Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Succession Planning (What, Why, and How)

In an outstanding MASC Conference presentation by Bill Lupini, Supt. of the Public Schools of Brookline, conversation centered around building capacity for the transition of staff members who hold positions of strategic importance and/or require a special set of skills. Bill posited that the public sector doesn’t do as well as the private sector in this area.

Why is it important? Staff morale improves, there is a back-up plan when staff members leave, and districts can understand their talent gaps.

How do we do it? The Supt. and Committee must be committed and involved; there must be regular talent reviews and viable successors to key positions must be identified; take a pipeline approach and hold the leadership team accountable; smaller districts need to partner (regionally and with Collaboratives); accept that we’ll lose good people but also gain good people.

Best practices: Align with district strategy, assess performance and potential; integrate succession planning with performance management, recruitment, selection, development; make a commitment (time and resources) to staff development.

Other key practices: Implement leadership development practices and develop respective activities; develop mentoring relationships; enhance the visibility of high potential staff members; reinforce a culture of leadership development.


“Succession Planning for School Leadership” by Kathy Lacey: http://www.yooyahcloud.com/PA/03UHB/Attachment_4275_SANDSHOE_Kathy_Lacey.pdf

“Succession Planning 101” by Emily Douglas:

“Integrating Leadership Development and Succession Planning Best Practices” by Kevin S. Groves:

“Effective Succession Planning in the Public Sector” by Brian Wilkerson: