The guiding light of CEO succession

Boards must be proactive, intentional and thoughtful about CEO transition planning and implementation.

Every organization is always in some form of transition, whether it’s a result of high growth, leadership succession or dealing with a change in the competitive environment. Regardless of the forces behind the transition, every credit union should have a plan in place to support and align with its vision and to tackle transition head on.

Where CEO succession is the transition priority, the board should take a proactive role. Boards are central to every credit union, and members are identified and recruited with the intention that they will protect the organization’s long-term best interest and success. These members should play a central role in ensuring that a leadership transition plan is in place and effectively communicated—and that any transition is guided—in an intentional and thoughtful manner.

The board functions as a guiding light throughout the transition process. They understand any CEO transition will occur over a period of time and recognize many interests and dynamics will intersect throughout. They will support the credit union in being “ready,” including the organization overall and current leadership. This will involve encouraging the review and investment in an ongoing human capital plan to attract, retain and develop the brightest and best talent, continuously monitoring the depth of leadership, and challenging the management team to groom the next generation of leaders.


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