You have lost or about to lose your Executive Director, what do you do? This is what we recommend:
Don’t Panic! – Panicking is a natural response, which then forces a rash decision. Step back and evaluate the issue in its entirety.
Assess – Assess the situation to determine the timeframe for the departure, the priorities that will need to be redirected and the communication that will need to be done.
Reassign – In the interim, if you have a larger staff, reassign key duties from the Executive Director to other members of staff. Determine which Board members will take over external communication (if necessary).
Hire an Interim Executive Director – Find a quality firm that can pick up the pieces on an interim basis until you can find your permanent replacement. An interim Executive Director can effectively lead the organization through key strategic areas while you search for a replacement.
Conduct a Search – The next step is to either conduct a search on your own or hire a professional executive recruitment firm.
Transition – Typically it takes 90-150 days to bring on board your new Executive Director. Schedule a period of time (up to 14 days) with your interim Executive Director and new Executive Director to transition knowledge. This is highly important.
Association Options is skilled at picking up the “ball” and moving it forward while you worry about filling the position. The most important element of hiring Association Options is that momentum on key issues can continue. You can’t afford to lose progress.
Bill Pawlucy, MPA, CAE, IOM, is founder of Association Options, Inc. a company that focuses on practical strategic planning (corporate and nonprofit), management assessments, Baldrige Award process implementation, AMC search and evaluation, facilitation, and governance modeling. He is also the executive director of the International Association of Interviewers and is an appointee to the U.S. Department of Commerce Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Presidential Award.