Succession Planning as Planning for Continuity of Benefit: March 2022 Integrity Conversation

Creating the Future's
Integrity Conversation:
Monday, March 14, 2022
10am - 12pm Pacific time

Applying Catalytic Thinking to
Succession Planning /
Ensuring Continuity of Benefit to Our Community 

Watch the meeting LIVE at this post. Just scroll to the very bottom of the page.
Details about how to participate are below.

Applying Catalytic Thinking to Succession Planning:
At our March conversation, our Integrity Body (known in most organizations as the board) will continue the conversation we began over the last few months, applying Catalytic Thinking to the critical topic of Succession planning.

Staying true to our values, we will be applying Catalytic Thinking to this topic. Here is some background of the conversation so far:

We began this discussion in October 2021, with the first question in the framework: Who will be affected by our work on succession planning? We spent considerable time listening to each other's experiences with succession planning. (You can see the summary of that discussion here.) In November and December, we considered what the highest potential outcome would be for all those individuals and groups - what "good" would look like, as well as some high level conditions for success.  Some of the highlights of those outcomes:

For the community, the best possible outcome would be continuity of our mission.

For the staff, volunteers, teams, board members, and others who feel they are part of the organization - including the people who might be leaving - the best possible outcome would be a sense of calm, that all will be well. 

We also discussed what the best possible result would be for the new folks coming in.  That included knowing what is sacred (values, vision, mission) and what is open for change; a clear sense of direction; and confidence that the organization has what is needed to get the job done.

In January, our conversation focused on the question, "If we're talking about continuity of the benefit folks receive, what specific benefit do people want us to continue? And importantly, what is required for that to continue to be of benefit?" The simple answer: The most important thing to continue is having spaces to learn and practice Catalytic Thinking. (It was a fascinating conversation! You can see the summary here.

Having identified and clarified the desired outcome, in February we began following the questions of Catalytic Thinking to focus on the conditions and pre-conditions that would lead to that result, like dominoes laid down to topple towards the ultimate goal. We focused on what "good" would look / feel / be like in the spaces where people are learning and growing their Catalytic Thinking practice. What conditions would need to be in place for “holding the space” in these spaces? You can see the summary of that conversation here.

That brings us to our conversation this month:
During this month's conversation, we will continue to drill down into the conditions that will lead to success. Those questions will include...

  • What do people who will be affected need to be assured of, as the teaching of Catalytic Thinking is more distributed? What are concerns of each group – the conditions for success that must be met?
  • What do the places for learning and practice need to have in order to be able to teach, convene, facilitate? What functional, operational capacities like "teachers" and "educational resources" and "igniting interest in the framework" and etc. will those places need to have?
  • Of those functional capacities, who already has those capacities (nonprofit resource centers, individual consultants, fiscal sponsors, universities)? We may find that some places have some, other places have others. Where would one go to find each of those capacities?
  • Importantly, which of those functions is no one currently doing?

These are the questions through which values are clarified, through which Collective Enoughness becomes possible, and through which consensus is built. The result of drilling down into each of the broad conditions (e.g. there would need to be places to learn, there would need to be teachers to teach, etc.) is that potential actions begin to become clear to everyone. That is a big part of what creates the consensus!

From there, those possible actions can be weighed against each other to determine which is most likely to lead to success. Then it will be up to us to take action on those actions 😉 !

We hope you will be part of this conversation, because this is not theoretical - this is actually determining the next steps in Creating the Future's evolution! Talk about the unexpected - and hugely important -  results of applying Catalytic Thinking to what we initially thought of as a succession plan!

How to Prepare
First, let us know if you plan to attend by sending a note at this link. Per the "How to participate" section below, please let us know which of the 3 ways you would like to participate.

Second, if you are not familiar with Catalytic Thinking or the Integrity functions of our board, the following will be helpful:

For those who think visually, this PDF graphic of the Catalytic Thinking Framework will give you an understanding of the flow of the conversation. For those who work best with text, you can follow along with the questions that guide Catalytic Thinking at this link. We recommend having these pieces available during the meeting, to spark your thinking during the discussion.

To get a sense of the context of our Integrity Board, this post introduces our thinking about that.

Third, review the summaries from our past conversations about this topic, to be fully present for this meeting. You'll find summaries of the October conversation here, the November conversation here, the December conversation  here, the January conversation here, and the February conversation here. In reviewing those conversations, if there is anything you might add, please do so in the comments!

3 Ways to participate

If you have never been part of Creating the Future's work, all our strategy and board meetings are open and participatory, for anyone who wants to be part of the discussion. You can see more about that at this link.

Where we meet:

The board meeting will take place right here at this post. If the video does not appear precisely on time, please be patient – we are probably just running a few minutes late.

There are 3 ways you can participate in our meetings.

  • If you are already familiar with and committed to Creating the Future’s work, and you would like to be actively involved in the meeting discussion side-by-side at our online “meeting table,” let us know, and we will send you an invitation to join us online. Read more here about what it means to participate in that way. (Please note that these seats are limited, to ensure everyone's voice can be heard. If you are not able to be in the room with us, no worries - there are still two other ways to  share your insights with us!)
  • If you want to participate but are unable to be in the meeting itself (perhaps you’re at work, or maybe at home with kids running around, etc.), watch the live-stream in real time and tweet your questions and ideas to us via the hashtag #CreatingTheFuture. We read those tweets aloud during the meeting, just as if you were there. This is a great first step for those who are not as familiar with our work, but want to get more involved.

(Please note: We will only see your tweets if you use the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag. In addition, during the meeting, we will not look at blog comments here at this post. While we will check those comments later, during the meeting we will only be following the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag in the Twitter stream.)

  • Lastly, if you want to simply watch, or you want to think about what you’re hearing and respond later – or if you will be watching the recording after the meeting happens – please add your thoughts into the comments here at this post. We will include that thinking into the mix of things.

We look forward to your being part of our discussion on Monday, March 14th!

* All Creating the Future's board meetings are open for anyone to participate, or to watch afterwards. To learn more about the thinking behind this openness - and our experiences with being open - click here.

Logistics: The meeting will happen right here at this post. Details are below.

Watch the meeting HERE on Monday
Note: if the meeting does not start on time please be patient as we may be running a few minutes late.

or, After the meeting - LISTEN TO THE MEETING HERE

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Photo credit: Enoch Lai at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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