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Transition Introduction


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AIESEC Transition

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Transition Introduction

  1. 1. AIESEC India Transition 0910 Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  2. 2. Introduction to Transition 2009-10 Transition or take-over, is the process by which we transfer the knowledge, facilitate understanding and build capacity of our successors to enable him/her build ownership and take responsibility of the new role. Due to the high turn-over of our members at all layers of the organisation, AIESEC is dependent upon a good transition system; but the transition in AIESEC is often too dependent on individual persons, and transition problems constitute one of the greatest limitations of AIESEC today. This document: The transition Kit contains an overview of the Outcomes, Means, principles and standard as well key areas that need to be covered in a transition process at an LC Level Each chapter deals with a specific aspect of a transition process at the various layers of the organisation. Why this document?  To support and help the LCs build their transition process  To provide to the LCs with a framework of operations, to ensure that all actions necessary for implementation of the transition plan are known and understood by both teams. How to use this document? The transition Kit doesn't provide the answers on all the questions regarding transition, nor covers all the topics; and differences in structures, environment might also make you see different approaches and flows. But it can be a source of inspiration to ensure those critical issues and topics are addressed during the transition process. In this respect,  This document is not your transition plan, it will support in designing and implementing your transition plan at the LC level.  Refer to it, while taking over your responsibilities, since the next year transition starts NOW…. The Content of the Document: (It will depend on how we put the element together) Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  3. 3. Before we go… The concept of transition is quite important for AIESEC to ensure sustainable growth and continuity in the organisation. Moreover, it is important to enable new leadership generation to learn from the past and analyse today’s reality and future needs in order to create an organisation that we want to see in the near future. However, transition in our organisation has not been taken as a great leverage point for the development of AIESEC. Thus over many years, we see AIESEC has been struggling almost with same issues and leadership of AIESEC has been starting their term without enough preparation and accumulation in terms strategy, planning, knowledge and skills. The concept of transition is should be considered as an end for a new beginning rather than beginning of an end. Moreover, transition can enable us to move forward by the time that we start the new term. In that respect, current LC EB teams should prioritise as an emerging task- process among other responsibilities. We should bear in mind that success in AIESEC is a long run process rather than a one-year period. Therefore, we need to think the upcoming term as our term and share the ownership with incoming team. Before starting transition, we think it might be good, if we ask ourselves “what would we do and aim to achieve, if we continue to stay one more year as the LC EB team”. We believe that this question will help us to consolidate all our experiences and learning from the past to plan the future by bringing our experiences and thoughts to the incoming LC EB team. The question mentioned above, would be a good starting to plan transition and planning process with the new team, however it is not enough. Transition period should be well structured, planned in order to make that process a dynamic and creative learning environment rather than a series of presentations just to transfer information. Transition period should enable incoming team to translate all the information they get from outgoing them to knowledge, vision, and strategies. Therefore, you need to build a complete picture of what needs to be discussed, transferred and planned with the incoming team. As the MC, we decided to support our LC EB members to plan their transition and planning process. Thus, we prepared this transition guide. This document may help you to design your transition and planning process and give you a strong basis on what you suppose to discuss. The objectives of the document are  Provide you a flow, discussion topics and their connection with each other for create your transition and planning process  Assist you to identify the outcomes of your discussions during the planning process We believe that this guide is not enough to prepare the best, most suitable transition and planning process for your LC. The best, most suitable and relevant process can only be done by YOU. We strongly believe that you have all the innovation and creativity, and best knowledge to plan this process. However, this document may help to see the different topics of planning and transition process in a complete picture with various connections to each other. Therefore, take this guide as an input paper for you and use to create your own agenda. And please share your feedback and thought with us in order to provide you more dynamic support from the National office towards your needs. Please do not hesitate and send your questions, comments to Finally, we want to remind you that one of the main legacies you could leave is a new EB team with knowledge, skills, and set of strategies to lead AIESEC in your LC and contribute to the development of our global organisation, before starting the new journey of your life after AIESEC. We wish you best of luck in transition and planning process. Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  4. 