Transition Management Consulting, Inc.

Proper Planning Eases Executive Transitions

by Michael Eder | Aug 14, 2012

Everybody will leave their job eventually, but some boards act like they don't understand that fact. Yesterday's Learning Lab “Quit; You're Fired: Planning for Executive Successions and Transitions” offered insight into how to successfully handle planned and unplanned staff changes.

Robert T. Van Hook, FASAE, CAE, president and interim executive, and Jackie Eder-Van Hook, MSOD, MHD, EVP, both of Transition Management Consulting, Inc., said that once an association identifies the need to replace a staff member the association is already behind. “We believe that succession plans, especially the CEO succession plan, should be reviews and updated every year just like you do with your strategic plans,” Robert said.

The concept of succession plans shocks and scares many boards. “It’s like talking about your own death” Robert said. But having a plan in place for both planned and unplanned vacancies is a key responsibility for a governance group. Proper planning reduces the cost and anxiety involved in a rushed employee recruiting process. “It’s the process (and) the conversation that’s important, not the specific person (being hired),” Jackie said.

Planning allows for careful deliberations, which result better hiring decisions. It also reduces the risk of disruption from staff departures and can create a process to develop and retain staff to meet future needs.

Citation: Published in Daily Now, August 14, 2012, p. 4.