In our view, this is one of the most comprehensive, accessible, and practical toolkits for Boards of Directors of nonprofit organizations. Although clearly targeted to BODs, this toolkit is well-suited as a resource for helping executive directors, managers, and other organizational leaders engage all staff in the process of succession planning. “Staying Engaged” provides excellent guides and tools for doing hands-on succession planning. Our strong recommendation for all harm reduction programs is to conduct the organizational self-assessment found in the first section. This will give you an idea of how prepared you are to face a transition. This assessment is accompanied by an actual action plan that lays out a full year’s worth of activities, broken into manageable pieces. Taken together, the assessment and action plan can serve as the foundation for embedding the topic of succession planning in the strategic, tactical, and ongoing everyday work of the Board of Directors.
This toolkit clearly discusses the basics of preparing for a leadership change, including advice on how to do the front-end work of planning well before a leader leaves. The case studies provided in the toolkit offer excellent insight into how successful transitions happen. Spoiler alert: Success is not about luck. The final reason we love and highly recommend this toolkit is that the author reflects, and engages in the reader in reflection, on critical issues that surround and infuse leadership work, from diversity and cultural competence to organizational size and life cycle.