Scouts Canada: The Millennium Structure

(The Organization for the 21st Century)
A Preliminary Report
Submitted by
The Staffing Task Group
The Management Board
National Council

October 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Perspective
  2. Overview and Executive Summary
  3. Terms of Reference and Interpretation
  4. The Core Concepts of the New Model
  5. The Need for a National Perspective
  6. The New Structure
  7. The Vertical Alignment
  8. The Structure as an Integrated System
  9. The Responsibilities of the New Positions
  10. Benefits
  11. Impact on Program Delivery - An Opportunity to Strengthen and Improve
  12. The Importance of Communications
  13. The Role of Scouts Canada Leadership in Implementation
  14. Youth involvement
  15. The Requirement for Training
  16. The Implementation Strategy and Plan
  17. Financials
  18. Implications on Employees
  19. Implications on Commissioners and Other Volunteers
  20. Summary
  21. Appendices
    1. Organization Chart
    2. Task Group Membership
    3. Bylaw Changes
    4. Top Ten Ways to Fail at Transforming Systems


In late Winter 1998, the Management Board of the National Council determined that with the heightened concern in Canada of litigation as a result of changes in Canadian societal norms, consideration had to be given to looking to ways to improve the management of risk in all activities.

Consequently a Task Group was convened to look at the impacts and requirements of Scouts Canada to establish a "national" structure for all employees, reporting in a corporate chain of command to the Chief Executive Officer. Under our overall plan for Risk Management, and supported by the insurance industry it was agreed that a change in reporting within a vertical structure would increase accountability of Staff. This increased accountability for Staff would allow for better adherence to policies and procedures, and improved and speedier decision making.

Other areas of management also required a review to ensure that Scouts Canada's practices in employee related areas were being followed by both volunteers and employees responsible for these functions in the current structure.

Responsible Risk Management however, requires an organization to look all its operating procedures.

While re-orienting the Staff to a vertically reporting entity would compliment and support our Risk Management plans, a far greater risk existed in the accountability to the organization and to their positions with volunteers.

The Task Group met before the National Council meetings in May 1998, and quickly determined that just establishing a National Corporate Staff would not solve our problems, and that to focus entirely on Staff re-organization would not meet Scouts Canada's challenges. In fact realigning the Staff only would likely exacerbate the problem, increasing the potential for confusing and conflicting directions throughout the organization.

In addition, the Task Group felt that the current structure of the organization would not serve it well during the foreseeable future, in many ways due to the time it takes to get things done, and that major changes in structure were required to ensure Scouts Canada's continuing growth and success in the future.

The bottom line was that there was absolutely no sense in just realigning the Staff. The whole organization needed to be reviewed as to "the way we do business" and changes made throughout to prepare us for the new millennium.

At the May 1998 National Council Forum meeting, the Task Group outlined its proposal that for both Risk Management and other business issues, Scouts Canada should move to a National Corporate Structure for all employees, effective January 01, 1999. It also recommended that for other continuing issues, the whole structure including the roles and responsibilities of volunteers should be reviewed. The complete proceedings of that discussion can be found in the National Council Forum Notes of May 01,1998.

Through subsequent motions and associated waivers of Notice at the National Council Meeting of May 02, 1998, the National Council resolved that Scouts Canada would adopt a National Corporate Structure no later than January 01, 1999. The Council also directed the Management Board to continue the work in organizational governance and management, including the relationships and roles of volunteers and employees. The Management Board was instructed to prepare a preliminary report with its recommendations for potential implementation in May 1999, for discussion at the November 1998 National Council meeting.

Finally, the National Council also moved the work underway at the time, reviewing National Committees to the Staffing Task Group's jurisdiction.

Work is currently underway to establish a national corporate structure for all employees to go into effect on January 01, 1999. The National Office, in concert with the Provincial Executive Directors, is undertaking this work.

The following is a PRELIMINARY Report on the thoughts of the members of the Staffing Task Group as to what they see as necessary structural and operational changes to be undertaken by Scouts Canada to ensure the organization's continued viability into the next century. The Report by its very nature, and the time available to the Task Group is "high level" and conceptual. Not all questions have been asked, nor answers given.

The Report particularly focuses on required changes at the National, Provincial and to some degree, the Regional level. Further work is required to focus in on areas where improvement could be made in Scouting program delivery from the Region to the Group. At the time of writing, the Task Group is measuring through all level input, further considerations for structure change.

Overview and Executive Summary

Scouts Canada, as do many other voluntary organizations, faces many challenges every day. Some of the challenges being faced don't really have much to do with our main raison d'etre; getting good program to the youth in our organization. But they impact and if these "non program" challenges are not faced and met, the organization will not be able to maintain itself.

In an ever-increasing litigious society we must protect ourselves; in an ever-increasing competitive society (competitive for youth time) we must enhance, market and deliver our program. With shrinking resources, both financially and in "people power" we must find better ways of raising funds and getting more high quality and well trained people involved.

We must find ways of making the organization more accountable. When policy is set, it must be implemented. There cannot be an attitude that "if it doesn't fit here, then we don't have to do it".

Accountability comes through individuals; not through groups.

We cannot afford anymore the time it takes to get things done. The National Council "Notice of Motion" procedure makes it very difficult to move quickly, as most organizations are required to do today. There has to be a faster way. Note: We are not even set-up today to move quickly on issues such as structural change - the process to change our organization is conservatively estimated to take two years even if we wanted to move faster. As the Notice of Motion process has been historically embedded in our culture, we will use it here).

Having said that, the Task Group recommends a complete revamping of structure, from the National Council to the Group level; a realignment of roles and responsibilities throughout to increase focus and accountability and a significant realignment in the organization of the importance of our product - the Scouting program, development and delivery.

Governance will be separated from management. A Board of Governors will make policy, set vision, mission and values.

