Northeast Institute for Quality
Community Action : CAA
Leadership Succession Planning
CONSIDERATIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
GOALS AND TAKEAWAYS
 Define and ID Rationale for Succession Planning
 Identify Critical Factors to consider when drafting
a Succession Plan
 Identify Essential Components of a successful
Succession Plan.
 Identify Resources for Planning support and
assistance.
PREPAING TO PLAN: CONSIDERATIONS
“To fail to prepare is to prepare to
fail.” (John Wooden, UCLA Hall of Fame Basketball
Coach)
PREPARING TO PLAN
 What is Executive Succession Planning?
“A Structured Process to Ensure Organizational
Leadership Continuity in Key Positions and
Retain and Develop Critical Knowledge Capital
and Strategic Relationships for the Future.”*
*Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Nonprofit
Executive Succession Planning Toolkit
PREPARING TO PLAN
Why Plan ????
Proactive vs. Reactive Response to
Inevitable Change or Possible Emergency.
Ensure Orderly Key Agency Leadership Stability and
Continuity During Periods of Transition or Service
Interruption.
Avoid Potential Disruption Associated with Confusion,
or Anxiety of Key Internal/External Stakeholders.
ID/Promote Development of Internal Leadership.
PREPARING TO PLAN
Contingencies to be Considered:
 Short term, planned or unplanned service
interruptions. (3 months or less)
 Long term, planned or unplanned service
interruptions. (more than 3 months)
 Permanent transitions. (planned or unplanned)
PREPARING TO PLAN
What might be some issues or questions
which need to be considered in drafting and
implementing an agency leadership
Succession Plan?
PREPARING TO PLAN
Potential Issues – Questions.
*
Board Ambivalence
*
Executive Ambivalence
*
Staff Concerns
PREPARING TO PLAN
TOPICS (CHANGE/LOSS) MAY BE
UNCOMFORTABLE FOR LEADERS.
* Board Ambivalence (Other Priorities; Denial,
Concerns Reg. Message to ED and Other Key
Stakeholders.
* Executive Ambivalence (Threat, Lame Duck,
Mixed Message to Stakeholders)
* Staff Anxiety, Positioning
Behavior, Morale Issues, etc.
PREPARING TO PLAN
Building a Foundation for Planning:
• Board Chair Discussion with Ex.
Committee Leadership and ED.
• Full Board Discussion/Action.
• Key Stakeholder Communication (as
appropriate).
PREPARING TO PLAN
ARE YOU PREPARED TO PLAN?
Board / Mgt. Commitment?
Updated Strategic Plan informed by
external and internal needs assessments?
Current ED/CEO Job Description?
ARE YOU PREPARED TO PLAN (CONT)?
Updated List of ED/CEO Essential
Leadership/Management Responsibilities
(daily – weekly – monthly – other).
Updated Org. Chart – Key Senior Staff Job
Descriptions-Reporting Relationships.
Key Documents List/Location – Key
Stakeholder Listing.
PREPARING A PLAN
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
*BOARD:
Initiator – Decision-Maker - Communicator – Advisor
Assign to Existing (e.g., Executive, Planning, HR)
Committee, Appoint Special Project Committee or
Address By Board as Committee of the Whole.
*EXECUTIVE:
Advisor – Process Manager/Committee Support –
Information Resource – Communicator.
PREPARING TO PLAN: CONSIDERATIONS.
 Decide if Outside Assistance (Consultant, or
Advisor) is needed.
 Assign Responsibility for Plan Development:
*Appoint a Special Ad Hoc, Planning
Committee that Reports to the Board;
*Assign to an Existing Committee (e.g.,
Executive, Governance, Personnel, etc).
 Determine the Role of Executive/CEO in the
Planning Process.
PREPARING A PLAN
TO DO’S:
DEFINE SCOPE (e.g., Executive Only;
Executive + Selected Senior Managers; etc.
ESTABLISH TIMETABLE
ASSIGN/ALLOCATE RESOURCES.
COMMUNICATE.
PREPARING TO PLAN
Types of Plans:
 Emergency – Short Term Leadership Service
Interruption ( Up to – 3 Months … e.g., Illness/
Injury, Personal Matter, etc).
( + 3 Months … e.g., Illness, Military, etc).
 Extended Leadership Service Interruption
 Planned/Unplanned Permanent Leadership
Transition …. e.g., Illness, Retirement.
EMERGENCY-SHORT TERM
INTERRUPTION UP TO 3 MONTHS
Develop a Notification Protocol (e.g., Bd.
Chairman)
Communication Protocol to Activate Plan:
* Executive Committee
* Appointment of Acting (Internal
Designee) Director.
