This project was undertaken to provide a way to help harm reduction agencies reduce the harms that can and have happened during leadership and other major transitions.
As the harm reduction movement approaches age 40, organizations have come and gone and so have leaders. Sometimes these transitions have been seamless, clean affairs but, at times, they have been catastrophic upheavals that have leveled important agencies doing invaluable work.
All the stakeholders in this project – funders, authors, and all the people they spoke with – have seen and experienced these transitions, felt their repercussions and want to learn from our collective successes and failures. As a movement, we can then get better at making sure that inevitable changes in leadership result in stronger, more creative, vibrant and functional organizations that continue serving their missions and participants.
The insights gained from the focus groups and interviews created the basis for the suggestions in Ready4Change which we have divided into four parts: Prepare, Respond, Learn and Tools.
Prepare talks about insights provided by the harm reduction community and literature about how organizations and programs can best prepare in advance for transition by proactively engaging in succession planning.
Respond offers tips and insight for when a transition actually happens – be it planned or unplanned.
Learn offers recordings of Ready4Change presentations and a curated and annotated bibliography of existing literature on succession planning.
Tools offers a variety of tools that people can edit for their situations including- skeleton presentations, transition checklists, templates, sample documents and spreadsheets for getting Ready4Change.
We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.