|Change at the Top - Risks and Opportunities|
What Does the Research Say?
The findings from the latest Daring to Lead study from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Meyer Foundation are sobering. Why sobering? Because while we work with many engaged boards and funders who are helping to strengthen the executive leadership of the sector, there are many others who do not realize the extent of the issues or are not aware of potential solutions. This national study reflects the trends we see here in the tri-state area, and their recommendations also mirror best practices we have found to work.
Several aspects of nonprofit leadership are explored, but here we focus on highlights relating to Executive Transitions, a growing part of our work:
- As reported in previous Daring to Lead studies, the large majority of executive directors --67% in 2011-- report that they will be leaving their jobs within the next five years. And an additional 7% have already given notice. Executive and boards are still reluctant to talk proactively about succession and just 17% of organizations have a documented succession plan.
- 33% percent of current executives followed a leader who was fired or forced to resign, indicating the frequency of mis-hires and unclear expectations between boards and executives across the sector.
- Many boards see executive transition ending with a successful hire. And many new leaders in the study were challenged by establishing effective partnerships with their boards. These executives were confounded by the lack of strategy, resources, and personal support they got from their boards.
The author's "Calls to Action" include strategies that will help prepare for these executive departures, and ensure healthy transitions and productive, effective, and satisfied new leaders: Read more...