With the aging of the baby boomers, we are seeing a tidal wave of credit union CEO retirements.
Despite seeing great progress in the credit union movement, we find that many boards of directors are unprepared and have not planned adequately for a CEOs pending retirement. Some boards will wait until the day comes and then go into reactive mode.
Progressive credit unions address these transitions years in advance. It involves a comprehensive succession/leadership continuity plan. While many credit unions have an existing succession plan, these tend to be reactive in nature: In case of emergency, break the glass. A proactive leadership succession continuity plan involves a regular assessment of a credit union’s internal talent with a keen eye on identifying existing executives that demonstrate the interest and characteristics to become the next CEO.
The impact of getting caught with your pants down
The absence of an effective and engaged CEO can result in strategic drift or flatlining. ‘We should wait until we get the new CEO on board,’ then ‘We need to wait until the new CEO gets acclimated,’ are common board responses when important strategic issues are addressed during a CEO succession.
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