5 Key Questions In Selecting Your Succession Planning Process

Here are five common questions leaders wrestle through when trying to decide what their succession planning process should look like.

Q – What do your governing documents require?

Don’t expect a lot of guidance here.  Most Constitution and Bylaws only speak to replacement planning and are silent on the broader issue of succession planning.  Consequently, the selection of a broader succession planning process is influenced by other factors.

Q – What is the reason you are you developing a succession plan?

An unexpected transition may push you towards one process option while a planned transition would push you towards another.  The “Intentional Interim” is often the process of choice in emergency transition situations.  The “Stop and Go” and “Overlap” options work well when you have time to plan ahead.

Q – Will the current leader stay engaged in the ministry after retirement?

If so, you may lean towards the “Stop and Go” or “Overlap.”  The answer to this question will also influence how you account for each of the five Signposts as you develop your succession planning strategy.

 Q – How “healthy” is your ministry?

Some ministries have a healthy culture.  Other ministries, however, face significant challenges. Healthy ministries tend to implement the “Stop and Go” or “Overlap” options while troubled ministries tend to utilize the “Intentional Interim.”

 Q – Do you need an oil change or an overhaul?

If you are happy with your programming methodology the “Stop and Go” or “Overlap” will more than likely be your go to options.  If you sense the need for a fundamental change in direction you may consider the “Stop and Go” or “Intentional Interim.”

Getting key stakeholders to agree on this question can prove difficult.  This is why we recommend starting the succession planning process as early as possible.  Giving your team enough time to prayerfully evaluate key areas and work through issues is always a good course of action.

The three Process Options referenced above are the Stop and Go, Intentional Interim and Overlap.

Click HERE for a brief description of each.

Governance – Boring but Necessary!!

I have yet to meet a pastor that entered vocational ministry as a response to their passion for governance.  Let’s face it….Governance is boring but necessary.

When it comes to succession planning, however, understanding what your constitution and bylaws actually say is a critical part of your planning process.

Because of the importance of this topic, I asked my friend Wade Hallisey to address a handful of governance related topics.  Wade has been practicing law and representing nonprofit organizations and ministries for over a decade.  One of his specific areas of expertise is governance.

The specific areas I asked him to start with are listed below.

How to Act When Your Bylaws are Silent, and

The Implications of Violating your Bylaws

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