Adding Success to Your Succession Planning

Organizations are only as strong as the people who contribute their time into seeing them grow. However, at some point, these leaders move on – they may retire, or move on to other opportunities. By having a clear and concise succession plan, organizations can take some of the uncertainty out of retirements and resignations. Being prepared can also ensure continued stability during times of transition. Here are some leading practices to keep in mind to ensure success in your succession plans:

  • Have Key Board Members and Staff On-Board: Identify a committee from your Board of Directors, including key management staff, to work on crafting a succession plan. While most succession plans are for your organization’s top leaders – your CEO or Executive Director – you may need to consider other key staff.
  • Identify Recruitment Needs and Organizational Challenges: During a succession period, organizations have an opportunity to identify challenges and areas for growth as they look to fill an open position. Your succession plan can help you identify gaps and needed skill sets.
  • Build for the Unexpected: Sometimes a change is announced ahead of time, sometimes it comes without warning. Your succession plan should identify ways to handle unexpected circumstances; such as ensuring other staff and volunteers have training to handle tasks and duties during a transition..
  • Identify and Foster Internal Talents: Your best bet is to plan ahead and ensure your organization has a pool of talent and future leaders. Provide opportunities for people to grow into new roles as they work with your organization, building future pathways for individuals to take on greater roles and leadership positions as they move forward.

There are many other steps you can take as part of your succession plan,but it is important to choose what is right for your organization.

Further Reading

You Need a Succession Plan – Here’s How to Put One Together

Succession Planning for Nonprofits – Managing Leadership Transitions

Nonprofit Succession Planning Checklist

Learning How to Do Succession Planning from Younger Leaders

Transition Plan Template for Executive Directors

Nonprofit Succession Planning