Today, we’ll start by learning a little about you, our ASTD leaders, on the call today.Then, through the use of stories, we will learn about how two chapters have handled succession planning.And after we gain some insights from those chapters, we’ll review best practices associated with each of the five steps to successful succession planning that are contained in the new succession planning toolkit
Why are you on the call today?- I am ACTIVELY INVOLVED in succession planning at my chapter- My chapter does succession planning, but I am NOT INVOLVED- I am CURIOUS ABOUT succession planning, because our chapter does little succession planning- I had NOTHING ELSE to do this hour, and just can’t get enough of ASTD
Today’s webcast will help you and your chaptersEvaluate future leadership and talent needsIdentify individuals who can satisfy those needsDevelop bench strength so that the chapter can thrive over the long termBetter engage volunteers by connecting to what really interests themPrepare individuals for their eventual role(s)Share the load!So … Let’s get started with a story. It won’t be too long, so…I think … one big cookie and a small glass of milk will be just fine.
Welcome to the classic …. a “Tale of Two Chapters”. Our two main characters are the Acorn Chapter and the Oak Tree Chapter
Let’s hear first from Birdie, current president of the Oak Tree Chapter, as she tell us about their succession planning process…Birdie: Thanks Bob.At the Oak Tree chapter, we always talk about succession planning. We put succession planning on every board agenda, even if it just for five minutes. We know that one of the top priorities of the board is to find successors.Specifically, we created a succession planning committee to manage the process from spring until end of the year when the new board members officially begin their term. A few current board members serve on the committee, which is chaired by our President-Elect. We also have several chapter members who do not serve on the board. We find this helps provide a broader perspective.
The first tasks of the succession planning committee are to:Establish objectives for the team. While this may sound obvious, it gets everyone on the same page. We used the objective that was created in the past, which was “Through implementation of a succession planning process, the Oak Tree Chapter will identify at least two potential leaders for each board position.”
We reviewed the design of the succession planning program. It was critical that all members of the succession planning committee understand the basic framework of the planning process. We did not take some generic example -- we designed a program that uniquely fit our chapter, and- we assigned responsibilities and deadlines
We identified what we were looking for in candidates. This included:-- experience-- leadership style-- the ability to work together in a board environment, and -- the ability to connect with chapter members
We created a succession planning timeline, which included:Developing existing leadership team; we used team building activities, assessment instruments, and facilitated leadership development sessions. One of our key principles is to treat board members as chapter leaders first, and functional leaders second. This provides a broader view of chapter leadership, permitting a wider scope of experiences for all chapter leaders.We built committees where individuals can be exposed to chapter operations, communication and strategies. We encouraged personal connections among board members and between the board and prospective volunteers. We learned what motivates individuals, using McLelland’s Motivational Styles (Need for Power, Need for Affiliation, Need for Achievement). And we periodically invited committee members to attend board meetings to expose them to broader chapter experiences.
Bob: ThanksBirdie for starting us off. Now let’s hear from the Acorn chapter about how they started the year’s succession planning process. Rocky J Squirrel …Rocky: Ok Bob, thanks. We actually did not hold a board meeting in May, or even June for that matter. We were very busy with some important spring programs and professional development events, and they turned out exceptionally well as a result of our efforts.We did get started with succession planning in July, though.We asked the board to …. (Bob interrupts) Rocky, we are going to go month by month, so we’ll come back to you shortly when we are talking about July. Thanks for holding on to that energy a minute longer. Birdie, back to you for your June activities …
Birdie: We did a lot in June. It took a good 90 minutes, but it was worth it.-- We discussed the current leadership structure, to assure it was still appropriate. And it was.-- We reviewed the existing membership, to determine who we knew that could be a possible leader. This could have taken hours.. you know how some board meetings can get … but we forced ourselves to be quick with this, staying on task.-- We reviewed all of the board positions and what needs existed regarding possible candidates. We needed to elect some positions this fall; other discussions were just for grooming and planning, since the leader had another year in the role.-- We assured that the job descriptions were still accurate, and actually made a few changes.-- We discussed what qualifications we were looking for in a chapter leader. This was a real interesting discussion, because we expected more than an interest or even experience in the function itself. We wanted leadership qualities too.-- Finally, in our June board meeting, we compared the talent of our candidates with the board needs we just identified.
