Succession planning is one of the hardest activities that non-profits take the time to consider. I was recently given a document that I feel every non-profit leader should read. This is because it provides every single consideration, every step, and many resources for completing the task. It is called, ‘Building the Organizations:Succession Planning for NonProfits’, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The author is Tim Wolfred of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services (compasspoint.org).
The document is 20 pages, and I would like to just tell you some of the subjects included, in the interest of space.
- Three ways of thinking about succession planning:
- Strategic leader development – assuring the right skills are present for the leadership in the strategic planning process.
- Emergency succession planning – the document does an excellent job of laying out first steps, of demystifying the hesitancy that ‘being prepared’ might engender, and providing care for the departing leader.
- Creating the probability for successors to the Executive Director and other important leaders to emerge from your talent pool.
- A Succession Readiness list
- The importance of sharing knowledge – to increase bench strength
- The nuts and bolts of Departure-Defined Succession Planning – when a leader announces a departure date ahead of time.
- Getting the Board on board
- The Tough Issues
- Finding an Interim Executive Director
- Tools You Can Use – and where to get them
- Staff surveys
- Stakeholder Surveys
- A sample of an Emergency Succession Plan – with steps to how to accomplish the plan (compasspoint.org/et).
I hope this information will encourage you to consider succession planning as vital to the success and sustainability of your organization.
Author: Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org