Updated: Sep 1, 2021
The "turnover tsunami" predicted by management experts back in March has hit hard. In fact, LinkedIn News has termed the phenomenon "The Great Resignation." Folks, this isn't media hype. Nonprofits are seeing turnover at a rate like never before, and the biggest impact is to the highest-level positions.
In June, I spoke with Gary Ramano of Civitas Strategies on Coffee Conversations about succession planning for the CEO. Gary has literally written the book on strategic planning, entitled Finding Your North Star.
Leadership succession planning is just "planning for planned or unplanned transitions so you don't lose time and money" or negatively impact your organization's culture. Gary emphasized the importance of thinking of succession planning as "risk mitigation" to incrementally address the issue of leadership transitions in manageable, bite-size activities. The three components to risk mitigation for transitions in leadership positions are as follows:
Develop an Emergency Procedure or a crisis management plan.
Capture the leader's knowledge.
Commit to how you are going to search for a replacement.
A consultant can assist you with the risk mitigation process by creating a pathway to ultimately achieve the full results, helping you articulate what you want (versus what someone else things you need), leveraging resources with someone who will hold you accountable, and acting as a teacher so the effort can be duplicated for other leadership positions.
Meanwhile, do your best to hold on to those key people by creating a healthy organizational culture.