by Peggy Forrest
Most of us would agree that any organization’s ability to successfully carry out its mission is tied to the quality of its leadership. Be that a President, CEO, or Executive Director - the effectiveness of that person’s leadership, makes a difference. So, it’s easy to understand why it is mission critical to ensure the next leader will be the correct one, and the transition from one leader to the next will be as smooth as possible. This is especially true in maternity housing because of the deeply personal nature of the work. Leadership transition is critically important, and having a plan guiding that effort will help reduce the stresses which accompany such a transition. Succession planning takes focus and effort. It involves the Board of Directors working in partnership with the current leader.
A succession plan has three main goals:
- Guide the Board in the recruitment and selection of new leadership.
- Facilitate a smooth transition
- Maintain continuity of operations and organizational sustainability
A succession plan contemplates:
- Planned departures
- Unplanned departures
- Internal talent development
A succession plan should include:
- A timetable - from notice to end of transition period
- A review of organization’s strategic direction
- The development of a leadership profile
- A recruitment strategy
- An onboarding and transition plan
- A communication strategy
Regardless of the age of your Agency, or the tenure of your leader, succession planning may be a timely and important topic to address during your Agency’s next strategic planning efforts.
Heartbeat International has additional information related to succession planning in our Governing Essentials Manual. Click here to find out more.