4. Food for Thought - “If your successor is more successful than you, then you are more successful than your successor.” The Fulcrum Member Committee 2009-2010 What is transition? Transition is the process through, which we assure the transfer of the strategic direction, knowledge information and experience, from the current decision makers to the elects. Why do we need transition? What are its objectives? How many times have you heard in a discussion “…but I didn’t know that we agreed on that, so we need to discuss it again” or “... but I didn’t know that that was one of our responsibilities”… probably too many!!! So did all of us! Why does this happen? Because in a crucial part of the term – the take over- the current EB just leaves without passing the knowledge and the new EB don’t reclaim their right of knowing what the concrete situation in the LC is at that moment. Let’s face it, with this situation in our LCs, AIESEC in the beginning of every term, has to take a step back before taking one ahead. But this isn’t even the worst part of the problem… The worst part is that this lack of knowledge, sometimes results in setting locally or nationally, a direction not aligned with the global one which sets LC’s, and therefore AIESEC, back in quality results! So we need transition because it’s one of the best mechanisms AIESEC has in order to manage its knowledge and experience over the years. It’s an easy and fun thing to do and will allow us to prevent the referred situations and therefore continue growing on quality and quantity!!! So what we really want out of transition is  That every country member, and in the end every LC, every LC member knows what are AIESEC’s goals and priorities and how his/her LC can contribute to that  That the elects get a clear picture of how the term that lies ahead can look like in terms of timing, responsibilities and role; major challenges; possible solutions …  That elects have all the information necessary to lead their LC  That Elects have the necessary skills and process knowledge to achieve their objectives  That each LC/MC guarantees continuity in performance and results. Which means, that each LC will build on the results and the performance of the previous years and leading it even further  That the necessary steps are made to prevent that past mistakes are repeated and allow the LC’s, and therefore the organization as an all, to move forward, innovate and improve. Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  5. 5.  A mechanism that allows the currents to prepare every elects as an individual for the experience that is about to come, as an EB member and also as a personal development experience.  Overall with transition we want to pass the necessary knowledge for the new comings to perform with high quality to contribute to the quality and quantity of our exchanges! However, transition is not only important to the LC, to the network, to the elects, it’s also important for the currents!!! Why? Because it will provide them the opportunity to: - Evaluate their work and learning experience: During the preparation you have time to reflect on your year, on your original goals, on what you did, what you experienced and what you learned. And you need to analyse you learning experience so that you continue developing yourself. If you do not do in now, you will never do it again! - Feel the sensation of being able to pass something on, the sensation of making a difference: You feel very good when you can pass on your knowledge and experiences and especially when you tell them the reasons for why you did or didn’t do something and you feel that they understand and will continue what you started. - Complete their work (at least mentally!): You can complete you work. If you cannot do the operative completion you can pass on your ideas sufficiently if you tell the background how you came to that. You never can finish up your entire task on the to- do-list – it is far too long for the rest of your term. Leave it behind for a time and reflect on how you came to this to do list. If you can pass this on you can be sure that somebody else is finishing the tasks for you and you do not have to feel guilty for not doing itself. But you should feel guilty if you just leave him/her the list, without your learning experiences behind which most probably were they basis for this tasks you still wanted to do. If you try to just finishing the list, you will experience that with every point you cross out there comes a new one in addition as you always learn out of what you are doing and get new ideas for improvement. Transition structure Transition preparation begins as soon as you take over!!!! In the sense that from that point on, you should have in mind that there will be another team following your team… So you’d better start preparing from now on. That means: 1. Manage your files and store information accordingly, 2. Capture your learning’s. A document that will help you achieve this is the After Action Review (AAR), which should be a simple document, to be filled in by each individual – member of the EB on a monthly basis, for at least one of his/her main responsibilities during the month. (See in the appendix an example of an AAR used) However the planning of the transition period itself should start 3 to 4 months before the actual process starts!! And it consists in the following phases: Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  6. 6. The purpose of this phase is to prepare each stage of the transition process so that in the end you achieve the objectives you proposed, in the beginning, of transition. Here you should define what knowledge, learning’s and experience to pass, and how to pass it, in the delivery phase. This process of preparing the transition is a task for TWO teams and not only one. Here currents and elects both have to do their part! On one hand the currents should prepare the first draft of transition, the process itself, and should transmit, to the elects, the importance of this period and therefore motivate them to give their inputs so that the transition is adjusted to their need… On the other hand the elects should actively prepare themselves, they should reflect and introduce their own questions, doubts, participation… in order to take the best of this important beginning of their term. So during this phase each member of the current team should:  Organize archives and files to pass on It’s important that the files and archives necessary to work as an EB are organized as it’s already difficult to work with someone else’s files put if they aren’t organized the elects might lose a lot of time just trying to understand what the files and archives contain. Ex: Each member of the current team they go through the files and folders (mostly on PCs, but also binders) and put an order in the information there: 1 put them into a thematic or chronological order 2. Purge (get rid of) the duplicated / old versions of documents 3. Make an inventory of the documents in each area 4. Outline the most important documents for the area to the elect.  Put available all the materials needed for their position Make a written document of every step and every responsibility you had during your term as EB then put in front the documents, materials… you found necessary for each stage and confirm that you have all those materials to pass on to your successor (pass the sheet also!) This is something you DON’T do at this point only; you should do it from the beginning of your term so that when you get to this point you have it all ready (see in the appendix an example of an After Action Review (AAR) document that will allow you to keep track of our activity.)  