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By Jeff Glebocki, Founder & Lead Advisor
Strategy + Action/Philanthropy


Over the past few months, I’ve been in dialogue with a range of organizations about leadership succession. These conversations reminded me about the absolute importance of planning ahead, of being prepared for change. This month, I’m reposting an earlier blog on the topic.


“Over the past decade, ‘board/generational succession’ has been identified as the top issue for foundation boards in 7 of the past 9 years….”*


In the nonprofit sector, almost 50% of organizations don’t have succession plans according to a recent national survey. **


Leadership transitions are inevitable. They are natural moments of evolution and change that affect people and organizations. Leadership transitions can be disruptive and create a sense of loss – so much so that we often choose to avoid thinking ahead about them.


Transitions can threaten the well-being of an organization by disturbing the picture of what the future was supposed to look like. On the flip side, leadership transitions can sometimes provide an opportunity for new beginnings and open the door to revitalized or increased engagement by board and staff.
We can successfully manage leadership transitions by being prepared – and that preparation comes in the form of succession planning.


“What’s Success Got To Do With It” is a paper from Strategy + Action/Philanthropy and Jill Blair Consulting that provides an overview of leadership succession planning.   What it is, why it’s important, and how to create a plan for how your organization can manage the stress of leadership transitions.


“What’s Success Got To Do With It” 


A version of our paper can also be found in the Fall 2015 issue of Essentials, the national newsmagazine from Exponent Philanthropy.


Planning ahead for change can ameliorate the disruption of leadership changes. If you’re organization is exploring how best to prepare for succession of board or staff leadership, contact Strategy + Action/Philanthropy or Jill Blair for an initial consultation.


*”2016 Foundation Operations and Management Report,” Exponent Philanthropy


**”Nonprofit Leaders Bullish on Galas and Mergers and Worried About Keeping Young Talent,: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 9, 2016.

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