Whether planned or unplanned, the average nonprofit Executive Director holds office for 7.6 years according to a recent study out of Temple University and University of Missouri. How prepared is your organization for a leadership transition or other challenges to the stability of the organization?
- Is your Board and staff leadership aware of the key issues that influence the organization’s viability and sustainability?
- Is there a succession plan in place and does your organization have the capacity to ensure continuity of operations in the face of an unforeseen crisis or change in market conditions?
- How attractive is the organization to the caliber of candidates you want to recruit for the staff or Board?
- In a transition, how will you assess whether to select an Interim Executive Director from the staff, appoint a Board member or hire an Interim from a professional organization?
Interim Executive Solutions (IES) prepares nonprofits to ensure that they are well positioned for their next phase of growth and helps them capitalize on the opportunity that leadership transitions can offer.
An independent organizational review, gathering input through staff, Board and stakeholder interviews and analyzing key measures of stability and impact, will surface issues that should be addressed. This analysis will inform the actions of the current leader and the Board and will prioritize the actions that should take place in order to stabilize and strengthen the organization. This review will also inform the Board as to whether the organization would benefit from additional temporary capacity and professional expertise to address time sensitive tactical and strategic needs.
Transitions are often a surprise. Either the current Executive Director decides to move on or something happens that prompts the Board to make a change. Even when departures are anticipated, many organizations do not make plans until fairly close to the transition. An effective transition plan will ensure that there are well-defined roles and responsibilities in the event of an unexpected crisis or an anticipated departure and that the steps needed to prepare the board and staff for a new leader are clear. IES works with nonprofits to address the essential elements of a transition plan including maintenance of operations, stakeholder communications, interim leadership, financial stability, staff engagement and more.
The decision as to whom to place in the interim executive role depends on knowing what needs to happen during the transition period. A short, objective organizational review will surface the issues that should be addressed during the transition in order to stabilize and strengthen the organization and prepare it to attract its next leader. This review will inform the Board as to whether an internal appointment could effectively fulfill the interim role or whether the organization would benefit from additional capacity and professional expertise to address time sensitive tactical and strategic needs.
When professional interim leadership is appropriate, IES can provide seasoned professionals who have the requisite skills and knowledge and will fit the culture of your organization. Our process includes learning about your needs, carefully identifying candidates from our pool of experienced professionals, and, should you select one of our associates, supporting your Board and the Interim Executive Director throughout the entire engagement. The goal is to ensure that your organization maximizes the opportunity presented by the transition of leadership.
Mentoring and Facilitation Support
Integral to our transition leadership practice is a focus on strengthening the staff, Board and often the new leadership through individual and team mentoring and facilitation. We also offer mentoring and facilitation support to organizations that are interested in successfully onboarding new Board members, making changes to their senior staff, initiating or refining programs or responding to crises or stakeholder concerns.
In order to prepare the organization for what comes next, nonprofits often need to review their strategic vision, Board governance, financial policies and reporting, human resources and other aspects of their operations. Through our team of professionals and our network of partners, IES can direct you to resources that can meet your needs and position your organization for the future.
Contact us for a free confidential consultation
Whether you are planning a leadership transition or exploring issues of governance, succession or improved operating team effectiveness, tell us your story. We may be able to provide insights and strategies to help you achieve your goals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-855-INT EXEC.
Who We Are
We are business and nonprofit professionals dedicated to strengthening the nonprofit sector by assisting organizations to increase their productivity and impact. Interim Executive Solutions is led by three partners, each with extensive experience as a leader in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds: Christian Dame, David Harris and Frank Reece. Together with our team of associates we bring broad experience as well as specialized expertise that can be accessed as needed by nonprofit organizations throughout New England, New York (including Upstate) and New Jersey.
IES: Informing, Effecting and Supporting Nonprofit Transitions