Bob: Thank you Birdie. Sounds like you got a lot done during that meeting.Rocky, I recall that you began the succession planning process in July. Would you tell us how you initiated that process for the Acorn chapter.Rocky: Sure. I shared with the board that I had learned at ALC how important it was to have personal connections in recruiting. That people often volunteer for leadership roles because they were asked by someone they respected. I asked the board who they knew that might be interested in being on the board next year, because there would be a few expiring positions. Because this was such a critical need, I gave them time to think about and have these discussions with possible candidates after the board meeting. Obviously, no one felt prepared to address this at this particular meeting. Because they themselves are volunteers, I did not want to push that.
Bob:Rocky, it sounds like you were beginning to get some momentum. Birdie, what did your board do in July?Birdie: Well, we first reviewed the by-laws to assure that we all knew the rules and deadlines that governed the chapter. Some knew it already but others didn’t. We learned that we officially needed to hand over the intended slate of candidates to the nominating committee, which was an official committee as per the by-laws. The nominating committee ended up being a subset of the succession planning committee.-- Most board members had numerous active discussions with possible candidates.-- The team met to establish guidelines for interviews, so we were consistent AND were looking for both leadership qualities and appropriate experience.-- We created a spreadsheet to assign members of the succession planning committee to candidates for interviews.-- Then we held the interviews-- And the succession planning committee prepared recommendations for the next board meeting.
Bob: Rocky, the Acorn chapter held an August board meeting, right?Rocky: Yes, Bob. We made some good progress. The President-Elect, VP of Programs, and VP of Technology each suggested one name of a member who attended monthly programs and SIGs and seemed like a potential leader. I felt relieved that we had identified three possible candidates for next year’s roles.
Bob:Birdie?Birdie: -- At our August board meeting, we presented the full slate of candidates to be communicated at the upcoming Chapter Meeting. The slate’s ballot, complete with candidate bios and pictures, was approved and finalized for the Chapter’s upcoming eNews Blast and to be posted on the Chapter website.-- By the way, the nominating committee covered its official requirements-- We had such good momentum that we were able to conduct the elections at the Sept 8th chapter program event.
Bob: Rocky? …Rocky: At our September board meeting, I asked what progress had been made in pursuing board members for next year,and the board just looked around at each other. There had been no action. Theysaid that none of them had known who was supposed to pursue the possible successors, and there was no email or phone follow-up about this issue recently. At least other functional issues, such as programs and membership, has been addressed via email during the past two months though.I had specific board members specifically commit to who would contact each of the 3 target candidates, and to have those discussions by the next board meeting, so that the board could take action.
Bob: Thanks Rocky. Back to you Birdie…Birdie: during September, we focused on preparing the new board leaders to take over. We-- reviewed the “Leadership Onboarding” toolkit from National ASTD on a separate call, which the President Elect and his transition team used.-- the newly elected board was scheduled to attend the upcoming National ASTD Leadership Conference (ALC).-- reviewed and agreed to a new board transition process, which we decided to begin before Thanksgiving, so that we could finalize theactivities at the December off-site meeting retreat for the new and existing board.
Bob: Rocky, what occurred at your October board meeting?Rocky: The October Board was a big success and just in time:-- the candidates had downloaded and reviewed the appropriate job descriptions from the web-site.-- all 3 people were interested and willing to join the board. -- Our board reviewed the by-laws at the board meeting, learned they needed to prepare the slate for announcement immediately, so the vote could happen at the next chapter meeting. -- This plan was quickly and effectively put into action.
