Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Thoughtful non-profit succession planning – 12/10/12

Nonprofit succession planning is one of those best practices that boards are not encouraged to work on. In fact, barely more than 30% of U.S. nonprofits have a plan they can go to during a big time of organizational change.

But a thoughtful succession plan is absolutely necessary because a lot of executive directors will be retiring soon, and newer and younger executive directors don’t stay as along as their predecessors. It provides continuity and certainty during change.

On this week’s show, I interview Paula J. MacLean of MacLean Management Consulting. She has more than 30 years experience as a business owner and nonprofit executive director and adult educator. Paula points out that succession plans should consider three areas: emergency situations, anticipated short-term leaves, and a final departure. Related to this show is one I did with Paula back in August of 2011 where we talked about Five Questions for an Executive Director Performance Review.

Here is a SAMPLE SUCCESSION PLAN that worked beautifully for Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis a year ago when the executive director departed. Everyone knew what to do: they simply turned to the document and took action from there.

And let me just add that my guest also is the author of six human resource books, including The Supervisor’s Big Book of Answers and also, Great Boards Plain and Simple. Her company operates a publishing company, Silver Creek Press.