The new structure will also have two vertical lines of reporting for both employees and program volunteers in management. Activities currently discharged by administrative volunteers will be re-assigned either to employees or program volunteers. Program will be emphasized.

In addition, the national structure as it exists across the country will be re-aligned into administrative divisions from provinces and territories. Divisions (six) will have nominal sizing of' 40,000 members, as will Regions with 10,000 members. Areas below Regions would have nominal sizing of 2,500 members. Other issues not related to geography can also be considered for the sizing of individual entities.

Rationale for these proposed changes will be discussed in the following Preliminary Report.

Terms of Reference and Interpretation

The Staffing Task Group interpreted some basic principles and activities, beyond the minimal focus received from the National Council in the resolutions, to ensure that its direction was consistent with the needs for Scouting in Canada well into the next millennium. People may agree or disagree as the case may be however, these guidelines it is felt, when applied to the overall entity of Scouting in Canada, will help us to better deliver the Scouting program - in the end the main key to our success.

  1. Ensure that Scouting in Canada continues to be volunteer governed (led).
  2. Ensure that the area of governance (e.g. vision, mission, policy making, delegation of authority, executive limitations, fmancial overview etc.), is clearly separated from the area of management (e.g. delivery of product [program], human resource management, financial management, international relations, youth involvement etc.).
  3. Recommend a national organization to improve the delivery of Scouting across the nation.
  4. Define the roles and responsibilities broadly), of volunteers and employees.
  5. Ensure that accountability throughout the organization is significantly strengthened.
  6. Ensure that the structure itself leads to an improved team approach, especially as it pertains to volunteers and employees.
  7. Design a national corporate structure for employees.
  8. Recommend changes to administration procedures for employees.
  9. Look to ways to improve operating efficiency, including the speed at which activities take place in the organization.
  10. Recognize the likely impacts of the recommendations from the Panel on Accountability and Governance in the Voluntary Sector, "Helping Canadians Help Canadians: Improving Governance and Accountability in the Voluntary Sector".
  11. Recommend the restructuring and realignment of National Committees as required.
  12. Keep the final report short and actionable.
  13. While not an exhaustive list, these are the main tenets of operation for the Task group.
It is felt that if most of these principles can be satisfied, then Scouts Canada, with the proper operating processes and sound management will be ready for the next millennium.

The Core Concepts of the New Model

The new structure model envisages the following key concepts:

The organization should continue to be volunteer led. Much of Scouts Canada's success over its history can be directly related to the role that volunteers have played in the development and delivery of its product - the Scout program. In fact the vast majority of the adult members in the organization are only involved in the delivery of the program. As Scouting is an organization of youth for youth, it is important that young people's views continue to be reflected in Scouting's vision, mission and values and that volunteers charged with the responsibility of setting these concepts in place on behalf of youth, have the relevant expenence, perspective and focus to ensure the healthy continuance of the organization.

Governance and management must be separated. In this sense, most incorporated entities, certainly public, for-profit, and most private, for-profit organizations careflully separate these two entities. In not-for-profit organizations, this has not always been the case, but more and more and especially for those not-for-profit organizations that are self governed this separation is occurring. In the near future, governments may require this separation in order for the not-for-profit to maintain its tax status.

Beyond the legal aspects of this question, it also just makes reasonable business sense, especially where there are a number of employees in the organization, that those doing the management of the assets of the organization in all their scope, should also not be the same persons that set the directional considerations for the use of those assets.

There can be only one policy making entity in the organization. Scouts Canada is a national organization, part of the worldwide body of Scouting. As in any other country, it is the responsibility of the national entity to set vision, mission, and values and to set policy accordingly. The National Board will be responsible for policy in the organization on behalf of all the organization's stakeholders, and only the National Board. This not only makes common sense, but also is very much required if Scouts Canada is to remain a viable organization as the greater community's norms change.

Scouts Canada must have clear, concise and measurable responsibilities and accountabilities throughout. If Scouts Canada is to improve its program development and delivery, increase its membership, and remain relevant to youth in the next century then it must have a management system that clearly defines expectations for everyone involved. It must also have a system that rewards positive and exceptional behaviour in its membership, while allowing for the relieving of responsibilities from those who do not discharge their responsibilities to the full benefit of the organization. This applies equally to both volunteers and employees.

The organization must, in a sense, reinvent itself in ways that make it overall more accountable -to all its stakeholders, and most importantly the youth. As a result it is recognized that accountability requirements must be increased throughout the organization. This applies to the whole organization from governance right down through all levels of management.

In that view, accountabilities must be as strong from the "top" of the organization, (governance) down and from the "bottom" (group level) of the organization up. In a very real sense, it is important that all members of the organization continue to remind themselves that they are only there for the single purpose of helping youth develop into productive, positive adults. As such everyone in the hierarchy of the organization needs to understand his or her role in supporting the most important entity in the organization - the Group.

There should be a healthy continuance of partnership between volunteers and employees in the organization. It is recognized that Scouts Canada could not fulfil its mandate to prepare youth to be productive adults without the real partnership that exists between employees and volunteers. This must be maintained.

The management structure must be streamlined to make it more productive. It is very important that we put people to work at what they do best and what they enjoy doing the most. To do this, we must recognize what is better done by employees, and needs to be done by employees for business accountabilities, and what is better done through volunteers. We also need to understand where support is required. Essentially, it is felt that employees better discharge "business" responsibilities, for many reasons, while product or program related responsibilities are better discharged and really must be discharged through volunteers.

Individuals are more accountable than groups of individuals or committees. To ensure that there has been a good airing of perspectives on many subjects, Scouts Canada has used a committee centric approach for many years in its decision process. However it is quite difficult to hold groups of people responsible, as there are always extenuating experiences and circumstances within the committee and among committee members, and quite often as a result there is less than optimal performance, and extended decision making time.

