REVISITING EXECUTIVE TRANSITIONS
Who Leads and How?
What's in these Reports?
"Will We Get There Hire by Hire" offers reflections on over 15 years of executive leadership and transition data (building on our Daring to Lead series). This report looks at who leads, where executives come from, and why organizations aren't better prepared for transition. The discourse around leadership in the sector is one that acknowledges the importance of centering leaders of color, developing leaders internally, and moving past a savior or hero model (especially when it comes to executive leadership). How are we falling short of these apirations?
"5 Insights from Directors Sharing Power" explores how groups are aligning their leadership structures with their organizational identities and values. This report features five key insights surfaced from directors sharing power at five progresive organizations: Building Movement Project, Community United Against Violence, Housing Rights Committee, Management Assistance Group, and Rockwood Leadership Institute.
Watch the Webinars
Project Background: Revisiting Executive Transitions
We know that the moment of executive transition can be a powerful time of revitalization around organizational strategy and sustainability. Can it also be a time to question leadership itself? Can it be a time to revisit who leads and how so that we not only strengthen organizations but transform sector leadership as thousands of transitions get underway each year? These questions are at the heart of the Revisiting Executive Transition project.
- offering reflections on over 15 years of executive leadership and transition data (building on our Daring to Lead series),
- surfacing wisdom and key insights from social change leaders who are modeling shared leadership structures,
- looking at the current best practice of Executive Transition Management Services (with an essay from Tom Adams, Director at Raffa, P.C.),
- and offering some more resources around shared leadership to spark further thinking around challenging ideas of traditional top-down leadership structures.
How Do We Lead?
Resources for Rethinking Leadership Structures
How can we organize ourselves in ways that are responsive to a quickly changing world? How can we break apart rigid systems to open up leadership more broadly to more people (especially those who have been historically shut out of leadership positions)? How can we self-organize so that people who are closest to problems can have the authority to make decisions in agile and creative ways?
Rethinking rigid hierarchies and traditional top-down management isn't just about living out our values more fully—
it's also about building models that allow us to be responsive and resilient.
The question of self-management and distributed decision making has been very present for us in the last year as we've tried on Holacracy at CompassPoint. As our thinking and practice continue to evolve (and as we learn from ups and downs), we want to offer some resources to keep the conversation on shared leadership going. While this list is nowhere near comprehensive, we hope it will be a launching pad for more discussion.
How are you and your team thinking about leadership structures?
Do you have a story or resource about shared leadership, distributed decision making, or self-management to share?
Email us here.
Building the Bicycle While We Ride It:
Five Reflections on Nonprofit Co-Leadership,
by Devi Leiper O’Malley and Ruby Johnson for Nonprofit Quarterly
Co-Directorship - What Does it Mean?
Reflecting on Ten Months of Shared Leadership
by Frances Kunreuther for Building Movement Project
Doing More with More:
Putting Shared Leadership into Practice
by Michael Allison, MBA, Susan Misra, MPA, and Elissa Perry for Nonprofit Quarterly
Willing to be Transformed:
A nine year queer, cross-race work marriage
by Caitlin Breedlove
The Most Dangerous Notion
in Reinventing Organizations
by Jessica Prentice
How to Grow Distributed Leadership
by Alanna (Krause) Irving
Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision-making in nonprofit organizations
by Caroline McAndrews, Frances Kunreuther, and Shifra Bronznick
Cut the B.S.: Organizations
With No Hierarchy Don't Exist
by Francesca Pick
Living Shared Leadership:
Reflections for the Future (Part One)
by Elissa Perry (Management Assistance Group),
for Leadership for the 21st Century (St. Mary's College of California)
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