How do I get 20 years worth of knowledge and expertise into someone else's head?

Once I made the decision to leave the organization I founded, I was faced with a challenge... how do I explain the logic and practices of a deeply complex social venture? How do I teach the next CEO what the lifeblood of the organization was all about without overwhelming or limiting him or her? I was fortunate to have guidance in the form of a transition coach (thanks to a donor who underwrote the costs). My coach helped me vocalize precepts and business truths that became the basis for a binder that I was able to use to onboard my predecessor.

My coach guided me to discover what was important for the organization. I engaged and guided staff to help in each of their areas of expertise. I wrote and/or edited, crafted the messages, and pulled out important details that I felt would be most relevant for the new CEO and put it into binder that is still in use today.

Included in the document are: 

  • Mission related data, history, research (both quantitative and qualitative), case studies
  • Maturity matrixes
  • Partner histories
  • Program structures, theory of change
  • Messaging style guide
  • Donor personas, profiles, histories
  • Market segmentation data, customer personas, and historical sales data
  • Articulated fundraising model, values, and best practices 
  • Operations best practices, budget narratives, financial metrics highlights