succession planning

It's All About Change

Back in December, I wrote about my theme for 2019, which is all about change and transition. My new gig as Interim CEO is going well, but not without its challenges for me personally and for the organization undergoing transition.

Thinking about change in your organization? There are many resources out there to guide organizations through the initial stages of succession planning and transition (yes, these two things are different- more on that in a future post). Here’s a good one: Graceful Exit: Succession Planning for High-Performing CEOs.

Please be in touch with questions about your organization’s future. I’m here to help!

CEO Transition Made Easier

The first thing to know is, leadership transition is not easy. Not for the outgoing leader, not for the staff and Board, not for the incoming person. But there are ways to make transition easier for everyone.

Take a look at this column from Nonprofit Quarterly which talks about how planning and transparency play a big part in easing the angst inherent in the process. The column points out that transition coaches or consultants can be used to assess where the sticky points might be, and to help move things along. There are some great resources cited here as well.

I’d love to discuss your transition plans with you. Please be in touch!

Succession Planning is Good Planning

The statistic that more than half of current nonprofit CEOs plan to leave their jobs in the next 5 years is sobering. But what's even more sobering is the companion statistic that only 34% of nonprofit organizations have a succession or transition plan in place. If one of the primary responsibilities of a nonprofit board is to ensure the sustainability of the organization, then lack of planning for the departure of the CEO is a serious problem. Leaders may leave because they are asked to, but there are many other reasons, some of them occurring suddenly and without notice. In those cases, an organization without a succession plan may be in a very bad way.

Thinking in advance about leadership transition can have a positive impact on organizations. Creating a plan while current leadership is still in place is essential to long-term protection, and should be part of strategic planning for every nonprofit. During the process, board members can have more insight into the actual job the CEO does, and how that role might be reimagined or reconfigured. There is also an opportunity for board members to reconnect with their own roles and become a more effective governing force.

When accomplished effectively, a succession plan creates a comfort zone for the board and CEO, and allows the organization to focus on achieving its mission.

Does your board need to talk about succession? Please be in touch with me at