income levels have a home within a vibrant and healthy community.

Over 65 years later and with a larger community impact, including seniors, families and people with disabilities, Brightside serves over a thousand residents as a private-sector, non-profit organization. Managing 26 properties with nearly 1,000 homes in Vancouver and assets of nearly $250 million, it is one of British Columbia’s largest housing societies.

Often non-profit organizations find it difficult to break out of their normal, scarcity-type thinking which can hold them back and prevent them from realizing their ambitions. They sometimes require help in approaching issues strategically and need a nudge to have higher expectations.
By instigating change in line with the purpose of the organization and being sensitive to manage important transitions in the organization and within its leadership, it’s possible to set new standards that drive bigger ambitions, better outcomes and build greater positive impact in the community.

Greg and Steve joined the Board of Brightside with the goal of helping create positive change to benefit the community. As Directors, and later as Board Chair and Secretary/Treasurer they held key positions within the organization and were able to encourage thinking that helped steer the organization to new levels of expectation.

Additionally, they brought their consulting and advisory expertise to Brightside, instituting a strategic planning framework, providing leadership and change support, as well as being integral to the selection and transition of new leadership.

“Brightside Community Homes is a wonderful organization providing affordable homes and support within the Vancouver community. Their work is focused on such fundamental outcomes and delivered in such a caring and considerate way, that it enables people to feel safe and secure while living happy and healthy lives. We are so lucky to be part of building and growing such a fantastic community service organization that is helping drive the affordable housing sector and having huge positive impact for many vulnerable people.”

Greg Tooke

Light Trail

Light Trail’s Solutions

Strategic Planning

By introducing a new strategic planning framework, we were able to improve a common understanding of expectations across staff and Board, and established a greater sense of accountability, connecting work to the overall goals of the organization. This has helped provide clarity to all involved and has created a better informed sense of direction.

Change

We introduced a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program, working with our trusted partners at LedaHR that is still moving Brightside along a journey to build a sense of belonging across the organization. This is also driving representation of more diverse perspectives and experiences in key leadership roles, both within staff and at the Board table, ensuring the people at Brightside are a better representation of the communities they serve.

Leadership Support and Transition

Steve and Greg were integral to the search and selection of a new CEO while ensuring the leadership transition was managed smoothly for all staff, Board and both the incoming and outgoing leaders.

Steve worked with each senior manager to focus on increasing their impact with their strengths, identifying opportunities for personal development and growing teamwork and togetherness. We also helped all staff understand team communication and listening styles improving overall work effectiveness.

Light Trail & Brightside

While our positions at Brightside were not direct paid engagements for consulting services, we were able to bring these skills to bear to help support and drive the organization to build their positive impact. We dedicate ourselves as much to our volunteer work as we do with services for our clients.

The senior leadership team became engaged with the strategy, built confidence in aligning the organizational structure with achieving the strategic priorities, and focused work driven by key objectives. This helped bring a common sense of purpose, all aligned through a cohesive strategic framework.

Being clear of the boundaries between Board and staff, we supported the leadership on this journey of change, enabling them with the tools and techniques that built capability and helping them connect the dots across the organization into a cohesive set of actions that will lead to longer-term sustainment.

“Greg and Steve both helped Brightside Community Homes Foundation immensely and in multiple ways. They have served on our Board in executive positions and have been of great benefit over many years. Steve worked with the leadership team on styles of communication and helped unblock issues in a meaningful and productive way. Greg’s expertise in governance, the optimal role of the Board and strategic planning have been invaluable as we mature and evolve as an organization. Although as Board directors Brightside wasn’t likely a typical client, I can see the deep value that they bring to make sure an organization is striving for excellence, living up to its values and dealing with core issues to continually improve and realize its goals.”
William Azaroff

CEO, Brightside Community Homes

Light Trail Consulting Services

Light Trail focuses on positive change with purpose. If you’re interested in the work that we have done and would like to discuss how we can empower your team to unlock the potential of your organization, book a meeting today.