Complete unfinished tasks Use the last period of your term to complete the unfinished tasks so that the elects don’t catch a process in the middle where the lack of information or ownership might put it to risk. Be aware that during your transition process you might be operating under 3 different roles: 1. Current EB member, 2. Giving transition, 3. Receiving transition for a position you might have taken up yourself. The time factor and planning in advance is really important! If you don’t have time to finish your tasks, let your elects know what has been done and what still remains to be done…  Reflect on ideas, priorities and inputs for the next term Analyze your term (thinking about your to do list and how you came to), see what’s missing to achieve the vision set for the future. With this process you should also give some inputs on what the priorities in the area are. Still, the main output will come from the planning process of the new team, where all those ideas will serve as an input to plan the area Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  7. 7.  Find out the needs of your successors (using their personal learning plans) Talk to them; remember what you felt like in their place, LISTEN to what they really want and then address it in your transition plan.  Form the transition agenda, collecting adequate information resources and pre- determining the transition meetings. The objective of this stage is clear, here is when you’re actually planning and preparing the transition period! How to do it successfully? First very important input, always remember that sometimes the things that are obvious to you aren’t always that obvious for other people that haven’t been in the discussions you have! So don’t skip discussion you, at this point, already consider irrelevant. Secondly, when preparing the flow and deciding the topics to address ask yourself the following questions (and when doing this remember the first input!): 1. What does an AIESEC EB member need to know to perform according to AIESEC’s mission? 2. What is the most important information, relating to the national and international network, which an elect should know? 3. What should an EB know to proceed with the local vision? 4. What are the key processes in each functional area that should be fully understood by an elect when he takes over? Thirdly, on each topic you must be clear on: 1. Why to address it 2. What information, related to it, do you want to cover 3. What’s the best way to pass the information (see the development of the delivery phase to see the different ways to pass the knowledge) 4. When is the best timing to pass it to the elects (both in calendar timing and in the flow of the process) 5. Who to involve in the delivery 6. What preparation materials do you have/need 7. What, relevant, written documents can you pass on to the elects about it Note: In the Transition Planning document you can find some suggestions on the topics that should be covered in this process and also a method to plan it. …And each member of the elected team should:  Study the flow of the transition agenda and give inputs of what you expect.  Work on your ideas and expectations for your term and based on that think about questions for finding out what was done in this part already, why it was not obvious, why it was maybe not done or skipped and why it maybe failed Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  8. 8.  Develop your personal learning plan Transition is your introduction to a new position, but also to a new lifestyle, a challenging period in your life. Transition is thus the best opportunity to help the incoming EB members elects to get the best out of their year as individuals. Together with EB members they are also students, family members, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends… So the elects should introduce them this experience holistically. Practically, this means that the currents should help them build a personal development plan that should include questions such as:  „What do I want to learn as an EB member of my LC?’“  „ What will be my training process“  Etc... But also including questions like:  ‘Where do I want to travel this year?’  ‘What do I want to do with my studies?’  ‘What books do I want to read?’ So that during the term, an EB member doesn’t only focus on its professional development, especially when they have an amazing opportunity for personal growth! All this should be put in a personal development plan and to be followed up during the year – either by the LCP or by pairing the EB members 2 by 2, so as to be able to check on each other. It’s good to be done during transition, since at that time the EB elects are in a creative phase, the EB currents can give those ideas on how to do it etc…  Read local, national and international, relevant, resources such as discussions, documents, materials, publications, that the old team or new LCP would outline So that you don’t try to “reinvent the wheel” get informed of how things are and where and what made them change. Read all the materials relevant for your position because they contain the answers to many of your questions. Delivery The delivery phase is the time where the currents are actually passing the knowledge, the information, and the skills to the elects. Here different means are used and it’s of extreme importance to identify which mean is more efficient to address each topic. Still, do try to use a variety of means, in order to make transition more interesting and give different perspectives. Some of the different means available to you are: o Both teams meeting When, both teams gather together during a determined period of time. It is quite effective on any issue that involves “discussions” and where it’s important, not only to pass the knowledge, but to create a common understanding. For instance to: - Identify principles; Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  9. 9. - Share expectations of both teams at the beginning of the process; - Discuss some decisions that may directly affect both terms; - Define the responsibilities of each team until the end of the term; - Sharing feedback on planning process; - Identity/Vision discussions; - Long term strategic planning; - For evaluation (of the previous year and the process itself); - Reporting on some initiatives. Particularly effective for: - Team’s rules and behaviors - The national direction / - Experience from international meetings attendance o One to One meeting When, one member of each team meets. Particularly effective for: - Reporting and information sharing on functional or specific areas of operations and tasks o One to team meeting When a member of the current team meets with the whole elect team Used to: - Facilitate some processes (team building) or sessions of planning; - Share information on specific projects or a task force; - Pass general information on an area - Pass information on an issue o External meetings When members of both teams meet with externals or external institutions (Companies or partners, Meetings with authorities, BOA, Alumni…) It’s used to: - Enable introduction and continuity in contact with the externals - Prepare the elects with some necessary skills (Skills trainings with externals during transition can prevent some mistakes in team management, conflict management, negotiating…) - Transmit to the elects the external point of view on our advantages and in the points we need to improve Proposed topics: team management training / national or world trends o International, National meetings and local seminars Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  10. 