iProtean—Thoughts from Leading Governance Experts on Succession Planning

Note: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this week we are publishing an abbreviated version of the newsletter. Next week look for information on Moody’s Investors Service 2014 Outlook for U.S. Not-for-Profit Hospitals.


We wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving.


When a hospital or system board takes steps to downsize its board, the process can be fraught with challenges. iProtean governance experts Barry Bader and Pamela Knecht recently wrote about recommended practices for downsizing the board. They put forth what they consider to be effective practices in GreatBoards (Fall 2013).


Barry and Pam suggested eight practices . . . we introduce four here.


  1. Assign responsibility for developing downsizing recommendations to a board committee or task force with solid credibility.
  2. Base downsizing decisions on objective, competency-based criteria that identify the areas of knowledge, skills and personal attributes that will be needed on the new board.
  3. Assess the current board: consult with current members to ask for their confidential assessment of their peers’ competencies, and to ascertain their interest in serving on the new board.
  4. Decide on the ideal size or size range for the new board and whether to reach the ideal immediately or through a transitional process of one or more years.


We have more on efficient practices for board composition in iProtean’s upcoming advanced course on competency-based succession planning. It is scheduled to be released in January and features Barry Bader, Lisa Goldstein, Anne McGeorge and Monte Dube and covers best practices, ramp-up time for new board members, desirable competencies, term limits, evaluating for re-election, recruiting in small markets, and elected and appointed boards.



iProtean subscribers, Part Two of Making Difficult Decisions About Services and Programs: A Portfolio Approach featuring Lisa Goldstein, Marian Jennings and Nate Kaufman will be in your library soon!



For a complete list of iProtean courses, click here.

For more information about iProtean, click here.