The Ready4change Materials

This website and related materials are intended to help organizations prepare for inevitable transitions because the experience of the contributors and the relevant literature strongly indicate that transitions are more functional and less destructive when they are planned. To this end this guide offers an overview of insights and ideas from harm reduction leaders and other stakeholders. It is divided into two sections; prepare and respond.

Prepare looks at many of the factors that go into preparing in advance of change including creating an organizational structure more conducive to change, encouraging more functional leadership, delegating, cross training, mentoring new leadership, conversations to have in advance and finally goes into crucial documentation and some tips for getting that done.

Respond examines how organizations respond to change when it happens and what to do when it happens. It addresses who and how to address the needs of various stakeholders including staff, participants, partners, funders and the media. It also addresses critical fiscal and board concerns and finally talks about some of the avoidable pitfalls harm reduction leaders have experienced.

This document is not meant to be viewed as linear nor a new list of guilty to-dos organizations never get to. It is an overview of ideas and suggestions for getting Ready4Change with helpful insights from folks who have been through both constructive and destructive transitions.

The related on-line tools and learning documents contain presentations and a curated and annotated bibliography of existing literature on succession planning as well as tools such as- skeleton presentations, transition checklists, templates, sample documents and spreadsheets that people can edit for their situations.

These tools are available as downloadable, editable, documents for you to use and change as you need. Their purpose is to save organizations the time and effort of creating them themselves.

Quick Tips

  • Use Prepare to look at your leadership, organizational style and the things you can do before transition
  • Use Respond to decide how to respond to an immediate transition
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel! Visit the Tools section of this site
  • Use what you need and leave the rest! Work incrementally! Apply harm reduction to preparing for change
  • Delegate! Share this document with your staff and board!
Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
William Pollard

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. 

James Baldwin
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