On the other hand, individuals can certainly better understand their responsibilities, organize their timelines to accommodate dependencies, and produce accordingly. They can also understand the likely results of positive and negative performance. A refocus of accountabilities towards individuals and away from groups will produce better and more timely results, especially at the more "senior", decision making levels of the organization, while groups or committees could remain in an advisory role.

As a logical extension of this view, a singular focus of the whole management structure towards implementing governance decisions will certainly improve the operating aspects of the organization.

Representation by population is more democratic. The organization today, does not adequately represent the population disbursement in Canada. It is important that reasonably like size groupings of population are equally represented in the organization at the National Council level, the formal authority in Scouting and that Canada's rich diversity of national population be considered as an asset in governance.

The national structure across the country should reflect an efficient organization with management, administrative undertakings and decision taking at the apropriate "level". Today, a degree of governance is mixed with management as the organization spans out across the country. With governance moving entirely to the national level, an opportunity to realign management within the various operating entities is presented. While recognizing the traditional roles that the provincial entities play, efficiency could be improved by grouping some provincial entities into administrative units to increase focus and accountabilities, while eliminating unnecessary duplication.

While time is of the essence and clear direction to change very important it is recognized that an organization like Scouts Canada, with the high volunteer involvement, can't change overnight. A reasonable timeline to effect change is important.

The Need for a National Perspective

It is at times difficult for people to understand the need for change. Many individuals may not see indeed the need for administrative change, which affects a relatively small group of volunteers and a somewhat larger percentage of employees, as necessary at all. This is often related to the fact that many individuals see Scouting from only the perspective of the part of the organization in which they are involved. While the organization may be perceived to be flinctioning adequately from some individual's perspective, and some are having some success within their particular sphere, all is not well. Financial resources are harder to come by, volunteer time is at a premium and membership is continuing to fall -8% this year.

While few people enjoy change in their lives, the fact is things change constantly around us.

While this happens, most people need to be assured that any change to things in which they are involved in, are changes for the better. For this reason, it is important for everyone to put aside their personal biases and try to look at the bigger picture - indeed in our case the national perspective of Scouting in Canada.

Scouting will be successful in the next century if we can do things throughout the organization in faster, more comprehensive and accountable ways, and that means a well administered national organization to ensure the program is delivered in a professional manner.

The Staffing Task Group is not on a power trip, nor trying to grab anything from anyone as some have suggested. "National" is not trying to take-over, as some believe. Scouting is still delivered through small groups at the local level. Let's try to keep a perspective on what we need to do for them, and take our own personalities out of the equation.

The New Structure

The new structure was designed with the terms of reference and core concepts in mind. It attempts to satisfy if not all, certainly most of the criteria required for a self-governed institution to operate with speed, improved efficiency, accountability and focus. It also looks to enhance the delivery of the organization's key product - the Scout program. It builds on Scouting's proud history in Canada, while focusing more importance on the primary geographical delivery unit - the Region. Below the Region, right to the Group level, there is little change, except to re-inforce the need for the Scouting program to be delivered in a professional and consistent way.

Please see the Organization Charts and Bylaw Changes in the Appendices.

The National organization will consist of a Board of Governors, headed by a volunteer (Chair of the Board and Chief Commissioner) and a Management structure, headed by a senior employee (President and CEO).

The Management structure will have two vertical hierarchies reporting to the single position at the head of Management. The two verticals will generally reflect two main areas - Program (volunteer led, staff supported) and Administrative (staff led, volunteer supported). The two verticals will be expected to team co-operatively at the various structural levels, down to at least the Regional Level.

The National geographic organization will be refocused to Administrative Service Divisions. These Service Divisions will generally be a grouping of current provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Within the Divisions will be Regions and within the Regions will be Areas. The Region will be the main "line" organization, and will be the key level for the delivery of Scouting and its' programs in Canada. Areas will use support teams, as today, for local expert support to groups.

A key new role, called the Group Commissioner (generally resident in the Group) will be responsible to the Scouting organization to see that program is delivered in a professional manner, and responsible to Group leaders to see that proper support is available.

Support and advisory committees are to be encouraged to assist individual managers in the organization and discharge of their duties. There will be a continuing need for this type of assistance as the organization rolls out.

The Vertical Alignment

Organization design has typically been the responsibility of senior people in corporations for decades. In more recent times it has taken on a new focus as corporations look to re-engineer, reprocess and re-position themselves to meet the conditions that they face in often constantly changing markets. Organizations are no more really than a grouping of people, focused together to best meet the group's challenges at any particular moment in time. Typically there are many models available for consideration, but designers usually have one key question to answer -"What is the best way to organize, group, relate, team people to get our product to market and to improve our competitiveness?"

Scouts Canada today operates under a structure known generally as a "matrix" organization -that is, people report vertically for some functions, for instance policy implementation, and horizontally for other, more local responsibilities. The matrix organization was very much in vogue in industry some 25 years ago, but today is recognized for its inability to move quickly and in a precise fashion. It generally lacks focus (people "report" in more than one direction) and it also requires significant consensus, often an additional impediment to timely decision making.

Voluntary, self-governed organizations face the same challenges as for-profit organizations do today. Scouts Canada must look to new ways to meet and satisfy its' market demands if it is going to be successful in the future.

Many organizations need only to re-organize to face new market demands. An additional challenge and opportunity faced by Scouts Canada in its re-engineering is the requirement to build new systems in its new alignment - systems that are not there today. While for-profit corporations often face significant problems with "legacy" systems in their re-organizations, Scouts Canada has the opportunity to build "from the ground up" and do it completely right. "Legacy" exists only in a strong history in the organization - something to build upon positively.

The vertical realignment of responsibilities in management does several things, namely; it increases individual accountability to the organization; it sorts functions into line (program) and line support (program support) streams; and it reinforces the importance of teaming between those receiving dollar remuneration for their contribution to Scouting and those receiving "psychic" pay. It takes out the dual reporting (matrix) role, which most often is difficult for people in any organization to handle.

