CCUL Headlines: Industry Insight

Succession Planning – a wise investment (OSCUI)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014  
Posted by: Victor Costa, EDS Supervisor
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From the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, Feb 2014 FOCUS e-newsletter

Planning for chief executive officer succession should be perceived as preparing for change, if and when necessary. Such planning is in the best interest of the credit union to provide for continuity of leadership for the Board of Directors and staff and, ultimately, the members.

Effective succession planning by the Board can help avoid the often emotional and adverse impact of an unexpected major change in management. The key is to make the Board and staff part of a constructive, participatory planning process. Such a process can help instill confidence in the staff through careful planning and clear communication by the Board and provide existing management an opportunity to prepare for upward mobility.

A well-thought-out succession plan should encompass four factors as described here:

Purpose: The purpose of the plan is to outline and establish direction for the Board, management, and staff to ensure an orderly transition in the CEO.

Resources: The Board typically relies on existing staff as the principal source of qualified CEO and other management candidates, but should be willing to look externally, too. External sources may include referrals from sister credit unions, credit union organizations, public advertising, or executive search firms.

Selection Process: The Board should appoint a Succession Selection Committee immediately upon determining that a change in CEO is needed. The committee is responsible for identifying qualified candidates, reviewing the qualifications of applicants, and recommending those most qualified to the Board.

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