GCNN Events & Workshops

Maples in fall horiz
Strengthening Your Board & Succession Planning
Thursday, November 2, 2023

This workshop will be presented in two sessions. The first session, Building Strong Executive Relationships, will focus on the critical relationship between the board and executive director, and how to optimize that relationship to effectively advance the organization's cause. Building a culture of mutual accountability is the key, and this session will offer six building blocks for participants to discuss and utilize in their organizations:

  • Agreement about the organization's work priorities.
  • Clarity and consensus about the different functions of governance and management.
  • Mutual understanding of the specific responsibilities each party has in the organization's operations.
  • Identification of the executive leadership competencies most important to the organization at any given time.
  • Policies to ensure that clear, fair, and equitable processes support the executive director.
  • An effective executive review process.

The second session, Leadership Succession and Organizational Sustainability, will explore how GCNN organizations can approach the issue of leadership succession through an organizational sustainability lens. Starting with the belief that an organization's people are its most valuable resource, this workshop will demonstrate that succession planning is about more than just preparing for a vacancy in the executive director's position - it's about creating and sustaining a culture of leadership continuity throughout the organization. After completing this session, participants will be equipped to:

  • Identify the essential components of an effective succession plan.
  • Assess their organization’s leadership continuity landscape. 
  • Assemble an inventory of organizational information critical to smooth operation during a leadership transition.
  • Recommend a board leadership pipeline strategy for their organization.
  • Facilitate board adoption of essential leadership succession policies.

Location: The Lake Wilderness Lodge, hosted by the Lake Wilderness Arboretum
22500 SE 248th Street
Maple Valley, Washington 98038

Pricing: $65 for GCNN members | $90 for non-members

Workshop Schedule
8:30 AM - Check-in and Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM - Session 1: Building Strong Executive Relationships
11:45 AM - Arboretum Tour & Lunch
1:30 PM - Session 2: Leadership Succession and Organizational Sustainability

About the Speaker:
Pat McGowan works with community impact organizations to invigorate mission alignment and sustainability through facilitative leadership. She works with your organization to focus vision and discover opportunities for alignment, engagement, and growth. Pat believes community impact organizations are essential to create a just and humane world. She has extensive experience helping purpose-driven organizations through success planning, succession planning, leadership transition, and board development. Through knowledge gained from more than 30 years of work in the nonprofit sector, a Master of Non-Profit Leadership (MNPL) degree from Seattle University, a Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, and Third Sector Company‘s Interim Executives Academy and Board Chairs Academy Certificates, her facilitative leadership guides you toward your purpose-driven North Star.

Tales From the Road

Taking Inspiration from Leading Botanic Gardens
Fall 2021 Webinar
with Jason Morse, Arboretum Foundation

Watch the webinar