We started by identifying the key elements of the project, and then approached all of these elements as a system that would align across the organization. It was important that we create a structure for the organization that could support the new strategy and leadership in the long term.
Step 1: Identify a strategy for programs that would have a positive impact on the youth in Africa and would align with Junior Achievement’s mission and values.
We dove in with the JA Worldwide CEO and started asking the tough questions. We needed to define JA Africa’s value to the region by understanding the educational needs of Africa’s youth; the donor and competitive landscapes; and the current state of each JA Africa member nation. This meant interviewing over fifty country leaders representing eighteen countries to surface the challenges and opportunities that could be realized in JA Africa’s strategy.
This extensive research into the primary needs of both the stakeholders and end-users in the region was a two-and-a-half-year process that resulted in a new strategy aligned with JA Worldwide’s priorities and operational plan designed to meet the specific regional needs of Africa’s youth.
Step 2: Facilitate the search and onboarding of a new JA Africa president.
The search for the new JA Africa president continued while the foundation was being set for her to step in and hit the ground running. We played a primary role in finding the perfect person for this position, Chinwe Effiong, and supported her wholeheartedly so that she could gain traction quickly.
With the Crossland Group serving as her trusted advisor, she was able to build upon the robust strategy we had developed and was empowered to start implementing change right away.
Our goal was to lay a clear foundation in order to make the transition smooth. With all of the strategy groundwork done before her, we transitioned into a collaborative role with Chinwe, where we offered leadership coaching and guidance through the strategy we had formulated.
Step 3: Identify opportunities for donors and new funding for JA Africa.
Now that the strategy and leadership were in place, we needed to secure funding for the continuation of JA Africa programs. The donor landscape was changing and Chinwe needed to quickly identify and understand these shifts in order to position her organization for continued support. Having a clear direction for the organization, as well as a plan for the youth programs required to support it, were critical to the conversation with donors.
Chinwe had confidence in the strategy we had provided and was able to outline a clear path to success that resonated with donors. While it was successful in securing funding for new programs from donors and a recommitted board, the real success was in the impact it achieved for youth in Africa. Our efforts together were able to help this organization thrive from its lasting transformation.