Succession Planning: January 2022 Integrity Conversation

Creating the Future's
Integrity Meeting:
Monday, January 10, 2022
10am - 12pm Pacific time

Applying Catalytic Thinking to Succession Planning 

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 January meeting, 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.

As Creating the Future steps into a larger role in supporting systems change in the world, it is important that we move beyond dependency on our founders. This conversation has been seminal for us - as it is for any organization that is preparing for what might happen when their founders leave.

Not that our founders are going anywhere. But in their words, "Any organization doing important work must ensure that work can continue if a key employee leaves." As we have been discussing in the past few conversations about succession, this is therefore not just about founders, but about continuity and sustainability of the work, the mission.

Staying true to our values, we will be applying Catalytic Thinking to this topic. At our October meeting, we began with the first question in the framework: Who will be affected by our work on succession planning? We also spent considerable time listening to each other's experiences with succession planning. (You can see the summary of that discussion here.) In November and again in December, we considered what the highest potential outcome would be for all those individuals and groups - what "good" would look like.  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, the best possible outcome would be a sense of calm - of "we've got this." That would also include knowing what to expect, part of which includes codifying culture, so that everyone is on the same page. That sense of calm would extend to the people who might be leaving as well, as they feel confident that they can leave and 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 December, we also began considering the conditions that would lead to those outcomes. That is where we will pick up at our January meeting. Defining those "conditions for success" is where the rubber hits the road, asking about what people need to feel, know, have, and be assured of in order for the desired results to be realized. 

We hope you will join us for that rich conversation!

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 the October summary here, the November summary here, and the December meeting video 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, January 10th!

* 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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