WJS Canada: A bold vision and strategic plan for navigating change in senior leadership

Junxion helped WJS Canada’s new Board of Directors and CEO develop a bold vision and a five-year strategic plan in the period following a PR crisis and the unexpected exits of two senior executives at a critical transition time in the company’s history.

 

The Business Challenge

Over the past 30 years, WJS Canada has grown to employ over 600 skilled people who provide an array of family and community services, youth justice services, and other front line health care supports, mainly in rural and remote areas. In 2016, concurrent with their CEO’s planned retirement, an unusual opportunity arose when both of their long-standing provincial COOs unexpectedly exited the company.

Instead of being a crisis, their newly recruited CEO: Caroline Bonesky, formerly CEO at Family Services of Greater Vancouver, saw this moment as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the organization to step back and rethink their direction and priorities.

Junxion worked with WJS Canada’s new CEO and Board to reinvent their senior management structure and create a compelling five-year vision and strategic plan—a plan that would see them through a challenging period of transition and restore the confidence, creativity and enthusiasm that are hallmarks of WJS Canada’s incredible corporate culture founded on “strength in people”.

How We Helped

Junxion conducted a review of competitors, opportunities and trends in the sector, interviewed stakeholders and experts, and conducted focus groups and surveys with employees across the company. Junxion then led two full-day workshops with senior leaders to develop a new 10-year vision for WJS Canada, and a set of five-year goals and operational streams, before summarizing everything into a comprehensive plan.

Measuring Success

Junxion’s process facilitation brought difficult conversations ‘out into the open’ in a way that participants described as refreshing and energizing.

CEO, Caroline Bonesky reflected on the workshops: “It was encouraging to hear where we can be in 2027, and get that perspective from different regions and levels. It comes down to caring about clients and values—there is an abundance of spirit here. We can see a path to realizing the vision we’ve set out for ourselves.”

The in-person gathering of team members that often work separately in remote locations was a great opportunity to build trust and alignment about a ‘new era’ for the company. There was broad consensus that the process left an enduring feeling of shared purpose and optimism.

 

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