It also recognizes for any number of reasons from business, through legal, marketing, human resource management, program delivery etc., who is in the best position to do what and assigns responsibilities accordingly.

Lastly it encourages focus in responsibility. By aligning the two vertical streams through one individual position at the top of management, the President and CEO of Scouts Canada, as with any CEO, holds the final responsibility in management for the overall and ultimate health of the organization. It does not take away, in any way, from the rich history of local Scouting in Canada.

In fact, most if not all the work that we associate being done by staff and volunteers today on behalf of Scouting will continue to be required w0rk. Responsibilities and accountabilities may change, some titles may change and some activities may be done on behalf of individuals who hold primary responsibilities, but the work carries on. For instance, while Staff may now have the ultimate responsibility for the financial health of the organization, that does not mean that they will have the where-with-all to raise all the funds required. In fact, just as today in many cases, they will turn to groups of volunteers with fund raising experience and capabilities to help with the raising of those funds.

The Structure as an Integrated System

It is important to remember and understand that Scouts Canada is a franchise organization, the product being the national program. The organization as represented by the National Council "owns" the Scouting program, is the franchiser, and has a responsibility as well as a right to ensure and insist that the program be delivered in a consistent professional way across the country.

In this sense, our individual Groups become the franchisees, and everything and everyone in between are then part of the distribution channel, whether in direct delivery of the program or support of same.

Individual Groups through their servicing and support infrastructure by the same reasoning have the right to expect that they will be able to get everything that they need from the system to deliver the program in a professional way, from good program material through to required administrative support.

This concept will generally stay the same, no matter what organization structure is in place and the Task Group's recommendations are meant to improve, to the best degree possible, the part in between.

In any franchise arrangement, responsibilities work both ways. It is incumbent upon the National Council to produce and make available good program through the franchise structure to Group leaders, and it is just as important for Group leaders and their immediate support to ensure that the actual delivery is handled in a professional, responsible manner. The result is a vertical operating entity, all working to the same end, independent of position in the process.

While vertical reporting is arguably one key criterion for success in program delivery, individual structural entities cannot do the job alone. At any level, National through to Regional there must be continuing co-operation between the two proposed verticals. Regional teams will continue to function, as will Area teams. The National team will continue to play its role.

Continuing to work together will go a long way to guarantee our success.

The Responsibilities of the New Positions

Per section 16, job descriptions need to be developed over time by those incumbents in the new positions; they are not developed here. Rather, general areas of responsibility are suggested:

Governance is responsible for:

  1. Policy
  2. Mission
  3. Vision
  4. Strategic planning
  5. Management overview
  6. Financial overview
  7. Communications with stakeholders, members and publics
  8. Structure development
  9. Implementation of assessment and control systems
  10. Board succession and diversity
Management is responsible (general) for:
  1. Policy implementation
  2. Day-to-day management
Staff Management is responsible for:
  1. Marketing
  2. Communications
  3. Revenue development
  4. Financial administration and control
  5. Human resource management (staff)
  6. Property & facility management
  7. Scout shops
  8. Risk management
  9. Membership (new groups)
  10. General administration
Volunteer Management is responsible for:
  1. Program quality
  2. Program delivery
  3. Volunteer recruitment
  4. Volunteer development and recognition
  5. Youth involvement
  6. Special events
  7. Membership (retention and growth through program)
Responsibilities could shift within management through continued discussion.


There are several benefits to the proposed new structure, but perhaps three can be singled out as key - accountability, the ability to move faster, and a refocusing on the Scouting program.

Regarding accountability, the Panel on Accountability and Governance in the Voluntary Sector highlights the need for those operating in the voluntary sector to enhance their effectiveness and credibility to continue in their role of strengthening Canadian society. Accountability is an obligation to explain how a responsibility for an assigned task has been discharged. To be accountable and do their work, organizations like Scouts Canada and people who participate therein, need resources, infrastructure, skills and support. While the Task Group is primarily interested in structure, there is no doubt that the organization will not flourish unless over time, all four areas are considered.

Accountability needs to be seen at all "levels" in the organization, but particularly in governance and management. In governance, the Board is expected to handle policy, mission, vision, values and oversight in major areas on an expeditious and responsive basis. It will do this through a Committee of the Board structure with key Board members responsible. The Board then must report at least annually to the National Council and membership as a whole on its efforts.

Management, for its' part is charged with the day-to-day handling of the organization's on-going operations, and is further responsible to see that the job is done in a way consistent with the vision, mission and values as set by the Board. The vertical structure, new to our employees will significantly improve not only the route that the organization takes all together but will also allow for enforceable checks and balances to ensure that work is carried out in a timely manner. Our employees will not be put in a position of having to make judgement calls on priorities, but will be clear on importance and timing deadlines. New management systems and appropriate incentives need to be attached to the overall management and remuneration plans for our employees as time goes on.

In the case of the Commissioner's team, Scouts Canada already operates in a vertical structure, with Commissioners responsible for program from at least the Region level and up in the organization. There should not be a significant shift in focus seen here, but rather an overall tightening of the structure to ensure that the program is delivered in a timely fashion, in a quality way, supported by the particular level's other resources.

Program accountability down to the Group level, through the Group Commissioner (Group Scouter) would significantly elevate the program as the key reason for all adults to be in Scouting. With this function, properly structured, Scouts Canada through a communicative and focused Commissioner hierarchy can ensure that quality program is available to our youth.

As we move into the next millennium, the organization cannot continue to operate in the format it currently does and expect to survive. It just takes too long to get things done, most notably at the National level. Under the proposed structure, the organization will have the capability, both in governance and in management to move quickly to face those challenges and opportunities it is already facing and will continue to face.

