Executive Transitions

Call Before You Dig Into a Search

Like the rest of the country, North Carolina’s nonprofits are in the midst of significant leadership transitions. Many CEOs are approaching retirement age, or are preparing to exit their roles for other opportunities. Younger leaders are waiting for opportunities for leadership positions. All of this is happening in communities across North Carolina from Murphy to Manteo.

Once they hear their CEO is leaving, many boards of directors jump immediately to defining a job description and launching a search. This response is oftentimes problematic, as the board doesn’t take the time it needs to think carefully about the future of their nonprofit and what will be required of a new leader. Best practices recommend that nonprofits take adequate time to thoughtfully reflect and strategize before beginning the search.

The Center has partnered with a group of Pro Bono Consultants who work on succession planning and executive transitions. This service is open to all Center Members, and a team of two (CEO and board chair, two board members) can work one-on-one with a consultant for up to one hour. The nonprofit completes a brief, confidential questionnaire before meeting with the consultant and receives information about practical resources to help them in this work.

Examples of appropriate topics for the consultation include, but are not limited to:

  • key transition decisions to consider and pitfalls to avoid;
  • the benefits of hiring an interim CEO;
  • the advantages and disadvantages of working with a search firm; and
  • the differences between a Transition Committee and a Search Committee.

Our consultants are standing by, so take advantage of them!  If you’re not yet ready for a Pro Bono referral, remember there are lots of resources to help you with succession planning in Information Central.