Webinar Series on Executive Transitions: Critical Guidance for Boards and Executives

1. An Organizational Sustainability Framework for Executive Transitions:

This session defines terms associated with succession planning and executive transition, and looks at the variables involved in various scenarios. Additionally, we discuss what part succession planning plays in nonprofit sustainability. What are the factors that need to be attended to for the organization not to lose ground during a transition, and how should these generally be approached? What are appropriate and inappropriate end goals for an executive transition?

Presenters: Ruth McCambridge, Editor in Chief Nonprofit Quarterly and Tom Adams, Director of Sustainability, Succession and Transition Planning, Raffa P.C.

Selected Readings:

On Organizational and Financial Sustainability

On Executive Transitions and Succession Planning


2. CEO Confidential: Planning, Communicating & Implementing Your Organizational Exit:

Many nonprofit executive directors begin to think about leaving long before they actually do, but too often they may not share their thinking with others. How do you judge if it is time to leave? When is the right time, and what is the right way to communicate your thoughts and to whom do you raise the issue? Can you stay involved with the organization once you leave and, if so, in what way? What should you do to prepare the organization for your leaving? How involved should you expect to be with considerations about your replacement? The presenters have decades of experience between them and will speak knowledgeably to the variety of circumstances that participants may face. 

Presenters: Susan Egmont, a nonprofit consultant with twenty-seven years of business experience, Deborah Linnell, program officer at van Beuren Charitable Foundation, and Karen Gaskins Jones, principal of JLH Associates.


3. The Common (and Sometimes Pernicious) Traps in Executive Transitions

Drawing from a long career in executive search, Ted will walk participants through a set of sometimes amusing and sometimes frightening but always instructive stories about executive transitions gone right  or wrong. How does one find the right match for an odd culture, deal with divisions on the board, and advise boards about how and when to communicate with funders, the community and other stakeholders

Presenters: Ruth McCambridge, editor in chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly and Ted Ford Webb, Vice President of Ford Web Associates

Selected Readings:

Ted Ford Webb, Successful Successions: Executive Transitions that Worked, NPQ, 2014.

Ted Ford Webb, Meet the Enemy: Considerations for Executive Transition, NPQ, 2014.

Ted Ford Webb, Flying Monkeys: Organizational Considerations in an Executive Transition, Fall/Winter Edition 2013. 


4. Preparing for the Inevitable: The Board’s Role in Succession Planning

Boards have a deep responsibility to plan for executive transition even when that event is not imminently expected. This is the final session of a 4-part webinar series on Executive Transitions where we discuss the role of the board in the process of succession planning.

Presenters: Tim Wolfred, Karen Gaskins Jones, and Vernetta Walker.

Selected Readings:

Vernetta Walker, Boards and Public Displays of Disaffection, NPQ, 2014.

Vernetta Walker, 20/20 Hindsight: A Cautionary Tale in Governance, NPQ, 2014.

Tim Wolfred, Planning for Leadership Emergencies in Community Nonprofits, NPQ, 2014.

Karen Gaskins Jones, Preparing an Organization to Sustain Capable Leadership, NPQ, 2008.