Examine your Club’s Position

To commence succession planning it is vital for you to understand exactly why your club needs a plan for the future and what you hope to get out of it. This involves clarifying your club’s current position to identify its needs for the future. More specifically, there are three stages to this first step. The first is to establish the club’s position and current needs, the second is to identify critical roles within the club that help the club address these needs and the third is to assess whether there any expected departures or vacancies in these roles.

Identify Current and Future Needs

Consider your club in its current form. Think about the following three areas: club management (the decision-making and administrative processes in your club), club activity and club people.

Some clubs may have already thought about these three areas and detailed their needs and objectives in a club strategic plan or discussed these questions at an AGM. If this is the case with your club, you should refer to your strategic plan to help you complete this first step.

For each club area (management, activity and people), answer the following three questions: 

    • What does your club do well? 
    • What have you realised your club needs?  
    • What changes do you want to see happen in the next five-10 years?

With these responses, complete the Table – Club Position (36 KB).

Thinking about this helps you to understand your club’s current position and why you are beginning to make a plan for succession. Succession planning is really about what you need to do now to ensure that your club meets its objectives in the future. This could involve making sure you continue to do the things you do well or deciding that you need to make changes.

If you would like to begin developing your succession plan, visit the Template – Succession Plan (133 KB) and complete the Club Position section. Once you have completed that section, save the plan to your file and add information as you go.

What Vacancies are Expected in These Positions?

Once you have established the critical positions within the club, you need to assess (to the best of your ability) the risk of turnover in these positions in the near future. Who is retiring? Who is moving away? Who has been in the role too long and may be getting sick of the role? Make a list and rank the expected departure/vacancy of key positions as either ‘immediate’, ‘short term’ (in the next 12 months to two years) or ‘long term’ (in two years’ time and beyond).

The more you know about the timing of handover, the more prepared you can be to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and that you have someone waiting in the wings to step into the role.  To record this information, use the Worksheet – Expected Vacancy (34 KB).

Once you have gone through the three stages of Step 1 you should  have recorded the following information:

    • What your club does well, what your club needs to do better and what changes you would like to make in the future;
    • The critical roles within your club that contribute to your club’s success now or in the future; and
    • When you expect these key roles to become vacant.

You are now ready to complete the Expected Vacancies in Critical Roles section of your Template – Succession Plan (133 KB).