Impact on Program Delivery --- An Opportunity to Strengthen and Improve

Any change in structure for any organization should be focused towards one or more strategic goals. While this exercise started out as an administrative undertaking to increase accountability and focus in the organization, the Task Group felt that we should use the opportunity to raise the profile and importance of program in our organization.

Scouts Canada exists for many peripheral reasons but one of its' main reasons is to help Canadian youth develop into good citizens and contributing members of society. The organization does this with good program delivered in a professional way. Making the program part of our organization more accountable and improving support to that entity while raising its' profile cannot but help to improve our overall membership situation and retention rates.

As a long-term perspective all members of Scouts Canada should refocus and revitalize their commitment to program matters, whether directly involved or not.

A volunteer with the title "Chair of the Governance Board and Chief Commissioner" leads the organization as a signal of the importance of program. Senior Commissioners focus in on very important program establishment and delivery areas as part of the National Management Team. The National Commissioner as the senior program management individual is a member of the Board. These are some of the focuses that the Task Group feels will help to elevate program matters in their importance to the organization.

Probably the most significant elevation of program in the organization, though, is the establishment of the Group Commissioner role - an accountability at the group level for program matters to the organization itself - Scouts Canada.

The Task Group urges the organization to keep the notion of the importance of program in the forefront at all times.

The Importance of Communications

The Staffing Task Group has attempted since it was formed in March 1998 to be open and communicative in its deliberations. Communiques have been sent to Provincial & Territorial jurisdictions throughout the period as well as this Preliminary Report completed. A verbal review was given to the Management Board in September 1998.

Also, during October 1998 and on into November, several presentations are being made to interested parties on the proposal, its concepts and rationale. It is expected that by the time of the November 1998 National Council meeting, most Provincial jurisdictions will have had an opportunity for a personal review with one of the Task Group members.

The Task Group is also planning a Leader article in the near term focused to the Group Scouter, explaining the need for change. A booklet is planned in more detail outlining the rationale behind the proposals and the expected impacts. Another article will likely appear in the Leader In the New Year outlining progress.

Most importantly, while it is not practical to receive, review and implement comments from all members, channels have been established through "test" Regions in some provinces to look at the overall feasibility of the proposals and gain feedback. This exercise will likely continue into 1999.

For change to be embraced the Task Group understands the need for Individuals "to have their say". To the fullest degree possible, we will hear all comments, assess their implications to the plan as it evolves, and explain acceptance or rejection.

Lastly, please contact any member of the Task Group to directly input your thoughts. We welcome your views.

The Role of Scouts Canada Leadership in Implementation

Scouts Canada will be successful in any change scenario if its' leadership is determined to make it successful. Leadership here is not just the so-called "senior" levels of the organization - those at the National, Provincial and Regional levels, but rather all leadership. We all have a role to play.

Even if structural change does not directly impact a position, the person in that position needs to feel that the activities occurring around him or her are for the best in the organization, and leaders have to ensure this.

Most importantly, when change has been agreed to by a majority in the organization as important to its growth and survival, then all must embrace it and work positively towards its implementation. To do otherwise is not professional. Nor does it consider the good of Scouting in Canada. If we cannot find a place in an enhanced organization for our individual talents, then we should look for opportunities to use those talents elsewhere.

"Senior" levels in Scouting however do have a special role to play. They need to champion change. They need to take it on as their personal project and spend quality time on the process to ensure that it happens. This is of equal importance whether we find ourselves operating as a volunteer or part of the employee body.

This, or any structural change, or any change at all for that matter won't just happen just because we wish it. Without concerted effort, the status quo will remain.

Scouting in Canada will be what its leadership collectively wants it to be.

Youth Involvement

The Task Group has recognized the need for youth involvement in this process. After all, what we are all here for is the youth in the Movement. As the World organization reminds us, Scouting is an organization for youth, by youth.

There has been youth involvement directly in the Task Group, and significant contribution has been made. Information has also been available directly from the National Youth Committee.

The Task Group is recommending direct youth involvement in governance and at the senior levels of management to support the increasingly direct contribution being made by youth in the organization. Also through the evolving committee structure this most important element will continue to be heard.

We hope that the implementation of change in the way we manage will allow our youth to not only demonstrate their maturity, but also to see it as a positive learning experience.

The Requirement for Training

An organizational change of this magnitude will require significant attention (and appropriate resources dedicated) to training all the involved individuals in the skills related to their new responsibilities. The benefits of the new organization will not occur if those involved are not given the opportunity to acquire the required skills. In particular, training will be required in these areas:

Management / Coaching Training For All Commissioners

All Commissioners are to be expected to coach and essentially manage the delivery of programs using the Commissioner and Service Scouting volunteers within their jurisdiction: from Group Commissioners, leading and coaching their Section Leaders, to the National Commissioner, whose role is to lead, coach and support all Commissioners reporting to him. There will be a need for them to know constructive techniques to help others improve their performance and adhere to policy, as well as how to reinforce and motivate other volunteers. Volunteers in the organization also need to be managed and the Commissioner side of the structure is the vehicle for this management. In the past, this critical competency to manage was more a flinction of good selection of Commissioners, than an inherent strength or capability built into the Scouting organization.

Training for Staff

Staff will now have more responsibility for budgeting and financial management, and for some, more responsibility for managing a larger workforce. The National Office will also be required to co-ordinate and manage the direction and supervision of the total complement of paid Staff across the country. These new areas of responsibility will require new and better management systems along with the related skill training.

The Task Group also believes that Scouts Canada should consider implementing a certification process for both its Staff and voluntary resources. This process would require the next senior management level to essentially "certify" the capability of an individual to do a certain job. Certification criteria would need to be developed but it could include required training, experience on the job, former positions, or a review board justification for exceptional advancement.

The Implementation of Strategy and Plan

Changes of this magnitude to structure need to be carefully managed and planned. In that regard appropriate time is required for people to be consulted and plans developed. The Task Group recognizes that this process done properly could take up to two years and suggests the following key dates, timelines and activities. (Note: This is not an all-inclusive list):

The following assumes acceptance by the National Council of the Final Plan.

