transition consulting

Are You Ready For Takeoff?

What makes a nonprofit willing and able to change and grow? Is there a “secret formula” to this readiness?

In her blog on Social Velocity, Nell Edgington identifies 5 traits that indicate an organization might be a good candidate for change or growth:

  • You have momentum among Board and staff: while not all of your key internal stakeholders need to agree, a significant number of them have to believe that the time for change is now

  • You have a clear idea what the definition of change is: you are utilizing opportunities to consider and discuss what change looks like for your organization and you can set some specific goals for change.

  • There is a belief that change can happen: the collective power of positive thinking creates momentum and enthusiasm.

  • You have the ability to have difficult conversations about potential challenges to growth: you have a group that is able to confront these issues and be honest about how to address them.

  • There is a strong commitment across the organization: everyone participates, everyone has a specific role and a way to be involved in making and facilitating change.

As Edgington says, you either have these traits, or you develop them. But without them, you won’t get too far.

Is your organization ready for takeoff? I can help!

Change Happens

Change is the only constant in life.   ~ Heraclitus Every job ends in a transition. The success of that transition depends on when, how and how well it's managed. When we're talking about a change in leadership, it can be a traumatic process for everyone in the organization. And, the longer a leader has been in place, the more challenges there may be for a successor.

I like to tell the CEOs I coach that part of leading well is leaving well. Part of an "exit strategy" is knowing how to prepare yourself and your organization for the impending change. Here are a few tips that may help you with transitioning out of your organization:

  • Start early: transition takes time. If you are thinking of leaving, start planning. Review your organization's succession plan (you DO have a succession plan, don't you?), inform your board chair, and start the ball rolling.
  • Take an active role: make a commitment to be part of the process, as much or as little as your board requests.
  • Set a date and stick to it: it's much more difficult for your organization to plan for your departure if you keep changing the timeline. Even if it's 2 years in the future, it helps for everyone to have a goal for accomplishing the difficult task of replacing you.
  • Continue to be a leader: Be professional as you prepare the organization, prepare your board and staff, and prepare yourself for what is coming next. Continue to show up!
  • Manage internal and external communications: when appropriate, inform stakeholders, donors and others about your plans. Don't let gossip or social media leaks spread the word.
  • Know when to express emotion: a planned departure allows you to celebrate your tenure and allows the organization to honor your legacy. It's OK to express your emotions about leaving.
  • Leave gracefully and decisively: once your successor is identified, make your plans to step away. If you have been asked to assist in your successor's onboarding, do so and then finalize your transition.


I want to help you and your organization through its transitions. Please reach me at

Welcome to the New Year!

“For last year's words belong to last year's languageAnd next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."

T.S. Eliot

For those who celebrate the Jewish New Year, this is a time for reflection and atonement. Many people approach this period as an opportunity to set a new direction for themselves, or to set intentions to work on aspects of themselves that might need adjustment in the coming year.

Change is always difficult, but refusing to acknowledge that you need to change is worse in the long run.  I wish all who are celebrating a joyous and healthy New Year, and an easy path to change.