(3 months continued)
 Communication Protocol Continued:
* Board of Directors.
* Managers – Staff.
* Key Stakeholders (Funders, etc).
Up to 3 months continued
 Review/Confirm Acting Director’s Authority,
Responsibilities,
Supervision and Support.
 Review/Confirm Adjustment of Senior Manager
– Board Officer
(e.g., Treasurer) Roles and Responsibilities
 Review/Confirm Compensation
Eligibility/Adjustment(s) for Executive and Acting
Executive.
LONG TERM INTERRUPTION
+3 MONTHS
 Notification Same as Short Term
 Level #1 Communication-Action Protocol
to Activate Plan:
*Executive Committee Meeting.
*Decision: Hire Interim Executive (External)
or Confirm Appointment of Acting Director
(Internal) for Duration of Absence.
*Confirm Short/Long Term Responsibilities of
Acting Director.
*Draft Contract for Interim ED (if needed), ID
Responsibilities for Search/Screening/Hire.
Long Term Interruption Plan
 Level # 2. Communication Protocol:
*Board of Directors.
*Managers – Staff
*Key Stakeholders.
 Review/Confirm Acting/Interim ED’s Authority,
Responsibilities, Supervision and Support.
 Review/Confirm Adjustment of Senior Manager –
Board Officer Roles and Responsibilities for
Duration of Interruption.
 Review/Confirm Compensation
Eligibility/Adjustments for Executive and any Other
Personnel not Addressed via a Contractual Agreement.
PERMANENT LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
 Unplanned:
*Follow Protocol for Emergency Leadership
Interruption with the following Additional Executive
Committee Responsibilities:
*Decision to Recruit/Employ an Interim ED
Appoint an Acting Director.
* Appointment of an Executive
Search Committee.
*Decision to employ Search Consultant.
*Communicate with Key Stakeholders.
* Initiate Planned Succession Transition Protocol.
PERMANENT LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
 PLANNED TRANSITION (e.g., Retirement):
1.Notification of Board Chairman (6-12 months).
2.Notification of Stakeholders (Board, Staff, Funders)
3. Appointment of Search Committee with
Specification of Responsibility, Timetable,
Support/Resources
(e.g., Staff, Budget, etc).
PERMANENT LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
 PLANNED (CONT.):
4. Committee Review of: Job Description, Strategic
Plan/Mission and Vision Statements, Org. Chart.
5. Committee Organizational Assessment/Scan:
*Selected Board Members
*Selected Staff
*Selected Funders/Supporters
*Selected Community Leaders.
PERMANENT LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
 PLANNED (CONT.):
6. Finalize Job Description – Qualifications –
Critical Skills/Experience – Compensation.
7. Initiate Search – Screening- Selection Process.
8. Negotiate Employment Terms and Conditions.
9. Hiring Recommendation – Board Action.
10. Announcement of Hiring to Internal/External
Audiences.
11. New ED Board Orientation – 30, 45, 90 Day Updates.
WRAPPING UP
 Succession Planning = An Investment in
Organizational Leadership Continuity/Talent Mgt.
 Preparation:
*Acknowledgement of Need- Commitment.
*Decision on Scope – Assignment of Roles and
Responsibilities.
*Communicate – Anticipate/Address Possible
Stakeholder Issues/Concerns
*Collect Essential Information/Documents.
WRAPPING UP
TAKE ACTION: PREPARE AND ADOPT AN
AGENCY PLAN
* Scenarios:
1. Short-Term/Emergency Service
Interruption; 2. Long-Term Service Interruption
and, 3. Permanent Transition.
*Within Each Scenario ID:
.Roles, Responsibilities and Resources Required.
.Action Steps – Timetables.
*Board Plan Adoption – Implementation.
Resources
 www.kc.frb.org/Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Nonprofit-
Executive-Succession-Planning-Toolkit. “Inclusive executive
succession planning toolkit with strategies, guidelines and
templates…”
 http://www.aecf.org click on Publications, keyword: succession
planning.
Casey Foundation. Staying Engaged, Stepping Up.
“How Boards can Prepare for and Manage Transitions and create
Sustainable Leadership”
Casey Foundation. Building Leaderful Organizations.
Framework for Succession Planning Activities.
 http://www.virtualcap.org Extensive information on Transition and
Succession Planning. On home page, scroll down left side to Helpful
Items. Click on VirtualCap Resource Information. Click on
Succession Planning and Emerging Leadership. Program Materials
listed on the Right side.
 Questions, comments?
 Contact info for NIQCA
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Succession Planning for CAAs - Northeast Institute for Quality