I have been struck by some recent studies that show the proportion of long-term executive directors still in their jobs after 10 or more years. Many of them are over 50.
I am one of those, and I know many others, and what I would like to say about all that is that we and our boards have a responsibility to create so-called succession plans. I say “so-called” because in these processes we should not just be looking at one individual succeeding another but at how the array of leadership in an organization can be improved through the process of an executive transition. That way, whatever we have brought to our positions (or at least the good stuff) gets sustained and built out…and in the end we have a clear shared sense of the leadership skills, organizational competencies, and worldview the organization needs for the challenges it will face in the future. There are some tricks to seeing these things with clear eyes.
How should you approach surfacing and building and testing new leadership throughout the organization? How do you create redundancies that make is robust and resilient? What cultural quirks does your organization have that might cause it to need a particular kind of leader? Are relationships with important stakeholders broadly held? Does the board depend too much on you to set direction? All of these questions and many more should be surfaced and addressed well before you are actually getting to leave.
It is for this reason that NPQ, in collaboration with BoardSource and Raffa P.C., will bring you a four-part series that focuses on some of the best practices around executive transition. The series will be full of instructive stories and how-to’s for board member and executives, and we will link you to all of the most recent literature on the topic.
Additionally, the fact that it is web delivered gives you a bit of anonymity and if you are, for instance, an executive who wants a bit of alone time to understand the landscape of the leave this can be useful.
In each of the sessions we will give the participants a chance to ask questions and post session readings will be delivered.
Sign up now for the first webinar on March 31st and get on the list to be informed about the rest. First come, first served!