I have had a number of queries about succession planning recently, so I thought it was timely to revisit this topic.

Start by thinking about the mix of skills your committee needs, compared with those you currently have around the table.  For example, do you need to bring in someone with a better understanding of managing finances to fulfil the role of treasurer?  Or are you in need of someone who is skilled in writing grants and getting funding in order to work on the projects your group is planning?  Once you have established the skills your committee is currently lacking, that will guide you in the people you are searching for to join your committee.

So where do you find these people?

At your next committee meeting, go through your membership list together and explore the skills of your existing members.  Who are the people you think might be able to bring value to the committee?  If you don’t know enough about your members, perhaps divide up your membership list amongst the committee members and between you all, phone everyone for a quick chat to find out what they might be able to contribute.

Who do you know of in your area that might not currently be a member of your organisation, but who you think would share the vision of your group, and also have some skills to contribute to your committee?

If people are a little unsure, perhaps bring them onto the committee as an ordinary member first, or in an assistant role to one of the office bearers.  That way they can understudy your existing executive whilst they get a better understanding of your committee and the organisation.

Remember that an effective committee is the key to a vibrant and successful organisation.

So it is vitally important to always be thinking about the future of your committee as a whole, and focussing on succession before current committee members move on.

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