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Complex Thoughts

Officer Transition

Your year as an officer is coming to an end, and new officers are being selected. How do you leave your position gracefully? How do you ensure that the new officers are as ready as they can be to continue to provide your organization with strong leadership? More specifically, what do you need to transfer?

Organizational Futuring is the process of continuing to improve your organization through evaluations and goal setting. The times when this is the hardest is during times of transition. Every group experiences times of transition. One inevitable transition is that of changing leadership within the organization.

Remember, an effective transition is an interactive communicative process involving all old and new officers. The sharing of past experiences (and lessons learned) is critical, as well as the sharing of goals and visions for the future of the organization.

BENEFITS OF A THOROUGH LEADERSHIP TRANSITION PLAN 

            
  1. Provides for a transfer of significant organizational knowledge. Your group will not have to re-invent the wheel each year.

  2. Helps minimize the confusion that occurs with the “changing of the guard.” While new officers try to figure out what is going on, precious time can be lost to the organization. This lag time effects the whole membership, who may not understand what all the confusion is about, and it definitely lessens the group’s ability to accomplish their tasks/goals and work on the visions.

  3. Gives outgoing leaders a sense of having completed their jobs, a sense of closure.
    It can help them let go — which is often a difficult thing for committed leaders to do.

  4. Ensures that the valuable contributions of the experienced leaders will be utilized. They are often the most neglected members of your group.

  5. The information that is shared with your new officers results in the new leadership having more knowledge and, consequently, greater confidence in their ability to be more effective in their roles.

        Taken from Campus Activities Programming, April 1996, page 48

 

AREAS TO COVER IN AN OFFICER TRANSITION INFORMATION THAT PROVIDES A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

  • university policies and procedures — poster, table sales, room reservation…
  • group policies and procedures
  • national polices and dues
  • formal documents
  • job descriptions
  • constitution and bylaws
  • scrapbook and keep list of all members
  • other background information
  

INFORMATION THAT EDUCATES THE NEW LEADER ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION’S GOALS

  • purpose and vision of the organization
  • goals the outgoing officers pursued
  • evaluation of the outgoing officers’ successes and failures
  • yearly/traditional projects and activities
   

INFORMATION ABOUT RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THE ORGANIZATION AND ITS LEADERS

  • a record of events and how to go about planning them
  • who good contact people are --> advisor!
  • resource file and library
  • BluSync portal
     

INFORMATION ABOUT FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

  • budget information and procedures, including banking
  • fund-raisers that worked and didn’t work
   

LEADERSHIP TRAINING

  • tips on using icebreakers
  • running a meeting (how often you have them)
  • preparing the minutes and how to distribute them
  • team building
  • values and ethics
  • delegating tasks
  • parliamentary procedure
    

ORGANIZE A BINDER FULL OF USEFUL INFORMATION TO PASS ONTO THE NEXT OFFICER

  • explain/go over the information in the binder with the new officer
   
Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.