Bob: Thanks Rocky.Rocky: Oh, Bob? Bob: Yes?Rocky: I forgot to say that as we were preparing the final slate for communication, we realized that there would be 4 open positions that needed to be voted on, not 3. For some reason, no one had remembered that the VP of Operations had advised them that this would be her last year, since she was moving to Florida when her husband retires, and she was not at the last few meetings.Fortunately, we found someone willing to be nominated.
Bob: OK – Birdie…-- After ALC, we conducted a formal debrief about the leaders conference.-- And during October and November, we used pre-work to prepare the new board members for the formal executive board retreat scheduled for early December.
Rocky: Well, to close out our process, I reviewed the roles and responsibilities with each incoming board member one on one. WHERE POSSIBLE, the outgoing board members in eachrole reviewed their processes and procedures with the new board member, and transferred all electronic files from their personal computers to flash drives for the new board members.
Bob: Now, we’d like to hear from you, our participants. Using the chat window, please share with us …What you saw done well by a chapter that could be useful at your chapter? (start with a “ + ”). + I liked getting the whole S/P process done before ALC so we know who to send and how to make it worthwhileFor example, “+ I liked getting the whole S/P process done before ALC so we know who to send and how to make it worthwhile”What you want to be careful not to do? (start with a “ - ”). - We need to avoid having each VP find their own successor and make this a broader board responsibilityFor example, “- We need to avoid having each functional VP find their own successor and instead make this a broader board responsibility”
Bob:Thanks everybody for sharing. After we look at one more question, we will wrap up the webcast by reviewing the 5 Key Steps in the Succession Planning process.Where on the continuumdo you think your chapter is…are you more like the Oak Tree Chapter, the Acorn Chapter, or somewhere in the middle?[CLICK] On the line here, the lower left represents if you were identical to the Acorn Chapter. All the way on the upper right would be if you were as “planful” and comprehensive as the Oak Tree Chapter.Now , each of you, please click on the arrow above the PowerPoint slide, then click on the slide to show us where your chapter would be on this continuum. PAUSE If you click in error, just reclick where you want the arrow to be.[WAIT SOME TIME UNTIL ANSWERS SHOW – BUT DO NOT HAVE LONG DEAD AIR]
To help you to advance up the continuum, we are going to walk you through the steps for succession planning and give you some best practices other chapters use to have the right people, in the right place, at the right time.Let’s take a look at each of the 5 steps for Succession Planning. Your can find these in the Succession Planning toolkit. The first dozen and a half pages of that toolkit are devoted to these 5 Steps.
The first step is Preparing for the Succession Planning. This is a powerful step and the value of this step often gets underestimated.
The second step is what we often think of the primary step in succession planning …. Identifying Potential Leaders.
The third step is actually implementing the succession plan.
The fourth step is managing the transition of board members, whether new to the board, or moving from one board role to another.
And the 5th step is keeping succession planning alive by monitoring, evaluating and updating the plan.
Over the next several slides, we will share with you some examples of best practices. Currently there are examples of chapters doing one or more steps of succession planning really well. Their successes are shared in the SOS – share our success section of the ASTD.org website. It can be found at: www.ASTD.org/SOSLet’s look at the best practices of the first step – Preparing for Succession PlanningBaton Rouge – Leadership Succession Planning Over the past few years, the Baton Rouge chapter leaders have focused a great deal of attention on volunteer engagement which in turn grew the leadership pipeline. The Leadership Succession Planning Guide was created to assist chapter leadership with knowledge and commitment transfer.
One simple and often overlooked step is to review the by-laws. This helps assure that the chapter complies with the required process Establishing objectives of succession planning creates the customized, rather than generic, view of succession planning. One chapter may state the objective as “to have identified the successors 9 months before the formal nominating committee takes place”. Another chapter’s succession planning objective may be “to get to really know our members so that we find the best candidates, rather than the available and interested candidates.” Next, we want to establish the program design, which is where the succession planning toolkit will be immensely helpful. In this practice, we are specifying how the chapter will execute and manage the succession planning process. And in tandem with the design, the timeline helps create role clarity and hold team members accountable for results and deadlines.
