By: Janine McDonald, OneOC Consultant Advisory Group member)

According to a Bridgespan Group survey, leadership development and succession planning for senior leader positions is the single greatest organizational weakness nonprofits face.  This news would be cause for concern under any circumstances, but is particularly troubling given the intensified demand for leaders that many of our nonprofits are (or soon will be) facing.  More than two-thirds of nonprofit executives plan to quit their jobs within the next five years, according to a Compass Point survey.

Some succession planning tips:

  • If you don’t have a “plan,” start working on one now

  • It’s a process which can take close to a year and requires partnership, shared vision and being explicitly clear on values and strategy

  • Engage a professional search firm to help with executive level hiring

  • Prepare a comprehensive communication plan to inform donors and the community

  • Remember it’s a personal transition as well as a professional transition, don’t ignore that aspect when on-boarding a new executive

Whether your plans are already in motion, or your organization experiences a surprise transition in the next few years, succession planning is a crucial topic to address.

Learn about succession planning for your organization at our upcoming training on June 19, 2014: Succession Planning: Passing the Torch without Getting Scorched. Click here to register now.

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