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How to Make Succession Strategic

Executive transitions should be opportunities to think about an organization’s future

Nonprofits tend not to spend a lot of time talking about CEO succession, and there are some obvious reasons for that. No successful CEO wants to contemplate leaving, and no board that’s comfortable with its current CEO wants to dedicate its already scarce resources to thinking about a problem where none is seen to exist. After all, it’s hard enough to get a board to focus on the strategic priorities it’s working on—which the CEO likely had a hand in.

But perhaps that’s just the problem: Done right, CEO succession ought to be considered a strategic matter.

That’s a point that emerges in “Lessons From the Front Line for Nonprofit CEO Successions,” a article published last month in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In it, authors Eben Harrel and Gali Cooks discuss their research into the (lack of) succession planning in "non-profitdom." Though their focus is on Jewish nonprofits, the findings are broadly applicable to nonprofits and associations.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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