Commit to a Leadership Continuity Plan

by Scott Albraccio

When your senior executives move on to lead other credit unions, does your board and management consider it an honor? These types of moves could reflect well on your credit union’s ability to acquire and train good talent. Or, these turnovers also might reflect an inadequate succession plan.

An effective succession plan must go beyond designating someone to assume control should your CEO leave suddenly. It should be a process that actively grooms top talent while strengthening their bond to your credit union through a leadership continuity plan.

Begin with board commitment
A good succession plan requires a full commitment from your board of directors. It must go beyond approving a general policy to promote from within. A good plan also includes a champion responsible for regular review—not just during annual strategic planning—plus a continuous training program and a supplemental benefits program.

Few volunteer boards have the expertise and resources to design and maintain a succession plan. From within the credit union, tap the human resources (HR) leader as the champion to run the succession plan day-to-day and report on its progress regularly.

HR also can run a hands-on training program where executives cross-train in key departments. Participants also should learn what to do should the CEO leave suddenly, or should you experience an emergency or disaster that requires new leadership.

continue reading »