At the recent TRENDS Live Breakfast on the annual Nonprofit Forecast and Risk Review last week, Melanie Lockwood Herman, executive director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, gave nuts-and-bolts advice to a full room at the University Club in Washington.
Herman covered such topics as not having a succession plan.
- On average, boards spend two hours a year on CEO succession, she noted.
- She said that it is not the CEO or staff’s job to create a succession plan, but that it’s the board’s job
- It’s important that a timeline is established and a plan determined.
Also, many association executives report their boards struggle to understand and make time to manage business risks. She noted three board priorities for association executives in 2014 involving risk:
- Get risk issues in front of your board as soon as possible
- Define what risk oversight means to your organization. She gave the definition as “the means by which the board guides and monitors the organization's risk appetite and the performance of its risk management strategies.”
- Force the board to complete the CEO succession plan.
“The board has to be involved in identifying risk. Also, remind the board that you have to take risks to achieve results,” she said.
Also speaking at the breakfast was Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC of America, and Dan Meckstroth, chief economist for Manufacturers Alliances for Productivity and Innovation.