Nonprofit Leadership: Succession Planning Is a Must
As you begin the process of creating a succession-planning model in your organization, Dan Keller, owner and editor of Career CoPilot, provides seven tips for best practices in this evolving area:
- Provide multiple routes within an organization for career advancement, and be innovative and open to new and modified job descriptions.
- Reward managers for developing talent, and praise managers for thinking outside of the box.
- Use enterprise learning as a performance lever, and have development plans for each employee.
- Understand that senior management isn't the only designation for every employee. See what each employee can do best, and maximize employees' skills and reward them accordingly.
- Train managers to be coaches, and provide them with the right tools. Take the time to cultivate the skills of the people who will give a direct impact on the development of your employees. Make sure your HR people also have the ability to train employees.
- Allow employees to move horizontally as well as vertically in the organization. If possible, challenge your employees, and consistently cross-train them.
- Make transparency a priority. Provide access to information. Provide measurement criteria and career opportunities. Technology can help, and always seek best-of-class practices.
According to the Center for Association Leadership, leaders should assist with succession planning with the end of their tenure in mind. Knowing the time line for a possible change in leadership begins the process for succession planning. Once that is known, identify gaps between the leadership requirements and existing talent pool. Also understand the current and future organizational needs and what is required for the next leader to be successful in a changing not-for-profit fundraising environment. This activity involves many stakeholders and is certainly not easy.
In the article "Succession Planning for Nonprofits of All Sizes," in Board Café, Tim Wolfred and Jan Masaoka note that more nonprofits are realizing that leadership transition is a crucial moment in an organization's life. Thinking should always take place about how to set the next stage for a strong transition.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.