About Chris Bosch
- Married to Lydia (a teacher)
- Two university-age sons, Josiah & Levi.
- Lived and worked in West Africa and Lithuania.
- BA - International Relations, Calvin College
- MA in International Development, University of Waterloo
- MA in Worldview Studies & Political Theory, Institute for Christian Studies at University of Toronto
- Certifed Fundraising Executive (CFRE)
- Professional Director Certification (board governance)
- Balanced Scorecard Specialist
- Director of Research & Education, Christian Labour Associate of Canada (CLAC)
- Director of Strategy, World Vision
- VP, Programs and Philanthropy - Canadian Feed the Children
- Founder, Chisel Consulting
- Instructor - Organizational Behaviour, Tyndale University College
- Instructor - International Political Economy, Redeemer University College
- Instructor - Team Leadership and Conflict Transformation - Schulich Executive Education
- Instructor - LCC International University - Interest-Based Negotiation
Charitable/Volunteer Activity & Board Work
- Cofounder of Flourish Financial, a nonprofit micro loan organization.
- Canadian Christian Relief & Development Association (CCRDA)
- Refugee settlement assistance
- Pro bono organizational development work
- CLAC Foundation, board member
My Dutch immigrant parents wanted a simpler life, off the grid.
At seven years of age, I could shoot a rifle, hit a target with a high-powered bow, and drive a Ski-Doo with my three younger siblings on board. Living in a 20- by 30-foot cabin with no electricity or running water south of Owen Sound, Ontario, taught me life skills that remain with me to this day. My job was to break the ice on the well to get our daily water.
The experiment ended after two years when our roof caught fire and my mother insisted it was no longer safe to live there.
By the time I was 14, my family had moved 16 times. For some, that would be a negative experience. For me, it was all part of the adventure. I loved it. It allowed me to experience more, I think. My father’s philosophy of fearlessly embracing all that life has to offer while staying grounded in his Christian values informed my own approach to all of my pursuits.
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in International Relations. In 1992, I married Lydia, a teacher. After I completed a Master’s in International Development at the University of Waterloo, we took off for a one-year stint in Guinea, West Africa, where I worked with indigo cloth dyers on a microenterprise development project. This is where my love and appreciation for diversity and difference began to mature. Returning to Canada in the early 2000s, we became parents to Josiah and Levi.
After earning another Master’s in Worldview Studies and Political Theory from the Institute for Christian Studies at the University of Toronto in 2004, I went to work as Director of Research and Education for the Christian Labour Association of Canada. There, I learned that all conflict can be transformed into something beneficial for individuals and organizations, if addressed honestly. I saw that people really want to get along, but sometimes they need a path to reconciliation illuminated for them.
In 2008, craving a change, we took a one-year sabbatical and the family moved to Lithuania, where I taught negotiation in the business school at LCC International University, one of the only English-speaking universities in the Baltic States. I also helped them create an online Master’s program in Teaching English as a Second Language. I discovered a gift for teaching and was hooked on integrating it into my professional pursuits.
Back in Mississauga and ready for a new challenge, in 2011 I joined World Vision Canada’s (WVC) International Programs Division as Strategy Leader. During this time, I also taught organizational behaviour at Tyndale University College and International Political Economy at Redeemer University College.
In 2013, I co-founded Flourish Financial, a nonprofit loan organization. After a trip to Tanzania and Uganda in 2012, I realized that one of the key ingredients to job creation in places like East Africa was the lack of reasonably-priced capital for businesses wanting to scale up. I came home and gathered a bunch of like-minded people who wanted to help poor entrepreneurs get the capital they need for more job creation and to alleviate poverty sustainably.
Promoted to Director of Strategy at WVC in 2015, I led a major process involving staff at all levels and external stakeholders, to reimagine the NGO’s future. The result was a new five-year organizational strategy, which the President, Michael Messenger, called transformative. While at WVC, for four years I served on the board of the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA), an umbrella group of 40 organizations working to alleviate poverty in developing countries. After directing strategy and operations for WVC’s Philanthropy division for two years I also became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
In 2016, wanting to expose our sons to life in the developing world, we spent a month travelling in Kenya and Tanzania. We went on safari and visited our sponsored child Naisheye and her family in Ketumbenie, Tanzania. The experience was life changing for Josiah and Levi, then 15 and 14.
Feeling a call to share my expertise with other organizations, I founded Chisel Consulting in 2018. I’ve developed an ability to build trust with people very quickly. I love the art of facilitation, asking the right questions, and being curious. I don’t tell the people I work with what to do. They have the answers and they can rediscover their clarity, focus and purpose. My job is to bring it out, like a coach.
We now live in Oakville, Ontario. Outside of work, I am an avid soccer player, a sport I’ve played since I was five. I also run half marathons, something I started a few years ago after doing a full marathon as part of Team World Vision to raise funds for water in Malawi. Our boys are in university now, pursuing their own adventures.
About Chisel consulting
- To help organizations find clarity and focus and reimagine their future
Key Consultation Areas
- We help teams figure out their starting point and imagine their destination.
- We help leaders uncover how they can better use their resources for maximum impact.
- We work with leaders to create customized curriculum for organizational transformation.
Many people and organizations lack clarity and focus because they have done exactly what they should do, which is to say yes to opportunities as they arise.
Nonprofits in particular are filled with people who are servant-minded and who say yes all the time, sometimes to their detriment. The problem with saying yes and not calibrating it with your purpose is that you can lose your why among all the whats. You can’t do everything. You have to choose what will serve your purpose, your value proposition, and your constituents the best.
My own mission at Chisel Consulting is to help organizations find clarity and focus and reimagine their future. Organizations that are clear about their own mission and purpose enables them to know what to focus on and when to say no.
I love this idea of wayfinding for organizations.
We’ve all had this experience of coming into a large building like a hospital and wondering, “How do I get to my destination?” You look at the building map for direction and the first thing you look for is the you are here marker. Knowing where you are now is always the first step in navigating to where you want to go.
At Chisel, I work with teams to figure out their starting point and imagine their destination. Strategy is the process of mapping out the steps and milestones of how to get from here to there while staying true to a unique purpose.
Another common issue I see in non-profits is how best to allocate limited resources. Leaders so appreciate the sacrificial giving of their donors and they want to make sure they steward those resources wisely.
In working with organizations, I help them discover their own answers and uncover a new self confidence that this is who we are, this is what we’re good at and if we go in this direction, this is the best plan and the greatest chance for using our resources for maximum impact.
I also love to teach.
Through Chisel, I offer customized curriculum for what organizations want to learn. I’ve learned to read a situation quickly and can provide interim leadership for when a gap needs to be filled. Using tools and methods like design thinking, my process helps energize teams to think differently about particularly sticky challenges. I round out my offerings with conflict transformation, which can result in new value and epiphanies.
Get in Touch
I'd love to hear from you to learn more about your current organizational challenges and explore how we can address them together.
Give me a call, send me a message using the form below or connect with me on LinkedIn.