Best practices for Identifying Potential Leadership are … Greater Atlanta –Leadership AcademyThe Greater Atlanta Chapter has a Leadership Academy (details are on their chapter website - www.astdatlanta.org under Leadership Toolkit) that they use to generate interest in serving on the chapter board. The opportunity they have with the Leadership Academy is for people to self nominate or be nominated to take part in the Academy itself which is a 3 month. Over the course of the program it allows them as leaders to identify other potential leaders who could be qualified for an elected position. So in other words, the Leadership Academy is a conduit to the nominating process that follows shortly after the Academy itself ends. In addition, people receive a lot of background information about the chapter, about national, and the necessary competencies for becoming an elected position. Think of it as a gradual stepped in process:1. People get involved in the chapter. 2. Volunteer for a position within one of the functions of the chapter. 3. Take on more a leadership role in that volunteer position or the area where they're volunteering. 4. Nominate themselves or are nominated for the Leadership Academy. 5. Nominated or self nominate for elected position after completing the Leadership Academy.It's a blended program. with lunch-n-learn leadership webinars, a self-assessment on the ASTD leadership competencies, reading assignments, and responding to questions on LinkedIn. Participants are also asked to interview existing board members, and it culminates with an a daylong event that includes a DiSC analysis and team activities. They also observe board meetings. It is aligned with a formal nomination process.
Assuring that all board position descriptions are up to date. Often the review of the descriptions is what propels the chapter to take highly valuable actions. As we do this, each board member should constantly be searching for volunteers that could serve on their committee or in the VP role, yet … it is important to remember … that all leaders need to indeitfying talent for all roles. If I am the VP of Communications, I may be just as likely to find a great salesperson and ambassador that may be great in the VP Communications role. Use a Leadership Academy to help develop all current and target leaders … don’t just wait until they are ON the board Don’t keep the volunteer opportunities a secret. Let people know, but just don’t put handouts on the tables each meeting, or just post them on the website home page. Talk about them. One of the best practices that the Acorn chapter did mention a half our ago was that people usually become volunteers and leaders because someone ASKED them.
Step 3- Is where a lot action occurs … Implementation of the Succession Plan.Middle Tennessee –Board Succession PlanningThe chapter created a succession planning process to ensure a full slate of officers to facilitate chapter leadership. A nominating committee was formed to actively find prospects and recruit new leaders to the board. As a result, a successful election was held in November 2009 and recognition was given to the new officers at the December chapter meeting.
Best practices in implementation include: Establishing the succession planning committee. Sometimes some of the planning and talent identification might happen in a less formal subset of the board, and that is better than nothing. This is the step where the momentum is built from all the great ideas, no matter their source. Making sure that the team understands their roles, touches base with each other even outside of formal succession planning committee meetings is helpful. And just executing well… In the book Executing: The Discipline of Getting Things done, authors Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy reiterate 7 principles that lead to great execution… and two of them are:Insist on realism – so with succession planning, let’s not just use the Oak Tree Chapters succession planning process, develop the process that fits your own chapter, and stretch a bit out of the easy comfort zoneReward the doers – take the time to celebrate progress along the way, don’t just spend 8 months giving process updates to the board – share what is working well, so that a) people feel good and b) the group can do more of that good stuff
Step 4, handling leader transitions, is what can take solid plan and turn it into the tailwind that a chapter could use (even when it doesn’t know that it may need the boost)Fort Lauderdale –Strategic PlanningFort Lauderdale conducts a board retreat and strategic planning event allowed the new and existing board members to build relationships and identifying goals and initiatives for the coming year.
