Tom Adams is a director with Raffa PC, a consulting and finance services company. Adams has focused his writing, learning, and consulting for two decades on nonprofit executive transition and succession, contributing greatly to the development of nonprofit practice related to executive transitions, succession, and sustainability planning. He is author of The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Other writings may be found at www.raffa.com/newsandresources/publications.
Executive transitions, we are warned, must be taken very seriously. A wrong hire can erode cash, reputation, relationships, and much more. But is this narrative necessarily true, or is there more to the story that would completely change the stakes?
“Every executive and board leader will leave some day. Every person who adds value will, as well.” This article looks at how to manage leadership change in a way that is forward-looking, not reactionary, and which employs the opportunities that transitions brings to improve outcomes and better achieve the organization’s mission.
This case reflecting a new practice model discusses in a vibrant and resonant way how one community-based nonprofit blended business, strategic, and succession planning to support an executive transition.
In practical guidance for executive directors, Adams clarifies responsibilities and expectations as they approach their own transition—which is a unique opportunity for significant changes in an organization’s focus and capacity.
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