Hiring and supporting the chief executive may be the most crucial responsibility of a nonprofit board.
Change at the executive level — whether planned or abrupt — requires the board to provide strong leadership and direction as it contemplates what the organization needs from its next leader.
Successfully managing the departure of an executive and the recruitment, hiring, and installation of a new executive is a complicated process that typically requires months of work. Boards can get ahead of the game by thinking through their desired course of action in either a planned or emergency transition — a process referred to as succession planning. The practice of succession planning —which should include ongoing updates to ensure that plans reflect the current operating environment — ensures that the executive transition isn’t unnecessarily drawn out by lack of clarity about the process and initial steps, which can have a serious negative impact on the organization.
Unfortunately, according to Leading with Intent, only 34 percent of all organizations have a written executive succession plan. Given that 50 percent of nonprofit boards will be confronted with replacing a chief executive within the next five years, they are putting their organizations at risk.
All nonprofits should have a succession plan in place so that they are prepared for a chief executive transition. Hiring the chief executive may be the most crucial responsibility of a nonprofit board, and BoardSource wants to see you carry it out with confidence and great success.
Chief Executive Succession Planning
Someday your chief executive will leave your organization. Are you prepared? In Chief Executive Succession Planning, you will learn how to create a system that ensures that your organization always has an up-to-date succession strategy. While primarily aimed at board members, the publication can assist chief executives, consultants, senior staff, and others involved with nonprofit boards in developing a proactive approach to succession planning.
$30 members | $45 nonmembers
The resources below can help your board establish a leadership succession plan, understand the phases of an executive transition, and lead the organization to its next stage of leadership.
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