In fall 2022, the Capital Regional District (CRD) welcomed a new Board of Directors and initiated their four-year strategic planning process. They needed to gather input from the board on the long-term organizational vision and on what it hopes to accomplish over the 2023-2026 term. They sought a partner who had municipal and regional government experience, and who was comfortable bringing a large board to consensus.

diverse group of young workers collaborate around poster with post-its

key opportunities

This project included several interesting opportunities.

mixing perspectives from new and old board members

Coming out of the fall 2022 municipal elections, the new board was comprised of both returning and new members. As part of our work, we needed to combine the expertise of returning board members with perspectives of new members, and ensure that we heard equally from all board members. We developed a facilitation approach that combined multiple avenues for participants to share their views.

balancing multiple priorities

Board members represent diverse municipalities across the rural and urban divide. Further, the board is comprised of mayors, councilors and electoral area directors, with varying responsibilities and authorities. We created a strategic planning approach that included pre-engagement with board members to equip our team with an understanding of board member priorities before the planning process began.

leveraging staff knowledge

CRD staff held deep knowledge of the region, previous planning processes and pathways to success. Our team wanted to ensure that we were able to learn as much as possible from staff, without over burdening their team. We created a process in which we facilitated two planning sessions, actively engaged staff through the process, and also worked with staff between sessions to determine whether each board idea was within the CRD’s mandate and feasible within the board’s term.

streamlining the prioritization process

We wanted to facilitate a process that helped board members rank priorities in an unbiased way. To do so, we implemented a priority matrix, a Spur-designed approach, that included staff- and board-endorsed criteria by which to rank regional priorities. This approach took some of the guesswork out of prioritization.

our approach

Our approach to this work included five phases: project initiation and planning, pre-engagement, phase one board engagement, data analysis and reporting and phase two board engagement.

starting off with strong alignment

During our project initiation phase, we worked collaboratively with the client to align goals, expectations and desired outputs. During pre-engagement, we met with staff and surveyed board members, to get an early sense of priorities.

learning from internal experts – both board & staff

We then hosted our initial engagement with board members, including Electoral Area Directors. During this session we garnered a long-list of priorities from the board. During the data analysis and reporting phase, we worked closely with staff to identify which priorities were viable and assessed them through Spur’s priority matrix.

making sure we got it right

Finally, we re-engaged the board to outline the results of the research and priority matrix. We wanted to ensure that the work done by Spur and staff reflected board priorities. We tested the results and provided board members with an opportunity ask questions about the process and outcomes.

metrics that matter

We always track metrics that truly reflect success. Here is what we were able to do.


board member unanimous approval


facilitated workshops


priority areas identified


strategic priorities endorsed

the results

The board approved the strategic priorities one month after the final planning workshop. The priorities identified were able to complement and build upon previous actions, existing plans and budgets that had been developed over many years. This ensured consistency and efficiency where possible, while allowing the new board to have a say over how things moved forward. Since working on this project, Spur has continued to assist CRD on additional work, building off our strong working relationship with staff.