National Council Meeting, November 1998

  1. Notice of Motion for May 1999
November 1998 to May 1999
  1. Complete the Final Plan for the new structure.
  2. Finalize roles and responsibilities for governance and management sectors.
  3. Job descriptions, including salary, benefits and responsibilities developed for the new senior positions in Staff.
  4. Job descriptions developed for the new senior positions in the Commissioner's team, as well as that of the Group Commissioner.
  5. Related management systems developed for the both sides of the organization, initial emphasis on key administrative areas.
National Council Meeting, May 1999
  1. National Council acceptance of Final Plan
May 1999 to May 2000
  1. Chair of Governance Board recruited immediately, with members for Board recruited soon thereafter. Begin new and review work on mission, values etc.
  2. Recruitment for key new positions both in Staff and the Volunteer sector. It is expected that all new senior positions would be open to competition. It is also important to note that many, in fact most current employees and volunteers would naturally evolve to similar positions in the new structure.
  3. Individuals appointed to key positions and they begin to build respective teams and operating structure over the ensuing period.
  4. Group Commissioner positions are filled.
  5. Other key support and advisory groups are formed, evolved and positions filled. It is important to note here also that most of our current "administrative" volunteers would naturally evolve to new positions in this area of the new structure.
  6. National organization evolves from provinces to administrative divisions.
May 2000 to December 2000
  1. "Former" organization completes evolution with closeout of "former" segments no later than January 01, 2001.


At this preliminary stage of the development of a new structure plan, the Task Group has not had sufficient time to adequately analyze the financials of any changes to how we conduct the business of Scouting in Canada.

Preliminary estimates have been made however, reflecting the financial size of the Canadian Scouting organization's 1998 salary expenses, (including a 20% fringe benefit). In total this figure approaches $10 Million. Not included here are the additional operating costs related to running the Councils as a whole, (e.g. rents, office, telephone etc.). These additional costs are not available at this time, but might add an additional 25 % to operating or more.

By far the most significant financial consideration for Scouts Canada, in estimating the financial size of the overall organization are the imputed values of volunteer "salaries" and other expenses, which could conservatively bring the overall operating cost or overall operating 'value" up to $100 Million per year.

When the total operating "value" of Scouts Canada is computed, we see a very large organization, which requires sound financial planning, and administration on a standard, reportable and accountable basis. Indeed, if Scouts Canada as a self governed, volunteer based organization does not step up to the challenge of getting and maintaining its financial house in order, then governments surely will, through whatever tools are available to them.

The Task Group has no mandate to look at areas for cost reduction, but suggests that a move towards administrative divisions and standardized operating procedures throughout should produce some savings. These savings should be reused in the organization as required, but a major portion should be focused towards the program area.

Further financial considerations will be available for the Final Report for May 1999.

Implications on Employees

These changes will likely have the least noticeable impact on our employees. Until now because there exists what have been called "employing councils" (typically Provincial and Regional councils) across Canada who function as the employer and hence the "boss" of Scout staff, we have had the appearance of no one organized body of employees in Canada. Instead we've had a quasi-federated group of Scouts Canada employees with unclear accountabilities. Paid staff have found themselves with too many bosses at once, including those from their Region, Province and National offices. This confusion has built in unnecessary friction, stress, duplication and confusion, and needs to be resolved.

As a result, as of January 1, 1999, all paid Staff across the country are to be employees of Scouts Canada. There will be a direct line of authority and accountability through the organization structure from the CEO through to the field executive and support staff.

This relieves the former "employing" councils of some of the cost of administration, such as payroll, which can now be organized and administered from the National Office in Ottawa. As well, from the Staff perspective, this change will help to strengthen the selection, coaching, quality and development of all employees and enhance national career opportunities. It will also allow for standardized administrative procedures, human resource management and development and implementation of fair and equitable compensation packages across the country.

Of course, we should not expect our employees to discharge their responsibilities, without help and on their own. Just as today, many volunteers help in committees, many in an advisory or expert way, that requirement for assistance will obviously continue. It will be up to the individual employee to form volunteer teams or pick selected volunteers to assist in the discharge of his or her duties. Accountability for the particular function would rest with the employee.

Implications on Commissioners and Other Volunteers

The most fundamental change to the volunteer side is the plan to make better use of the Commissioner organization as a management structure. Specifically, at the Group level, the plan is to establish a position of Group Commissioner. This person would be responsible, for example, to an Area Commissioner, for the quality of the Section and Group programs and for the development and performance of Section leaders. An Area Commissioner would, in turn, be responsible for providing, through a service team, the support needed by all the groups within the area. The change here is that the Group and Area Commissioners (and hence Scouts Canada) would now be clearly responsible for ensuring quality program support for Groups, and for the quality of the programming in each Group. The sponsoring organization such as a church or a legion would still be responsible for facilities, finances and such things at the Group level. The sponsor's role would also be to continue to sponsor and promote Scouting. Scouting programs and Scout leadership would clearly be the responsibility of those in the Movement. Group Councils would still function as many now do, providing another means for parental involvement and initiating Group activities.

There would be, just as there are now, several levels of Commissioners up to the National Commissioner who would be responsible for the Scouting program across Canada. Some of the Commissioners would specialize in, for example, supporting specific Section programming such as Beavers or Cubs, while others would be geographically based, responsible for developing and supporting Scouters within a particular service territory.

An important planning and communication tool, which Commissioners will likely use, shall be advisory and support committees, represented by whomever the Commissioner feels can help in the project or program. Membership could include parents, leaders and any other appropriate persons. Of course, the Commissioner's chief advisors are the volunteers and youth in the Movement.

