I am in the third month of participating in ASTD’s online CPLP study group. About 50 ASTD members from chapters throughout Eastern US are taking the course and we are working our way through the nine modules tagged to the nine areas of professional competency defined by ASTD. This week, I am working my way through Module Five: Facilitating Organizational Change. Here is a paragraph from page 85:
“Succession planning is a systemic process for identifying and developing candidates to fill leadership or management positions. As senior and experienced workers leave an organization, a potential knowledge and skill gap exists unless the organization is proactively developing its talent to fill those gaps. Most organizations have no succession plan.”[emphasis mine]
Sheesh. Ain’t that true enough? How many of us have witnessed this in our own organizations or in those with whom we consult? Who’s next in line? Who’s capturing current knowledge and processes so there is a smooth transition or continuity?
Here in our ASTD chapter, we want to practice what we preach, so we are doing a little succession planning of our own. That is, we are planning before we need it. We are very fortunate to have a strong membership base that hasn’t eroded in this economic downturn. In fact, we’re as strong as ever, and still growing. We are also very fortunate to have a lot of talented and dedicated volunteers who organize gatherings, mailings and activities for the chapter. Our chapter has been recognized by the national organization for excellence for many years. Many past presidents stay involved and preserve institutional memory, as well as still serve in leadership roles.
We would like to make sure our chapter stays strong and grows well into the future.
Ahead of any crushing need, we are reaching out to our members to ask – who among you is able and willing to step forward to lend your energy and vision to be part of the team that will lead us into the future?
It’s a good time to join the leadership team. We have a lot of good processes in place, so our future leaders have a solid base for making sure that our chapter evolves with the needs of our members.
Currently, we have two openings for candidates at the board level to serve as vice presidents of Technology and Programs/Events. Our Technology VP will maintain our new website, keep our Twitter feed active and monitor our LinkedIn groups. Our Program/Events VP will contact speakers for upcoming programs and do site and food arrangements for our quarterly meetings and one annual professional conference. We also are looking for a Director to continue our Career Management Special Interest Group (SIG). When you jump into these roles, you'll have lots of support from current members who are doing these jobs and know them well. They'll teach you the tricks of their trade.
We always have director openings for people who can work with our VPs and move into those positions in the future. If you have an interest in technology, professional development activities, finance, communications, marketing, membership, operations, events and programming, please join us.
If you’d like to make just a one-time commitment, that would be great, too. We need people to help us at events by checking people at the door, handing out name tags, facilitating a discussion or leading a session. For example, we are looking for people who are interested in leading discussions for our monthly Book Club meetings at the Lehigh Valley Mall Barnes and Noble, even – or especially! – to discuss a book you have written or ideas for a book you would like to write.
One of the great perks of being a board VP is fully paid annual attendance to the national ASTD Leadership Conference (ALC) in Washington DC for two and a half days in the fall. You will attend sessions led by your peers who are leading lights in their fields of expertise. For those of us who have gone to ALC the last few years, we can attest to the fun and learning that we enjoy at the leadership conference. You’ll come back with ideas to move the chapter forward, and the sessions will contribute to your own professional growth.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a director or VP level volunteer, contact Rick Kerner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peggy Salvatore (email@example.com) about opportunities to join in the leadership team.