Strategic Review

Report to AGM at Rosemere June 15, 2013
re: Implementation of Strategic Report Recommendations Committee

Chairman: Marvin Belfour

·          To formally establish a Policies and Procedures manual which will not be in conflict with the present Constitution and Bylaws, the creation of which is supported by BylawVI of our Bylaws.

·          Many of the recommendations resulting from the Strategic Review would be included in the Policies and Procedure Manual and these recommendations can be implemented without requiring approval of members of CPS as a whole.   This manual once completed would be reviewed periodical (once a year?) by the Board of Directors to ensure that it is appropriate and up to date.  A record of motions past by the Board that affect Policies and Procedures would be included.  To ensure transparency,  the most up to date Policies and Procedure Manual would be accessible to members on the website and on the blog on an ongoing basis. 

·          Some recommendations will require changes to the Constitution and/or Bylaws and must therefore be approved at an AGM or in some way that all members have an opportunity in approving the changes proposed.   For this coming year 2013-4, any motions that require changes to the Constitution and/or Bylaws will be published in the Paeonia Nordica well in advance for the next AGM.

·          Timeline for completion of the implementation is projected to be up to 5 years because many of the recommendations will require considerable thought and time before put into place.  There are however some changes easily made such as the expansion of the newsletter to twelve pages on a regular basis and the inclusion of more colour.

Below is a Summary of the Consultant Recommendations:
 Current Governance Structure
Develop certain governance policies:
·       role of the national organization versus the role of the regional organizations clearly defined
·       how financial resources are distributed to regions - funds from membership, resources for activities and events.
Need to put processes in place to address:

      conflict of interest,
      Board communication,
      meeting management,
      conflict management including a process for removal of Board members who are inhibiting the work of the Board
      roles and responsibilities of the Board and individual Board positions clearly defined. 
      review Board positions to determine if they can be more manageable from a time perspective – consider 1 or 2 year terms
      ensure Board transparency
·       move toward CPS as a national organization providing communication and information on peonies.
·       ensure independent regional organizations or chapters which are financially self-sufficient and membership based.

  Need to

·       clearly define the role of the regional chapters to ensure a visible and active presence in the regions
·       provide opportunities for learning and networking amongst members to create a sense of affiliation and face-to-face contact at the regional level, which the membership is looking for.
·       consider to meet and support the needs of those regions that have few members.

 Undertake research
·       how other national horticultural societies are structured
·       can the structure of the American Peony Society provide direction for the CPS where the emphasis is on the newsletter and speaking engagements?
·       how do other national organization manage independent “chapters”
·       Any new structure needs to maintain a national newsletter or other means of communication to connect members, share regional news and information on peonies with members across the country

·       discuss the need for different types/categories of memberships: those who are involved for personal use and those who are commercial growers. 
·       develop a conflict of interest policy to assist in addressing this issue.
·       determine how the Society can recruit younger members, including what type of programming would appeal to younger members and how and where to recruit these individuals (through social media, horticultural programs at colleges and universities etc)
·       have a more proactive approach to membership recruitment
·       create a more frequent and greater presence in the community for the purposes of awareness AND to actively recruit members

Volunteer Recruitment:
·       review volunteer tasks within the organization
·       break down into roles that are smaller and more manageable, making them more engaging to all
·       promote volunteer opportunities that demonstrates they are open to beginners as well as master gardeners.
·       encourage the concept of “contributing” versus “volunteering” –   contributing to on-line discussions, writing an article, a simple story, or submit questions.

It is important to underline to the membership that contributing supports the delivery of services of the organization and helps the organization to meet its goals. 

  Next steps
            Board of Directors makes concrete decisions about the future direction of the Society
·       formalize what the Society views as it strategic priorities for the next three – five years.
·       once done, the Board, with support from the membership, should develop an action plan, including timelines, roles and responsibilities, in order to ensure the implementation of these priorities.


  1. A few years back the membership was asked if they wanted thier information shared with other members but there has never been any follow up as far as i know.I inquired about it a few years ago on my renewel form but i got no response.The peony club activities for some are financialy prohibitive but knowing other peony collectors close by would fill the gap, i could have a fellow peony enthusiate just a mile from me, wouldn't that be exciting to know?It would help keep and spread the interest and that would be a good thing.Not everybody would do this but i think it should be an option.This would go along way with the mandate to promote interest in Peony's

  2. Hello Anonymous,
    If you contact me by email ( I could see about getting you in touch with others in your area (if you have any). Thanks for your input.