The first section contains extended explanations of three approaches to succession planning: strategic leader development, emergency succession planning, and departure-defined succession planning. The second looks closely at tough issues organizations may face when planning for succession. The last section offers tools and resources, many of which have been used by the leadership consultants who designed the three approaches.
An emergency succession plan, or plan for contingencies, is developed and maintained to address circumstances related to an organization facing an unplanned event –most often the disability, death or sudden departure of key staff or board leadership. It provides needed stability and calm in a time of turmoil. It defines tasks and responsibilities to be carried out in the short term, and by whom, and includes a current inventory of all critical organizational records, service providers and key stakeholders. This document includes procedures that may be followed (or adapted to follow) in the event of such an emergency.It also includes a sample inventory which maybe adapted as prudent.
In this model, special emphasis is given to identifying the key leadership functions carried by the executive, identifying the agency managers best qualified to step into the executive role in an emergency, and prescribing the cross-training necessary to prepare the back-up managers to cover the leadership functions. One major side benefit to implementing this plan is a management team with enhanced leadership skills.
Organizations can modify this sample succession plan to fit their needs, or use it to inform the creation of their own succession plans.
Model succession plan that can be modified by nonprofits to fit their needs.
This toolkit is a resource for nonprofit board of directors and executive leaders. It provides tools to effectively implement succession planning and overcome barriers. It includes an outline of key planning roles, readiness questions, an overview of the succession-planning process, and supplemental documents and templates that organizations may tailor to fit their specific needs.
Short checklist of things that must be in place in order for a smooth leadership transition to occur.
Appropriate for most nonprofits, but particularly useful for small to mid-size agencies, this publication will provide you with a set of practical tools and resources to help you engage your leadership transition issues and prepare for one of the most important decisions your board will be required to make.
The unexpected departure of a nonprofit’s leader can cause organizational chaos. A nonprofit may establish policies and procedures to guide leadership transitions—unplanned and planned—to prevent damage to the organization and its work. (Print version of ConservationTools.org guide)
Short list of key action items to implement a succession plan for your organization.