Have a plan may sound silly, but it takes just some interested committee members to orchestrate the transition and help leaders coming in, going out, and moving laterally make real connections and learnings. The “ah-ha” moments in succession planning can often happen from these transition activities. It is one of the best practices that NAC itself uses when onboarding new NAC advisors. Review the toolkit, which focuses on: The leadership transition schedule and duration The responsibilities of the existing board members And the methods (both formal and informal) used to train, orient, and energize new chapter leadersHave someone own the transition process, this is often the President-Elect’s role…what a great way to prepare the next President to connect the board that will serve the following year.
The final step is what is often the last step of any good iterative process, monitoring, evaluating and updating. Dallas -Balanced Scorecard /Chapter GoalsTo fulfill the CORE requirement to have an annual plan, the Dallas Chapter established goals in categories including: customer, financial, process, and learning and growth, comprising a chapter scorecard. The goals were published in the newsletter at the beginning of the year and mid-year, and the scorecard was reviewed at each leadership meeting.
We need to learn what is working and what is not. Every year, you chapter will likely evolve, whether it is a new chapter, a growing chapter, or a mature chapter.To help keep the team on task and keep the board up to date, a scorecard reflecting the key plans, targets and progress will likely streamline the communication process and produce a greater focus on the activities that really matter in the succession planning process. All chapters that use scorecards should be sure to incorporate succession planning into thatscorecard!
Askfor questions or comments [manage appropriately based upon available time remaining].Remind participants of URL for toolkits, containing these two toolkits and dozens more online resources.
After consulting the online tools, the best people to reach out to for help are your chapter coaches. Here are their contact information.And, don’t forget, your local area National Advisor for Chapters would also be glad to help, in addition to your chapter coach. If you don’t know your NAC advisor, visit the ASTD CLC website to find out who is serving your chapter.
Bob: Thank you for joining us all today. Good luck driving the succession planning processes in your chapter. Paul has some final information today for us as we wrap up this webcast.
1<br />Succession Planning (Not Just for Work But for Your Chapter Too)5 Steps to Plan and Execute Your Chapter’s Succession Planning Process<br />
2<br />Webcast Facilitators:<br />Paul NiermanASTD Chapter Coach – Eastern Area<br />Wendy LeedyASTD Chapter Coach – Western Area<br />Jamie Millard Bay Colonies & NAC advisor<br />Ken Steiger Central New York & NAC advisor<br />CharnellWestermanBaton Rouge & NAC advisor<br />Bob ZimelMidNJ & NAC Advisor<br />
Agenda <br />Welcome – Why Are You Here?<br />“Tale of Two Chapters”<br />Key Learnings<br />The Five Steps: Best Practices<br />
Why are you on the call today?How does Succession Planning matter to you?<br />4<br />
What’s In It For You?<br />5<br />Evaluate future leadership and talent needs<br />Identify individuals who can satisfy those needs<br />Develop bench strength so that the chapter can thrive over the long term<br />Better engage volunteers by connecting to what really interests them<br />Prepare individuals for their eventual role(s)<br />Share the load!<br />
A Tale of Two Chapters<br />Acorn<br />Oak Tree<br />
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived two ASTD Chapters: the Acorn Chapter and the Oak Tree Chapter.<br />
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived two ASTD Chapters: the Acorn Chapter and the Oak Tree Chapter.<br />
The Acorn Chapter and the Oak Tree Chapter had succession plansin place, yet both had different approaches...<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – May board meeting<br /><ul><li>On every board agenda
Current chapter members</li></li></ul><li>Oak Tree Chapter – May board meeting<br />Oak Tree Succession Planning Committee Established:<br />Objectives<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – May board meeting<br />Oak Tree Succession Planning Committee Established:<br />Objectives<br />Program design<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – May board meeting<br />Oak Tree Succession Planning Committee Established:<br />Objectives<br />Program design<br />Candidate requirements<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – May board meeting<br />Oak Tree Succession Planning Committee Established:<br />Objectives<br />Program design<br />Candidate requirements<br />Succession planning timeline, including:<br />leadership development<br />committees<br />motivational styles<br />including others in board meetings<br />
