The purpose of succession planning is to have a plan in place when someone within your organization leaves. This could be a career change, retirement, or an immediate life altering situation. Most of the time you can’t predict what’s going to happen, so having a succession plan in place can help work through the chaos when something unexpected happens. Deloitte reports that while 86 percent of leaders believe leadership succession planning is an “urgent” or “important” priority, only 14 percent believe they do it well. Similar to buying accounting software, succession planning is a function that you only do a handful of times in your career. It is realistic to feel that you don’t do it well if you don’t do it often.
Among faith-based succession planning experts, such as William Vanderbloemen from Vanderbloemen and Todd Clark from Slingshot, it is believed that succession planning is done better in the boardroom and not the nonprofit/church meeting room. “I think it might be easier in the boardroom because leaders live separate lives from the companies that they run. Faith-based leaders don’t delineate life and work, making it harder, and more emotional, to take a step back. You also need to have a great deal of empathy for the family and congregation – it’s not just about the leader’s next chapter, it’s everyone’s next chapter,” says Todd Clark, Senior Associate in Senior Leadership at Slingshot Group.
There’s a family component in many nonprofit organizations that isn’t as prevalent in for-profit businesses that adds emotion to the equation. Ministry is a calling that occupies round-the-clock attention and a vast amount of spiritual energy. It’s only natural, in all the faith-based organizations that I work with, that there is an emphasis on family as an organizational value.
Family is a part of our faith. Ephesians 2:19 ESV: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” When you work for a faith-based nonprofit organization, your entire family adopts the mission and values of that organization. It is where we spread the word of God, ask for the gifts of God’s grace, and provide a helping hand to those that need it. We pray together as an organization and as an extended family. So, the thought that one of our family members might leave us can sometimes be perceived as unfathomable – even though it is a realistic possibility that requires a solid plan.
Download the full eBook: Succession Planning for the Back-Office
In our eBook, we dig into succession planning and discuss why it is so important. We provide stories and statistical data to help you clearly understand the necessity of succession planning.
In our eBook we cover the following topics:
- The Purpose of Succession Planning
- The Importance of Good Leadership
- Culture Really Matters
- What You Need to Know About Hiring Millennials
- Hiring from Within
- Succession Planning for the Back-Office
- Red Flags to Watch Out For
- What’s Next?