The Mission Center

From Enterprise Risk Management to Shared Leadership: A Different Look at Succession Planning

June 23, 2015 Posted by The Mission Center - No Comments
The robust sustainability lens offered by “Leadership New England: Essential Shifts for a Thriving Nonprofit Sector,” a new Third Sector New England (TSNE) report, makes a compelling case for future-thinking leadership and calls for an end to the more static notion of succession planning as a “plan.” With sustainability as the focus, nonprofit staff and boards can and should consider a whole range of circumstances related to transitions of leadership that create risks to the mission.Consider such events as the sudden departure of the executive director on an unplanned medical leave, or the departure of a key staff member—perhaps the only staff member who knows how to send out the nonprofit’s newsletter. There are also risks when board leaders transition: the dynamics of board meetings change; the all-important relationship between CEO and board chair changes; and in cases of unplanned resignations before the end of a board member’s term, distractions can derail the board’s focus as the board is required to either fill a vacancy or reshuffle officer or other leadership positions on the board. Any of these events can weaken an organization, making it even more vulnerable to resource strains. It’s harder to attract new talent and more difficult to adapt to the changing circumstances happening all around. Read more…

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