When Founders Leave

News flash for anyone connected to a nonprofit led by a
founder or much loved, long-serving executive director:  someday that person is going to leave.  Regardless of timing or circumstance, when it
comes to replacing that iconic leader, the board is likely going to make one of
the biggest mistakes possible.  One that
is preventable.  

Let’s review the common mistakes boards make when hiring the
next executive director.  The most
egregious is not having created a succession plan long before it was time to
even think about hiring the next executive director.  Read more

Four Suggestions for New Executive Directors

A recent article in KelloggInsight, a newsletter from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, shared the discernments of Alex Schneider, an adjunct faculty member teaching innovation and entrepreneurship.

Apparently, he likes buying (and selling) existing small
businesses, and he has definite thoughts on what those who do this need to know
once they become the new boss.  We so
often recognize the greater similarities between small for-profits and their
nonprofit peers than what these small organizations share with their larger
“same-sex” siblings, that it is no wonder that his four suggestions Read more

Second-Class Citizen

We recently got a request from a smart executive director who wanted to enroll in our Certificate in Nonprofit Management.  She thought it would be a good thing for her, as she could learn new things, get a refresher on old things and expand her network.  But, she didn’t know how to justify this to the Board.  Her request:  did we have any data that showed the benefit of pursuing this professional development opportunity?

What?  Isn’t what she enumerated justification enough?  If need be, however, there Read more

Yo Nonprofit Boards: Get Your Heads Out of the Sand

This is a public health announcement: there is two-pronged epidemic of poor judgment—severe to extreme–affecting the nonprofit sector and it must act quickly to immunize itself.

Yes, I am sounding the alarm because nonprofit boards are risking the health, well-being, and in tough times we could even say survival, of the organizations they are shepherding by keeping their heads in the sand. No longer is the crisis of executive leadership turnover looming; it is already upon us.

And what are boards doing to address this? Read more

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