Impact & Strategic Clarity Coach Profile: Robin Cory

October 15, 2014


Robin Cory (

What made you want to become a coach with Innoweave?

I am trained as a coach and was providing strategy support to non-profits at the time that Innoweave launched. Having lived in the United States for 10 years, I was familiar with Bridgespan’s work with a number of U.S-based non-profits and was thrilled to hear that they were going to be developing a program for Canadian non-profits in partnership with the McConnell Foundation.  The opportunity to learn from Bridgespan and to deliver the Impact and Strategic Clarity module in Canada has been a fabulous experience for me.  I think they have developed some extremely important and practical tools for organizations to think more clearly about their work and desired impact.

 What has been your experience so far? How have you found the process?

I have loved my work as an Impact coach.  My partner Margot Smart and I have coached over a dozen organizations, since the start of Innoweave, helping them achieve greater strategic clarity through the development of an intended impact statement and theory of change.  My sense from the organizations we have supported is that they are left with a decision-making tool to help them be even more thoughtful about what they will say yes and no to in the future—and that’s our central objective.

What are the benefits to working with an Innoweave coach?

The approach we take really is one of a coach and champion.  I think the three greatest values we provide as impact coaches are the tools, the probing questions and the accountability structure.  After working through a topic and generating ideas as a group, the team then meets without us to advance the thinking before we meet again.  Organizations really get out what they put in.  And we have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a group of extremely thoughtful and committed leaders who I believe have gained much greater focus and clarity as a result of this process.  It’s really about thinking differently or more rigorously about how to allocate scarce resources for maximum impact.

What has been your biggest learning or “aha” moment while helping organizations complete the Innoweave ISC module?

There have been two.  The first is deep realization around how challenging the work of non-profit organizations is—given the complex and often competing forces creating the issues they are tackling and the limited resources they have to bring to bear to achieve their goals.  The second is that so many social service agencies are driving at similar outcomes.  Although as impact coaches we work with single organizations by design, this work continues to raise for me the importance and potential of partnerships, collaborations and Collective Impact — across sectors.

 Who would you recommend apply for the module?

Organizations that are at an important inflection point.  They are seeking to answer clear strategic questions and could benefit from a decision-making framework to aid them in doing so.  They are willing to revisit their theory of change or need to develop one.  They could assemble a working group, which includes the ED or CEO, that could collectively commit to about a day a week of time over ~5 months.  And most importantly, are up for having some fun—we do try to laugh as much as possible!

To find out more about the Impact & Strategic Clarity module and how you can apply, please visit