Acorn Chapter – May board meeting<br />- No board meeting in May or June. <br />- Got started with succession planning in July.<br />
16<br />Oak Tree Chapter – June board meeting<br />The Oak Tree chapter:<br />Discussed current leadership structure<br />Reviewed the membership<br />Identified the board positions<br />Reviewed job descriptions, and completed minor updating<br />Defined a leadership profile <br />Compared the chapter leadership needs with potential talent <br />
Acorn Chapter – July board meeting<br />- Chapter president asked board members who they knew<br />- No one had candidates in mind<br />- President asked them to think about it off-line and be prepared to share at the August board meeting<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – June & July activities<br />The Succession Planning committee:<br />Reviewed the bylaws<br />Sought nominees.<br />Established the interview guidelines.<br />Arranged and conducted interviews<br />Finalized recommendations for the next board meeting.<br />
Acorn Chapter – August board meeting<br />The President-Elect, VP of Programs and the VP of Technology each suggested one name of a member who had: <br />Attended monthly programs and special interest group meetings<br />Seemed like a potential leader<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – August board meeting<br />The Succession Planning Committee:<br />Presented the full slate<br />Communication plan was finalized and approved<br />Elections concluded on Sept 8th.<br />
Acorn Chapter – September board meeting<br /><ul><li>The Acorn President asked what progress had been made in pursuing board members for next year.
There had been no action. </li></ul>- The board members committed to specific actions immediately after the board meeting.<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – Up to and during the September board meeting<br /><ul><li>Reviewed The “Leadership Onboarding” toolkit from national ASTD
Registered the newly elected board members to attend the ASTD Leadership Conference (ALC).
Began the transition process before Thanksgiving
Held an off-site meeting retreat for the new and existing board in December.</li></li></ul><li>Acorn Chapter – October board meeting<br /><ul><li>The candidates had downloaded the appropriate job descriptions from the web-site.
Board reviewed the by-laws, prepared the slate for announcement immediately
Vote planned for next chapter meeting.</li></li></ul><li>Acorn Chapter – October board meeting<br />Quickly covered 4th position, and continued with nomination process.<br />
Oak Tree Chapter – October/November transition activities<br /><ul><li>A formal debrief occurred while the board attended ALC
The new board was given pre-work prior to the formal executive board retreat scheduled for early December.</li></li></ul><li>Acorn Chapter – November board meeting<br />Current President reviewed the roles and responsibilities with each incoming board member. <br />Where possible, the outgoing board members reviewed their processes and procedures with the new board members, and <br />Sent electronic files to new board member.<br />
Story Debrief…<br />Using the chat window, please share with us …<br />What you saw done well by a chapter that could be useful at your chapter? (start with a “ + ”)<br /> and /or <br />What you want to be careful not to do? (start with a “ -”)<br />
Where do you think your chapter is on this continuum?<br />
5 Steps for Succession Planning<br />www.astd.org/toolkits<br />
Step 2 Best Practices Identifying Potential Leadership<br />Have all positions up-to-date<br />Each board member should have an eye out towards his or her successor, yet …<br />All leaders need to identify talent for all roles<br />Establish a Leadership Academy<br />Speak often of the leadership opportunities within the chapter<br />
Step 3 – Implementation of the Succession PlanMiddle Tennessee!<br />
Step 3 Best PracticesImplementation of the Succession Plan<br />Establish a formal Succession Planning Committee<br />Agree to and follow the process<br />Execute<br />
Step 4 Best PracticesHandling Leader Transitions<br />Have a plan<br />Review the existing onboarding toolkit: www.ASTD.org/toolkit<br />Have someone on the executive board own the transition process (example President-Elect)<br />