The primary impact for this "refocusing" of the Commissioner structure is that every Scouter, from Section Leader to the National Commissioner has someone who is responsible for the Scouter's training and development, and who is there to support the Scouter running his or her programs.

We can never afford to have volunteers "left out in the cold" without guaranteed support. This has been a notable cause of unnecessary leadership turnover. This plan will strengthen our capacity to follow through with support and to deliver consistent quality programs.

Another notable change is the elimination of Boards of Directors or Management at the Provincial, Regional and District levels. The volunteers currently involved in those forums will for the most part still be involved and needed by the Movement, but in slightly different roles.

All the Commissioners who are on Boards will still carry out their servicing duties, reporting, as they now do, to a Provincial Commissioner (this title might change) and be part of that Provincial Commissioner's team. Other volunteers such as District Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers will find many opportunities to serve Scouts at the Group level or as a member of one or more of the many advisory, support and task committees which will be formed by either the Staff (field executive) or Commissioners to provide advice or plan and run special events such as rallies, camps and other inter-group activities.


It must be remembered that this report is preliminary in nature. The Task Group or the follow on entity has continuing work to do in the first half of 1999. For instance further modelling is required at the Regional level, to ensure that all operating questions have been faced and the diversity of delivery of Scouting at the Group level has been enhanced.

In this regard, several test models are being reviewed and information being gathered at the Regional level across the country.

The Task Group feels that the structural model, which has been reviewed herein, will ensure the viability and progress of Scouting into the next millennium. Not all the questions have been yet asked, nor answered, but it is expected that an evolved model of this structure will be presented to the National Council for approval in May 1999.


Appendix A: Organization Charts

(These image files are best downloaded and printed.)
  1. National Structure Chart (63KB)
  2. Divisional Structure Chart (52KB)

Appendix B: Task Group Membership

  1. Bernie Lutes - Vancouver, British Columbia
  2. Jack Roche - Vancouver, British Columbia
  3. Doug Campbell - Edmonton, Alberta
  4. Bob Kent - Winnipeg, Manitoba
  5. Hersch Hanson - Toronto, Ontario
  6. Barry Hardaker - Toronto, Ontario
  7. Larry Fox - Toronto, Ontario
  8. Nancy Langdon - Ottawa, Ontario
  9. David Hamilton - Ottawa, Ontario
  10. Rick Tracy - Montreal, Quebec
  11. Phil Newsome - Halifax, Nova Scotia
  12. Steve Kent - St. John's, Newfoundland

Appendix C: Bylaw Changes

Points To Consider In Preparing A New By-Law


Membership in Scouts Canada is defined as individuals who:

  1. are active in the Movement
  2. pay an appropriate membership and national insurance fee (or have their fees paid for them),
and fall into one of the following categories:

  1. any youth active in a program section
  2. any activity leader or Scouter-in-training
  3. any adult leader, service team member, or commissioner
  4. any member of a group committee, section committee or auxiliary
  5. any member of the National Council
  6. any member of a National Council standing committee
  7. any member of an advisory committee
  8. any member of Scouts Canada, or of aB.P. Guild not otherwise registered in an active capacity with Scouts Canada.
  9. honorary members, on the basis that they have been invited to retain an affiliation with Scouts Canada (membership fees optional)
  10. Executive Staff, on the basis of their being employed by the Movement(membership fees optional)

National Council

Scouting in Canada is organized into various divisions & regions etc. with National Council representing all members of Scouts Canada.

The National Council shall hold an Annual General Meeting within three months of the end of each fiscal year.

The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to:

  1. Receive and consider reports;
  2. Receive and consider the annual financial statements and the auditor's report for the preceding year;
  3. Elect non-geographic and representational members of the National Council;
  4. Elect the Board of Directors;
  5. Elect Honorary Officers and Members as the Council may decide;
  6. Appoint an auditor or auditors;
  7. Consider any motion of which sixty days written notice has been given;
  8. Consider any other matter admitted by the Chair as urgent.
The voting membership of the National Council shall consist of the following:

  1. Board of Governors (16) (Volunteer Governance Board)
  2. Deputy National Commissioners (maximum - 4)
  3. Representative members from each service division as follows:
  4. Five (5) representatives from each division with at least one representative being a youth member (under 27 years of age on September 1)
  5. One additional representative for each 10,000 members or parts thereof.
  6. Representatives from strategic partners and kindred organizations (maximum 5) (this would include the Salvation Army, L'Association des Scouts du Canada and possibly others as deemed appropriate from time to time)
The total of the representative delegates plus the representatives from strategic partners and kindred organizations should exceed the combined total of the Board of Governors plus the Deputy National Commissioners.

Special meetings of Council may be called by the Chair of the Board with the consent of the Board of Governors and shall be called by the Chair of the Board upon the written request of a minimum 20 voting members of the Council.

The voting membership of the National Council shall be the ultimate governance and policy making body in Scouts Canada but it would delegate all its authority to the Board of Governors between meetings.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is the governing body of Scouts Canada, accountable to the membership of the National Council and the membership as a whole for Scouts Canadats effective operation. The Board of Governors provides leadership to the volunteers and staff to meet the needs of members and the Mission of Scouts Canada.

The Board of Governors shall be the only policy making body within Scouts Canada. Other committees, task groups, etc., however, may develop and recommend policy to the Board and approve and institute procedures and operating practices within their area of responsibility.

