When reading a book, article or anything in hard copy, to find out what happens next you must turn the page. The act becomes a revealing – circumstances once hidden, now coming into plain sight.
Pages are turning in our area. Last week, Pretty Lake Camp announced that Michelle Karpinski would succeed Mitch Wilson as its new executive director. Michelle spent the past nine years as vice president for development at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.
Pages also are turning at other organizations in our area. Leadership changes, on staff as well as on the board, are inevitable. Many organizations, like the ones above, prepare for such inevitabilities. However, several others do not – an act akin to living in denial.
One mark of a “sustainable organization” is a succession plan. The plan should address the sudden departure as well as planned departure of key leadership positions – executive director, board chair, and any others where a vacancy would significantly impact the organization.
Also, the longer one has held a position, the more important this plan becomes. Often, the long-term leader holds so much knowledge, carries so many key relationships, and has become so efficient in their role that it takes more than one person to replace them. That’s an unexpected – and unwelcomed – kick in the budget.
How would you navigate a change in executive director…a change in development director? Serve your organizational well and ensure that succession plans are in place and up to date.
P.S. Read about Michelle (a 2012 ONEplace Leadership Academy grad) and her new role at Pretty Lake Camp