When It’s Time to Say Goodbye…

Finishing up my time at NCJW, and I’ve been trying to make sure they have all the information they need for a reasonably seamless transition.

I haven’t been there long, but because I was their first executive director the organization hasn’t had to deal with this type of transition in the past. In addition, almost all of their administrative systems have been modified over the course of the past year, and NCJW will also have to hire a new administrative manager–the only other staff position. Lots of change for a small organization.

To ease the transition, we first made sure that the organization’s operations manual was up to date. It’s a physical document, kept in a secure spot, with information about all of the office systems: computers, printers, passwords, etc. Every group should have one. We updated vendor information, which is kept in our CRM database (Salesforce, in this case), along with many other documents, so that our successors would know where to find it–and where to find help when they need it.

Then I met informally with every program or project chair and every vice president I could squeeze in, to talk about where to find their information, goals and strategies for their programs, and possibilities and recommendations for next steps.

It’s important to recognize, as is pointed out in this article, that invariably there is conjecture about the “real reason” for the departure; that can be forestalled by a straightforward letter of resignation that is distributed to all board members and other key stakeholders. Along with mine, I attached a series of general recommendations for the board, so that even if I hadn’t had a chance to meet one-on-one with them, everyone would have the opportunity to benefit from what I’d learned over the past year.

In the end, everyone’s happy and I feel as though I’ve given them the best preparation I could for the future. Ultimately, that’s the job!