What is the Difference Between Leadership Transition and Leadership Search?


By Chris Gandy

I get asked this question quite often lately and the simple answer is…

“An awful lot!”

Leadership transition refers to a period of time. It commences when a Chief Executive decides (or is invited) to leave and extends right through to the successful completion of the first six months of the new leader’s tenure.

A Leadership Transition Program manages the entire departure, replacement and installation process in a very holistic approach. It is not just about finding someone who fits the job specification as quickly as possible, but focusses on minimising the risk and capturing all the opportunities that a leadership change unleashes.

Essentially a Leadership Transition Program incorporates four activity phases which we like to describe as:

Stabilization – Readiness – Quest – Prosper

Stabilization steps are immediately taken to keep the organisation on track and maintain the confidence of clients, staff and stakeholders. The real issues facing the organisation today are addressed giving the board and staff a chance to collectively catch their breath, take stock, regroup and move forward with renewed vigor.

Readiness prepares the organisation to take advantage of the remarkable opportunity it has to plan the next stage of its development. Mission and goals are revisited and restated and an objective assessment of the organisation’s key strengths and vulnerabilities is conducted. The type of leadership that will take the organisation where it wishes to go next is determined.

Quest marks the beginning of the recruitment plan to attract, screen and select a new leader – a person who can help the organisation create the future.

Prosper positions the organisation for success with on-boarding support for the new leader and the board to ensure a good beginning with clear goals and agreed evaluation processes.

The result is a future focused relationship between a Chief Executive who fits the current and future leadership needs of the organisation and the board and staff who are prepared to work with their new leader.

Clearly Leadership Transition and traditional Leadership Recruitment models are aligned during the “Quest” phase, but that is about all. When compared to a typical Leadership Recruitment process, Leadership Transition offers an array of organisation development and capacity building initiatives that will bring far reaching and long lasting benefits to not for profits.

About Chris: Chris Gandy is the founder and a director of Cause & Effective – Our cause is to help organisations deliver effectively on their cause.

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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