Impact and Strategic Clarity

Case Study: Impact & Strategic Clarity at RCBC – A breath of change after nearly 50 years

January 31, 2023

view of tree tops from below

The Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) facilitates the exchange of ideas and knowledge that enable efficient solutions to eliminate waste. Founded in 1974, RCBC was on the leading edge of the work of creating a world without waste. However, they noticed in recent years that other organizations had stepped up to contribute to waste elimination and as such, some of RCBC’s work didn’t feel as relevant as before. Although the overall sector could be proud that a lot was being done, for RCBC it meant revisiting some of its assumptions about its role and its key activities. So, they decided to take a step back and apply for Innoweave’s Impact & Strategic Clarity (I&SC) coaching.

Through the process they did with coach Stephanie Garrow, they were hoping to develop clear answers to fundamental questions: What impact do we aim to achieve? How will we achieve it? How will we know we are successful?

When asked about her experience, Lyndsay Poaps, Executive Director of RCBC said:  “The process helped us take the Board on a journey in understanding how the annual conference we had been organizing for 46 years, that was so sacred to some, didn’t serve our strategic interests anymore. What was surprising was that, once we explained the depth of process we’d been through,  there wasn’t as much push back from some Directors as expected, the tradeoff became clear for them. The process forced us all to question why we were doing it, and it wasn’t good enough to say, ‘because we always have’. We will still convene, but in a way that supports our intended impact”.

Committing to the process

Stephanie Garrow said it was a pleasure to work with RCBC because of their openness to imagining new impacts and pathways and admired their ability to commit to the process: “Even though their team was large with busy schedules, they made time for this work, spoke up when the cadence of our discussions was off so as not to miss out on important process steps, worked in dyads and in other smaller task forces to execute certain tasks, all with great respect for the wider group experience. They also built in regular and appropriate communication loops – reporting back to the Board when it was the right time and engaging other stakeholders in pressure testing their assumptions about their new direction. This lent itself well to a theory of change that was carefully validated.”

Strategic clarity is foundational for organizations to commit to achieving a defined impact and to identify the steps required to achieve that impact – which often involves a bit of discomfort and shaking up the way we usually do things. As Lyndsay Poaps puts it: “Getting to an intended impact was tricky, we didn’t realize how much exhausting brain work it would be. To tear it all apart and question it all was challenging, but so worth it.”  But while challenging, it’s precisely that commitment to the process and overcoming these tough conversations that allow organizations to reach a level of clarity that gives strength to everyone involved to bring about change.

” As a coach, the magic of this work is not only the strategic tools that emerge for an organization, but most importantly witnessing the strengthened capacity and interest in imagining their work through an impact lens. RCBC was best in class in achieving these outcomes. I am excited to see where this leads them and their contribution to the circular economy ecosystem in the next 5 to 10 years! ”

– Stephanie Garrow, Garrow&Evoy


RCBC logo



Thank you Lyndsay Poaps and Stephanie Garrow. To find out more about RCBC, visit Recycling Council of British Columbia (


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