Keeping the Success in Succession Planning

While preparing to do some capacity building work with a client, I was enthusiastically told about the capacity building workshops that had already been provided to the organization’s members.

The key presenter of these prior workshops was a renowned expert within this organization’s mission specialty. One of his messages was that everyone on the board must find their own replacements before they can leave.  That’s just so wrong as a practice and sends some of the worst messages possible about board functioning and performance.  But what Read more

January 17th, 2014 0 Comment

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

Whenever I talk about executive director succession planning, one of the things that I always stress is the importance of the outgoing executive director to do just that:  go out.  Leave the organization.  And this is regardless of the individual (founder, long-serving, short-serving) and the reasons for the departure.  Naturally, if the experience with the exiting executive has been a good one, then you want that departure heralded with the proper fanfare.

There is one exception to this hard and fast rule and it only involves Read more

I Dare You

The rule “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is, fortunately, defunct.  At least in the military.  I think, however, it is alive and well in the culture of too many nonprofit boards:  if we don’t ask, we don’t know; if we don’t know, we can think everything is still great; if we think everything is still great, we don’t have to do anything.”  And so it goes.

This practice was the subtext running through my mind as I looked at the results of our survey checking in on Read more