by Shaheen Jamshed Mufti, Early Bird Speakers, DivC Area45
succession planning in a club ensure the club’s longevity well beyond the
departure of the current committee and make sure that the club can continue to
grow, thrive and be run efficiently in years to come.
succession planning starts early and begins well before the end of this
Toastmasters year (30th June 2019).
succession planning makes sure that all members of the incoming club committee/leadership
team have been well equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge and data to
lead the club in the upcoming year.
It all begins with the current leadership team/committee
members starting to talk to club members (both new and longstanding) regarding
taking on roles in the upcoming Toastmasters year.
The following excerpt
is taken from the role guide I created for my successor:
“As you approach the second half of your Toastmasters year, it is a good
time to start planning for succession within Early Bird Speakers.
Request that members of your leadership team members to begin
conversations with club members; encouraging them to consider leadership roles
in the upcoming elections taking place in May. Perhaps, some of your team
members might even consider standing for roles in the coming elections.
Remind your team to highlight the benefits of being part of the
leadership team in Early Bird Speakers as well as the expectation of members
within to serve on the leadership team (TMI Promise #6 : “To serve my club as
an officer when called upon to do so”)
Liaise with your Immediate Past President who will also be the leader
of the nominations committee*. Working alongside a small team, they will
organise any workshops, the nominations process and the elections for the club.
Invite your team members to look out for potential successors not only
for their respective roles but also for other roles within the rest of the
leadership team as well.”
*This might vary
depending on the club culture
Some clubs (particularly newly formed ones) with fewer
members might struggle to appoint members to roles due to numbers. Similarly, some members might stay on and
serve in the same role for a couple of terms consecutively as the club grows. One
way to alleviate ennui and prevent burn-out would be to ‘cycle’ the roles and
have the leadership team members adopt different roles as they begin to ease in
new members into those roles, whilst growing the club.
Creating Role Guides
worth their salt in the modern world has effective systems in place to make
sure that future employees, whether temporary or permanent, have all the
relevant information they need for the role.
is advisable for a Toastmasters club to create role guides so that successors
to each role will have a guide to refer to during the year.
about the role’s official responsibilities from Toastmasters International
about the role specific to the club
activity, at the club and behind the scenes
details and passwords for any relevant software/accounts being used
list (relevant to the role)
guide can be accompanied by a pack containing items relevant for the role, for
documents to the new Treasurer
keycards and other bits to the new Sergeant-at-Arms
website provides the Club Leadership Handbook that provides useful foundations
on how to perform roles. A dedicated role guide for each role within your club
will capture the nuances and you build upon it over time; adding and removing
elements where necessary. If a role guide already exists, then consider how it
can be improved upon.
April – Election preparation (depending on
the culture of the club)
the official TMI Club Leadership handbook (attached), elections should be
carried out on the first week of May. April is typically a good time to begin
preparing for the elections.
to lead and organise the elections may also vary, though it is usually the
Immediate Past President. The handbook provides information on how to conduct
interested in running for a role can reach out to the leader/organiser of the
May – Elections
take place and the club committee/leadership team is elected into office.
May/June – the handover begins
elections, outgoing leadership team/committee members can begin the handover
process; instructing the successor on what the role involves and other activity
surrounding it such as Club Officer Training, etc
should be given to the incoming members along with the relevant official TMI
committee members can begin involving their successors with some of the tasks
of the role so that when the time comes for them to fully take over on 01 July
2019, it will be more familiar.
that the names of the incoming team are submitted on the Toastmasters
1st July and onwards – A new
year and continued advice/support
Once the new
leadership team/committee has taken over, this doesn’t necessarily mean that
the outgoing team will abandon them!
team members can serve as advisors and support for their successor, providing
guidance as they get acclimatised to their roles.
like to add that it might be a good idea to think about succession from the
moment a new member is inducted and to be sure that they appreciate the TM
Promise rule 6 and why it is important for the whole club.
All going well,
the cycle continues and your club will continue to flourish!
3 point Summary:
talking to your club members about the roles available in the upcoming
role guides/packs for your successors
available to provide support for your successors once they are in office
I wish you
and your club all the best in your upcoming elections and that your club and
the incoming team have a prosperous year ahead.