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  • Writer's pictureChris Gandy

Recruit a CEO for Tomorrow, Not Today

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

We Not-for-Profit Board members are typically very diligent when it comes to recruiting a new CEO. After all, we are very busy people and the last thing a Chair or fellow Board members want is to be dragged in to steer a leaderless ship.

So what usually happens?

Typically, we urgently review today's challenges facing the organisation. Cross our fingers that we have nailed it and conduct a frenetic search for someone who can offer a solution.

We are having staffing problems - better find someone with a strong HR background and "is good with people".

Problem solved! Or is it?

Certainly a quick recruit will settle a Board's jangled nerves. But little else is likely to be achieved apart from hopefully fixing the problem and restoring the status quo. But have we built capacity to deal with tomorrow's issues? Probably not. So what happens is that we end up with a new set of "today's problems" being tackled by a person who was right for the yesterday's job.

Experience now tells us that there is a better way of recruiting CEOs in the NFP sector and that requires Boards to do two things.

Firstly, take a breath and focus on hiring a CEO for the future we wish to create. To do this we need to have a vision and a realistic plan to turn this into a reality. Only when we know where we want to be heading can a Board determine the skills and experience needed to steer us there - a thriving, impactful organisation 3-5 years into the future.

Secondly, the real issues of today need to be effectively dealt with. Otherwise, by the time the organisation has refined its vision, developed a plan to do it and found a great CEO, it's capacity to move forward could be significantly compromised.

It is with these two critical steps in mind that we have developed our Janus Leadership Transition Program. We provide a highly experienced NFP CEO who can take care of today while also helping to focus on tomorrow.

As soon as your CEO indicates their intention to leave, call us about how this event can be transformed from a nerve jangling experience to one of multiple opportunities.

By Chris Gandy Chris is the Principal of Cause & Effective - we are transforming CEO recruitment in the NFP sector

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