Our Volunteer Army

Earlier this year, Children’s Friend identified a single Strategic Priority: Too many of the youngest and most vulnerable children in Rhode Island are experiencing devastating outcomes, including death, as a result of abuse and neglect. As stewards of the resources entrusted to us, Children’s Friend is realigning itself to proactively respond to this crisis.

So, how does an 184 year-old agency “realign” itself and be “proactive”??

We’ve enlisted a Volunteer Army – 15% of our staff from across the agency committed to working with others on a shared purpose – to advance the Strategic Priority. The Volunteer Army concept was developed by John Kotter (Harvard Business School) in his book Accelerate!.

In a Volunteer Army:

  • Staff from up, down, and across the organization are the change engine.
  • Employees engage and are excited and able to take action on critically important initiatives linked to strategy.
  • The ability to execute on your strategy is less about the ideas/plan, and more about the team.


The Children’s Friend Volunteer Army is made up of 8 teams – each working on 1 of the 8 Action Areas of the Strategic Priority. In 2019, our blog will periodically feature reports and updates from the Volunteer Army. Hope you enjoy these posts and share your feedback with me. Thank you.


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