Developing a Succession Policy Part 2

Last week, we began a series on the importance of your Board of Directors having a succession policy in place in the event that your organization’s CEO may not be a right fit, step down unexpectedly, become incapacitated or pass away. Part 1 focused on questions to consider surrounding the active CEO and the interim CEO. Now, we’re going to broaden the scope and cover important questions to consider regarding a search committee and search support.

There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed when strategically thinking about the Search Committee. Certainly these two checklists aren’t comprehensive but will serve as a catalyst for your thinking.

Succession Checklist: Search Committee
• Will you have a search committee and a selection committee, or will one committee handle both functions?

• How many people will serve on your search committee?

• What groups of constituents (other than board members) should be represented on the search committee?

• Who will appoint the non-board members?

• Who will chair the search committee?

• Will a search consultant be retained, and if so by whom?

• What is the best way to utilize the services of a search consultant?

• What is the board’s charge to the search committee? To bring their top candidate, or the top two or three, rank ordered?

• What will be the budget for the search?


Succession Checklist: Staff Support

• Will someone on staff serve as a liaison to the search committee or will a member of the search committee handle the administrative support needs of the committee?

• If it is a staff person, how much time should this person be expected to spend on search related activities?

• How will the confidential issues and areas of the search be kept confidential?


What questions have you found especially helpfully when creating your succession policy and thinking about the search committee and staff support? We’d love to hear from you.

Tommy's Signature
Dr. Tommy Thomas Tommy Thomas is Lead Partner of JobFitMatters® as well as Board Member and Managing Director of parent entity SIMA® International. He specializes in cabinet-level retained executive search for nonprofit and faith-based organizations.