Leadership Transition


ETM Framework

Executive leadership transitions present an array of challenges and opportunities for nonprofit organizations and therefore merit thoughtful attention and planning. Managance Consulting & Coaching was one of the pioneers in 2001-2005 that worked with The Annie E. Casey Foundation, CompassPoint, and the Maryland Association of Nonprofit organizations to conduct research and develop the practice of Executive Transition Management (ETM) for nonprofit organizations. Now in use nationwide, ETM is designed to position nonprofit leadership (i.e. departing and new executive leadership and the board of directors) and the organization as a whole for success through leadership change.

Since 2005 Managance Consulting & Coaching has specialized in two aspects of the ETM framework – advance transition planning and post-hire support, along with offering quality candidate search services. We focus on advance planning and post-hire support especially for two reasons: First we believe leaping – like the kind that happens when a leader changes – takes planning, and we excel at planning. Second, we believe opportunity – like the kind that emerges when an organization is most vulnerable leading up to a change in leader and the initial 6 months to a year with a new leader – needs to be supported, and we excel at providing support through coaching for success.

ETM Components

Transition Planning Phase

At the end of the transition planning phase the organization has three deliverables to support the search and selection phase:

  1. Updated organization identity statement with a refreshed long-term (10-year) and short-term (3-year) strategic vision.
  2. Transition work plan that outlines a search strategy, selection timeline, transition communication strategy and financial capacity building recommendations.
  3. An executive director position summary that tells the organization story, explains the executive director’s role, and describes the attributes and competencies the organization is seeking in its next leader to guide future success.

Search & Selection Phase

Managance understands how important it is for a leadership transition process to fit with an organization’s available resources. To that end we offer two different approaches to supporting the search and selection phase:

1) Coaching to support search and selection once an organization completes its transition planning, the organization will be in a good position to implement its search and selection process. The organization will enter this phase with an understanding of the kind of next leader the organization needs and the process for finding the talent that is just the right fit. Managance could be available to coach the search committee and provide members with a variety of tools and sample documents the committee can adapt for its own purposes. This would include 9-12 conference calls with the search committee as it completes the following types of tasks.

  • 1-page position announcement and advertising copy
  • Outline for candidate information packages
  • Talking points for board members and staff to respond to the applicant
  • Options for where to place position announcements
  • Resume management and review
  • Candidate management
  • Strategy for personalized networking to create interest in the position
  • Development of interview questions and other interview tools
  • Debriefing candidate interviews and surfacing other questions
  • Complete reference and background checking
  • Make a hiring decision
  • Negotiating the compensation package and orientation process

2) Through our on-going alliance with Catrese Brown, Managance is available to facilitate the search process on behalf of the board. Instead of coaching the search committee, Managance would conduct the search in partnership with the committee. We would do all tasks identified in the coaching option, and facilitate the recruitment, resume management, and candidate management processes including the following:

  • Compensation analysis
  • Facilitate outreach to diverse networks to attract candidates
  • Manage the receipt of resumes
  • Screen initial candidates
  • Assist the search committee in conducting interviews
  • Manage candidates and the interview process
  • Reference checks and background investigations of finalists
  • Facilitate board ratification of the selected candidate

Post-Hire Coaching Phase

The components of our post-hire approach are “Starting SMART” coaching for the new executive director combined with additional coaching for the executive director and board executive committee to establish a joint leadership agenda and performance review plan.

“Starting SMART” Coaching (Soulfully, Mindfully, Astutely, Responsibly, Trustingly) is designed for individuals who are executive directors for the first time or who are seasoned executive directors in a new position. During your first six months on the job “Starting Smart” sets the stage for personal success in building sustainable collaboration and credibility.

SMART Coaching includes an initial conversation with the executive director (in-person if possible), an energy leadership index assessment, Starting SMART pre- and post-assessment, six 60-minute coaching calls by phone, summary notes following each call, and unlimited email support as requested between calls over period of 8 months.