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Managing Executive Transitions : A Guide for Nonprofits

Managing Executive Transitions: A Guide for Nonprofits

Binding Information: Softcover 
Product Code: 
Fieldstone Alliance
7" X 10" X .41"

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The Essential Guide for Managing Leadership Turnovers
A leadership transition can be a time of high vulnerability for a nonprofit organization. On the other hand, an executive turnover offers unique opportunities for renewal and fresh thinking. Managing Executive Transitions†shows how this state of transition can give board and staff members a chance to put things back together in new and creative waysóto discard some old pieces and to bring in fresh elements.

Nonprofit boards and executive directors will find practical advice on how to manage leadership turnovers in ways that can heighten mission impact while avoiding potential downsides. Author Tim Wolfred recommends a transformational process of three phases: Prepare, Pivot, and Thrive.
  • In the Prepare phase board members, staff, volunteers, and funders engage in an efficient process for updating the agency's strategic directions and crafting a profile of the skills needed in the next executive.
  • In the Pivot phase a search ensues, conducted by a board reinvigorated and excited about the agency's future impact.
  • In the Thrive phase the board engages the newly hired executive as a leadership partner and gives him or her clear performance priorities derived from the strategic directions.

Engaging case studies and hands-on tools such as planning agendas, timelines, sample letters, and communication tips will smooth the transition to new executive leadership.


What others are saying about Managing Executive Transitions...

“A governance paradox is that nonprofit board members are often least prepared for their most important role: the selection of a new leader. Tim Wolfred guides board members through the leadership search, selection, and 'on boarding' in a way that will work for a variety of organizations. An invaluable resource.”
—Thomas N. Gilmore, Vice President, CFAR; Senior Fellow, Whartonís Health Care Management Department

“This book offers multiple perspectives and tools for guiding an organization through an executive leadership transition. For the price of a single book, readers will find all the information normally offered in a $1,000 three-day training.”
—Suzanne Maas, Partner, Leadership Transitions

“Itís all here: A step-by-step model with easy to use guidelines and tools that cover every piece of the transition process. This resource will help boards of directors sleep better at night.”
—Nancy Fuhrman, Vice-President of Consulting, Executive Service Corps of Chicago

Managing Executive Transitions can save nonprofit organizations thousands of hours of frustration and work. Tim Wolfred demystifies and depersonalizes the leadership transition process by offering doable strategies, factual information, and practical examples.”
—Marta T. Rosa, President, MTR Management Consulting Services

“This book should be required reading for every executive director and board chair whether they are anticipating a transition or not. Tim Wolfred provides perspectives and insights that will help organizations be more sustainable.”
—Bryan Orander, President, Charitable Advisors, LLC

“This is a remarkably comprehensive book. Examples, templates, and sample documents give organizations all the how-to tools needed to move forward with a transition. While no two leadership successions are alike, readers will find guidance here for organizations of all sizes.”
—Alene Valkanas, Principal, Evergreen Transitions, and Executive Director Emeritus, Illinois Arts Alliance

“Finally, a comprehensive compendium that brings together the wisdom and experience of Tim Wolfred and CompassPoint. This guide can help organizations normalize a ënot normalí time.”
—Nancy Jackson, Consultant, Gammy Bird Consulting

“Even though a leadership transition is stressful and time-consuming for an organization, this book helps readers recognize that new leadership also provides a unique opportunity for change and growth.”
—Jay Zlotnick, former Executive Director, Buckelew Programs

Table Of Contents: 

List of Tools (see below)
About the Author
About CompassPoint Nonprofit Services

Goals of the Book
Who This Book Is For
How to Use This Book
Where to Start Reading

Chapter One
Leadership Transitions as Opportunities for Agency Renewal
Model and Rationale
Types of Transitions

Chapter Two
Essential Elements of a Successful Leadership Transition
The Three Phases of Executive Transition Management
The Essential Elements for a Successful Transition

Chapter Three
Getting Organized
Updating the Agency's Leadership Agenda
Creating the Candidate Profile

Chapter Four
Upgrading Organizational Capacity
Attending to Staff Transition Needs
The Search
Screening and Hiring

Chapter Five
Getting Started
Performance Goals and Evaluation
Building the Board and Executive Team
Professional Development for the New Executive

Chapter Six
Transition Topics
Considerations for the Long-Tenured Executive
The Role of the Departing Executive
Dealing with Internal Candidates
Crafting Exit Packages
Grooming a Successor
Embracing Diversity and Difference
Using an Interim Executive Director
Choosing and Using Consultants and Recruiters


Appendix A
Stepping Up: A Board's Challenge in Leadership Transition

Appendix B
Emergency Succession-Planning Template
Emergency Succession Plan

Appendix C
Web Sites

List of Tools
Tool 1: Sample Agenda for First Meeting of the Transition Committee
Tool 2: Sample Timeline & Work Plan
Tool 3: Communications Plan: First Letter to Stakeholders
Tool 4: Board Survey Questions
Tool 5: Board Self-Assessment Survey
Tool 6: Sample Staff Survey
Tool 7: Sample Questions for Community Interviews
Tool 8: Creating the Leadership Agenda and Candidate Profile
Tool 9: Sample Leadership Agenda
Tool 10: Candidate Profile
Tool 11: Attending to Staffís Transition through All Three Phases
Tool 12: Sample Job Announcement
Tool 13: Sample Recruitment Plan
Tool 14: Sample Memo to Board and Staff on Networking
Tool 15: Summary of Typical Screening Sequence
Tool 16: Sample Letter of Acknowledgment to Applicants
Tool 17: Examples of First-Round Interview Questions
Tool 18: Behavioral Interviewing
Tool 19: Sample Candidate Rating Form
Tool 20: Checking References
Tool 21: Sample Agenda for Finalistsí Interviews and Decision-Making Meeting
Tool 22: Making a Choice
Tool 23: Offer Letter Template
Tool 24: Rejection Letter to Applicants Not Interviewed
Tool 25: Hiring Announcement Letter
Tool 26: Sample New Executive Director Orientation Plan
Tool 27: Sample Set of Executive Performance Goals
Tool 28: Executive Director Annual Assessment Form