For many associations, succession planning is a multi-year, highly engaged and process driven activity. For others, it comes down to nominating someone who is not in the room. Here are some tips to help with your succession planning:
1. Build a long-term strategy. Every volunteer association has been faced with an incoming leader who has a job or life change and is unable to serve. Associations that have a 3-5 year succession plan can easily manage this challenge. If you don’t have a long-term succession strategy in place, now is the time to build one.
2. Engage your star volunteers. You know this person. They attend every board meeting and event, they deliver on their commitments, they are devoted to your association and industry. Foster that devotion and engage those volunteers early on in discussions about future leadership positions.
3. Set a clear path. As part of your strategy, build a marketing campaign around what it takes to be a leader in your association and how to get there. Clearly explain to candidates what is involved, share job descriptions and offer informal sessions to answer questions from potential future leaders.