Preparing for Leadership Transition PowerPoint

Preparing for Leadership
Why Transition Planning?
 Leadership, especially executive leadership, is proven to
be critical to organizational success.
Loss of leadership often brings vulnerability…as well as
Loss of leaders can threaten stability.
Different assumptions about leadership replacement can
damage commitment, relationships.
Lack of plan exposes the organization to risks.
Some level of succession planning is associated with higher
organizational performance.
Friedman, 1986; Giambatista, Rowe & Riaz, 2005
A strong nonprofit leader is critical to the
success of organizations, its ability to
continue providing uninterrupted services
to the community and for long term
Nonprofit Executive Succession-Planning
Toolkit, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Transition Dangers
 Conflict over leadership replacement assumptions.
 Loss of organizational knowledge.
 Loss of leader viewed as loss of organization.
 Confusion about what to do and who should do it.
 Poor choice of new leader.
 New leader doomed to fail.
Loss of capacity, impact, confidence and support.
Transition or “Succession” Planning Defined
 …thinking in advance about how to set the stage for a
strong transition.” (Tim Wolfred and Jan Masaoka, Blue Avacado,
February 17, 2009)
 Any type of formal rules or procedures in arranging for
managerial succession. (Huang, 1999)
 Much more that internal talent development.
Is not only about determining your organization’s next
leader, it is a continuous process that assesses
organizational needs, and creates a climate for an
executive to succeed. Nancy R. Adelrod
Types of Leader Transitions
 Planned/ Departure Defined – process
in place for future planned retirement or
permanent departure of executive
 Unplanned/ Emergency – process in
place in the event of sudden departure
(permanent or extended period)
Barriers to Transition Planning
 Fear of provoking organizational “politics” – sending
the wrong message
Time and resource expectations
Lack of understanding and expertise
Underestimating the risks and costs of bad hires
Focusing more on problems—rather than
opportunities—presented by transition
Creating the Conditions for Successful
Leadership Transition
 Strong Leadership: board and staff
 Documented processes and procedures,
organizational knowledge, program plans
Current Strategic Plan
Well-defined roles and responsibilities
Shared knowledge and relationships
Functioning information systems
Knowledge of organization’s capacity
Conditions provide the base for Executing
Succession Activities
• Communications Plan
• Steps for replacing leader
• Systems for orienting and
supporting new leader
Leadership, Strategic Plan, Defined
Responsibilities, Documented processes,
procedures, plans; knowledge of relationships,
strengths, challenges; information systems
Transition Planning Strategies
 Continuous organizational capacity assessment—and
capacity building
Regular strategic planning
Systematic process review and documentation
Culture of leadership development
Leadership succession processes – emergency and
Getting Started
 Short orientation: Board and executive read and
discuss a transition article.
 Start with emergency transition planning.
 Keep it simple where possible.
Putting a good succession plan in place
reflects a commitment to an organization
that goes beyond its strong leaders to serve
its community for as long as it is needed.
Tim Wolfred, 2009
Transition Resources
 Managing Executive Transitions: A guide for Nonprofits; and other
writings by Tim Wolfred.
Succession Planning for Nonprofits of all Sizes by Blue Avacado,
National Council of Nonprofits: www.council of
Annie Casey Foundation.
Emergency Succession Planning Template and Departure-Defined
Succession Planning Timeline and Template byFederal Reserve
Bank of Kansas City: Nonprofit Executive Succession-Planning
Capacity Assessment and Benchmarking tool developed for YWCA
associations by Frank Martinelli and Shelly Schnupp, 2011.
For more information…
Shelly Schnupp
SMS and Associates
 [email protected]
 414-412-0408

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