The principal responsibilities of the Board shall be the following:

  1. Defines the long-term needs of Scouts Canada and the ends/results and determines if those ends/results have been achieved.
  2. Defines the manner in which authority is delegated to volunteers and staff. The Board shall specify how performance is evaluated based upon the defined ends/results and executive limitations.
  3. Establishes the executive limitations to ensure the integrity of the council programs, image and finances. Such policies serve as boundaries within which volunteer and staff activities and methods must remain.
  4. Determines and evaluates how it will function including its philosophy, accountability and specific job responsibilities. Meetings will focus on reviewing Maintains strategic relations with its members, kindred agencies, government and other strategic communities in order to carry out its responsibilities as efficiently as possible.
The Board of Governors shall be comprised of the following voting members:

  1. Chair/Chief Commissioner - who shall act as Chair of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Annual and Special General Meetings of National Council;
  2. President/CEO (who would act as Secretary to the Council and to the Board)
  3. National Commissioner
  4. Treasurer
  5. A representative member from each service division (6) - Note)
  6. Six (6) members-at-large with at least 2 members being youth members (under 27 years of age on September 1) - Note)
  7. Past chairperson
Note: It is expected that the twelve (12) members of the Board noted as divisional I members-at -large would also represent the provinces and territories, and that the membership bylaw is reflective of that requirement.

The members of the Board with the exception of the President/CEO may serve a maximum of three (3) one-year terms.

The Board of Governors shall meet at least two (2) times each fiscal year.

The Board will ensure that the following committees are formed and operate:

  1. Nominating
  2. Finance/Audit
The Board may consider and approve the formation of other advisory Board committees or task groups.

All volunteer committees should have a reasonable geographical representation and the members must have the requisite knowledge and experience.


Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is accountable to the membership of Scouts Canada and will submit itst report to the National Council's Annual General Meeting.

The Committee shall be comprised of the following:

  1. The most recent Past Chair of the Board able and willing to serve who will act as Chair;
  2. The most recent Past National Commissioner able and willing to serve;
  3. Two members selected by the Board of Governors from a list of five (5) individuals submitted by the Chair of the Committee;
  4. One person appointed by the Chair of the Board;
  5. President/CEO.
  6. Ex-officio - Chair of the Board
Finance / Audit Committee

The Finance / Audit Committee is accountable to the Board of Governors.

The Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer.

The Committee's responsibilities shall include the following:

  1. Review the annual budget (including a fee schedule and annual and multi-year targets provided by the Revenue Generation and National Retail Services departments) as prepared by management and prepare recommendations to the Board;
  2. Review quarterly (or monthly) fmancial statements and accompanying reports from management and prepare recommendations to the Board;
  3. Develop policies for managing the Corporation's investment portfolio for Board approval;
  4. Annually meet with the Corporation's auditors and reviewing the Corporation's annual audited financial statements and prepare a report to the Board;
  5. Review other financial matters as required by the Board and/or as it deems appropriate.
The composition of the Committee shall be at the discretion of the Treasurer but should be reviewed with the Chair of the Board and the President/CEO.

National Management Team

The President/CEO is accountable to the Board of Governors.

To assist the President/CEO in the day to day management of Scouts Canada program and administration), the President/CEO may create a National Management Team.

The composition of the Team shall be at the discretion of the President/CEO but would normally include the following:

  1. President/CEO - Chair
  2. National Commissioner
  3. Deputy National Commissioners (3)
  4. International Commissioner
  5. Division Commissioners (6)
  6. Division Executive Directors (5)
  7. National Functional Executive Directors.

Management Functions

Volunteer led, staff supported

National Commissioner, International Commissioner, Deputy National Commissioners, Division Commissioners supported by the Division Executive Directors and the appropriate Functional Executive Directors.

Responsibilities would include program development, quality & delivery; volunteer recruitment, development & recognition; youth involvement; international relations; jamborees; special events; etc

Volunteer advisory committees/task groups (as outlined on Sub Appendix C) may be formed.

Staff led, volunteer advisory

Division Executive Directors, National Functional Executive Directors

Responsibilities would include marketing, communications, revenue development, financial administration, human resource management, property/facility management, risk management, membership data administration and general administration, etc.

Volunteer advisory committees/task groups (as outlined on Sub Appendix C) may be formed to assist staff in the performance of their responsibilities.

Sub Appendix C

Committee Name
Chaired By / Accountable To
Program Development
Canadian Jamborees
Deputy National Commissioner - Program
Volunteer with Staff Support
Service Review Board
Volunteer Services
Deputy National Commissioner - Honour and Awards
Volunteer with Staff Support
Deputy National Commissioner - Youth
Volunteer with Staff Support
International Scouting
International Relations
World Jamborees
International Commissioner
Volunteer with Staff Support
Human Resources
Retail Services
Revenue Generation
Information Mangement
Property and Insurance
Staff with Volunteer Support

Some committees may be primarily comprised of volunteers with staff support (i.e. Program); others may be primarily comprised of staff with volunteer support (i.e. Human Resources & National Retail Services); and others would be completely comprised of staff.

The Program Committee should be responsible for all aspects of the Program and its delivery to ensure that there is compatibility and co-ordination. This would include the management of Canadian Jamborees. The Jamboree Committee should be co-ordinated by the Deputy Commissioner Program.

All volunteer committees should have a reasonable geographical representation and should not be members-at-large. They should represent the views of their division and have some accountability to the division they represent. As all divisions may not be represented on every committee a system could be set up similar to the Regional VPs on the current National Management Board.

The role now performed by the Co-operation with L'Association des Scouts du Canada can be asumed by the President/CEO and the National Commissioner with perhaps the assistance of the Commissioner and the Regional Executive Director for Quebec (Eastern Division) and other volunteers as deemed appropriate.

Appendix D: Top Ten Ways to Fail at Transforming Systems

The following is a slight modification of the principles outlined in The Reengineering Revolution by Michael Hammer and Steven Stanton, Harper Collins Publishers, NY, NY, 1995.

  • Saying you are transforming the system, while only making incremental modifications
  • Focusing on anything except processes
  • Spending too much time analyzing existing processes
  • Proceeding without strong, committed leadership at the top
  • Being timid about your transformational design
  • Going directly from ideas to implementation
  • Implementing change too slowly
  • Putting some aspect of the work or organization "off-limits"
  • Using conventional implementation styles
  • Ignoring the concerns of people