June 30, 2024 - Blog Post

Succession Planning for Condo Board Directors

Last week I gave a talk at a spring meeting of a condo corporation on serving on a board and the need for succession planning.  Like many others, this corporation is facing a challenge of getting enough owners to run for the board.  This is a common occurrence and very few boards are immune to it.  In fact, a few days ago we received a query from one of our members asking for information on what to do as their board resigned in total and now, they have no functioning board.  Check out section 38 of the NS Condo Act to see what can happen if you can’t get a functioning board.

Given these recent events, I wonder how many boards have a succession plan or, like most of us, are just glad to get enough owners as directors each year.  At CCI National we were presented with a Succession Planning document from CCI Manitoba that is available for use by other chapters.  It is a “living” document in that it will change and be improved upon.  However, I thought it might be worthwhile to produce a blog on why we should focus on succession planning and how to go about it.

Importance of Succession Planning for Condominium Boards of Directors

Succession planning is critical for Condominium Boards of Directors for several reasons:

  1. Continuity and Stability: Ensures that the board can maintain consistent and stable governance, even when there are changes in board membership.  This stability is essential for effective management and long-term planning.
  2. Knowledge Transfer: Facilitates the transfer of knowledge and experience from outgoing board members to new ones, helping to preserve institutional memory and ensuring that the new members are well-prepared for their roles.
  3. Minimized Disruptions: Reduces the risk of disruptions in operations, which can occur if key positions are left vacant or filled by unprepared individuals.
  4. Leadership Development: Identifies and prepares potential leaders within the community, ensuring that there is always a pool of capable individuals ready to step into leadership roles.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: Helps ensure that the board complies with legal and regulatory requirements, which often mandate certain skills and competencies for board members.
  6. Stakeholder Confidence: Builds confidence among residents, property managers, and other stakeholders that the condominium is well-managed and that there is a plan in place for smooth transitions.

How to Implement Succession Planning

  1. Identify Key Positions: Determine which positions are critical to the board's function. Typically, this includes the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary.
  2. Assess Current Board Composition: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current board members. Understand the skills and knowledge they bring to the table.
  3. Develop a Skills Matrix: Create a skills matrix to identify the skills and experience needed for each key position. This will help in identifying gaps and planning for future needs.
  4. Identify Potential Successors: Look for potential candidates within the community who have the skills and interest in serving on the board. Engage with these individuals early to gauge their interest and willingness to serve.
  5. Provide Training and Development: Offer training and development opportunities for potential successors. This could include workshops, mentoring programs, and participation in committees to build their skills and knowledge.
  6. Create a Succession Policy: Develop a formal succession policy that outlines the process for identifying, training, and appointing successors. This policy should be reviewed and updated regularly.
  7. Engage with the Community: Regularly communicate with the condominium community about the importance of board service and encourage active participation. This helps in building a pool of interested and qualified candidates.
  8. Plan for Emergencies: Have a contingency plan in place for unexpected vacancies. This ensures that the board can quickly fill positions without significant disruption.
  9. Evaluate and Update the Plan: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the succession plan and adjust as necessary. This includes reviewing the performance of new board members and updating the skills matrix and succession policy.

By implementing a structured succession planning process, Condominium Boards of Directors increase the odds of ensuring effective governance, continuity, and the long-term success of the community. This is not always easy to do but it is a worthwhile endeavour.  Have you got a succession plan?  If not, why not?

"Succession planning is not an event, it's a process. And it's never too early to start." - Warren Buffett.

"The future of any organization depends on its ability to develop and maintain a steady stream of capable leaders." - Jack Welch.

Michael Kennedy
CCI Nova Scotia

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