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Daring to Depart: Executive Succession Planning Strategies. PNAIS Institutional Leadership Conference October 26, 2008 Nancy R. Axelrod Governance Consultant Founding President, BoardSource. Goals of the Session.

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daring to depart executive succession planning strategies

Daring to Depart: Executive Succession Planning Strategies

PNAIS Institutional Leadership Conference

October 26, 2008

Nancy R. Axelrod

Governance Consultant

Founding President, BoardSource

goals of the session
Goals of the Session
  • Review results of latest research on executive transitions/succession planning challenges & opportunities.
  • Review practical steps that the Head and the Board can take for successful succession planning.
chief executive leadership transitions are
Chief executive leadership transitions are:
  • Investments in the future
  • Not always expected
  • Often neglected, poorly planned, and/or executed
  • Not amenable to one size fits all approaches
  • Dependent on collaborative planning by the board and head
succession planning vs executive search
Succession Planning Vs. Executive Search
  • SP ≠ executive search or grooming an heir.
  • SP is an ongoing process rather than an intermittent event.
  • SP begins at the time that the new Head is selected.
  • SP is not a linear process.
daring to lead 2006 highlights of a national study of executive leadership
Daring to Lead 2006: Highlights of a National Study of Executive Leadership
  • Executives plan to leave their jobs – but not the nonprofit sector – within five years.
  • Boards of directors contribute to executive burnout.
  • Concerned with organizational sustainability, executives seek new skills and strategies.
  • Bench strength, diversity, and competitive compensation are critical factors in finding future leaders.
succession planning tools
Succession Planning Tools

What can I do as Head to ensure that our school has an effective succession plan?

key succession planning steps for the head
Key Succession Planning Steps for the Head
  • Take responsibility for the board.
  • Build a “leaderful” organization.
  • Grow organizational infrastructure/capacity.
  • Ask for help.
slide10
Live in the question: Am I still the right person for this job?
  • Engage in career planning.
  • Help the board develop an emergency leadership transition plan.
succession planning tools1
Succession Planning Tools

What can the Board do to ensure that our school has an effective succession plan?

key succession planning steps for the board
Key Succession Planning Steps for the Board
  • Take responsibility for the board.
  • Create climate for executive leadership & support/Actively monitor Head’s job satisfaction.
  • Insist on adequate salary and benefits for the Head.
  • Conduct board, Head, & institutional assessments.
  • Develop ELT plan.
  • Discuss succession planning.
dimensions of the elt plan
Dimensions of the ELT Plan
  • Communication and notification
  • Financial oversight
  • Legal counsel
  • Acting/Interim management
  • Executive search
helpful resources on chief executive succession planning
Helpful resources on chief executive succession planning
  • Chief Executive Succession Planning: The Board’s Role in Securing Your Organization’s Future, by Nancy R. Axelrod. Published by BoardSource: www.boardsource.org
  • Board Newsletter: www.boardcafe.org
slide16
“While chief executive departures are often unexpected, executive leadership transitions are inevitable.”Source: Chief Executive Succession Planning: The Board’s Role in Securing Your Organization’s Future, by Nancy R. Axelrod: BoardSource 2002.
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