10. Very useful to involved new team in: - Conference planning, - Training - needs analysis - builds confidence and trust to the elect team as those meetings constitute the point of physical connection with the organization and its membership o Team Days It’s a very important area during the period of take over. The new team should be encouraged to go away together for a weekend or so to get to know each other, talk about their goals/ ambitions and create a common language in the team. o Archives, both electronic and written o On the job training It’s important that there is a defined period of time during which the elect team is learning from the observation of the current team in action (where however every step should be informed to the elect) o Communities / It’s an effective mean to: - Share documents; - Introduce elects to the international/national/local discussions going on; - Start some teams’ discussions A key success factor for this phase (apart from a good planning done in the preparation phase) that all participants (the two team and other facilitators involved) are informed of the dates of each session, team day… with a long time of advanced so that they can plan their time around this plan. Coaching The coaching phase is something much related with the on the job training and that should follow it. The period when the elects are observing and learning on a theoretical level should be followed by a moment when they are doing the actual work (while the currents are serving as support). A current should be ready to offer his/her help to the newies if there are some problems or if advice is needed. He/she should keep a positive attitude towards the LC and its operations, even if things are done differently in comparison to the previous year. Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  11. 11. Important!!!! Coaching doesn’t mean that the current team will appear there once every week to check things out but that they are regularly there to support elects on their daily activities and to help them in anything needed (of course this constant presence will in time decrease). The coaching is best done when assigning a mentor / coach (a member of the old team) to each one of the members of the new team. It usually is the person that takes over an individual’s role, but it’s better to be left at a personal choice level. Coaching could be done either formally (through planned meetings) or informally (in terms of the coach and a coached working side by side continuously) And idea might also be that every week the new team holds a meeting with the old team to present what they’ve been doing and what they’ve learnt during the past week and ask for the old team’s feedback and opinion. Feedback Feedback is something that should be bilateral and during the all process to evaluate the transition process, see what of each session should be improved and also should be used to relieve the elects of their stress and insecurities and give answers to any questions left on any topic. In order for constructive feedback to be given that can lead to improvements of the transition process, establish an open atmosphere of transition from the very first moment, where both teams feel free to share their opinions. At the same time, try to formalize it with weekly meetings or with having a ‘transition board’ where each member of the two teams can go and add a comment / idea / opinion on how transition is advancing. Tips  ALWAYS treat transition with the importance it has! If you don’t set the right modes neither your team nor the elects will take this process as something seriously, important and FUN!  Ask the elects what they are expecting and where they feel more uninformed cover those points. Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  12. 12.  Think of what you want to achieve in the long run in your LC and what you want your contribution to AIESEC locally/nationally & globally to be based on. Based on this prepare transition, on an ongoing basis during your term, in a way it guarantees that the new EB continues to strive for those results and not defines a completely different direction.  Involve the elects as much as you can in the preparation of the transition, they have the obligation to participate in the customization of the transition process to their needs  When the new people are elected go create a concrete transition flow/agenda with them. Don’t forget it’s very important to create a strong commitment and involvement of the elects to this process!!!  Remember the questions that didn’t occur to you to make and that during your term you needed the answer and cover them, they might not remember also.  Base your transition in facts. Start from facts, end with opinions!  Prepare supporting documents and give you objective opinion on issues.  Give them the transition flow in advance so that the elects have time to think and prepare themselves.  Define transition as a PRIORITY for ALL the current team or else it’s easy to neglect it.  The dates and duration of the transition process should be known in advance (with enough time so people can plan those days) and kept by ALL.  Give your opinion of what the next steps for your EB/MC should be, based in what happened this year, but be flexible to their opinions on this.  Don’t only focus internally (LC or MC reality) but in terms of the (inter)national network as well.  Analyze the errors and successes of the past, mark strong and weak points of the LC, things they could build on or need to correct. Have a transition responsible in the LC (traditionally the LCHR, with the support of the LCPs current and elect). The responsibility of this person is not to deliver the transition him/her self but make sure that a transition plan exists and that transition is on track! Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum
  13. 13. Appendix: Transition Log Book Month: Name & Position: Activity 1: (the activities are determined by your top priorities for the month) What was supposed to happen? What really happened? Why was there a difference? What is my main learning out of it? What material / resources did I use (and where they can be found)? Transition 0910 - The Fulcrum