Discover practical tips on managing board transitions effectively, ensuring diversity, and communicating strategically to maintain continuity and build future leadership. This conversation provides valuable guidance for organizations aiming to navigate the complexities of board succession smoothly and sustainably.
We explore the often-intimidating realm of board succession planning with Yvonne Evers, founder and CEO of Succession app. As they explore this crucial topic, Yvonne sheds light on her extensive experience in this field, emphasizing that board succession planning is not a new concept but a necessary strategic process that organizations should have embraced long ago.

Yvonne Evers highlights the evolving dynamics of board membership, particularly the shift towards shorter terms for younger board members compared to the decades-long commitments of past members. She states, “This isn’t the only time we need succession planning. Starting in 2010, about 10,000 people a day were turning 65, a silver tsunami,” indicating the ongoing and significant demographic shifts that necessitate proactive succession strategies.

Her approach to board succession planning is rooted in her comprehensive background as an HR consultant and board member. She narrates how her firsthand experiences led to the creation of the Succession app: “I started with an Excel and Word-based system before deciding to develop a software solution to help boards manage their succession planning more efficiently,” revealing the organic evolution of her business model in response to a clear market need.

One key aspect of Yvonne’s methodology is ensuring that current board members do not feel threatened by the planning process. She explains, “When we talk about competencies, we’re not trying to push current members out. It’s about planning for continuity,” reassuring members that the process is designed to enhance, not undermine, their contributions.

The discussion also ventures into the practicalities of implementing a successful succession plan. Yvonne discusses the importance of anticipating board turnover and understanding the specific competencies and diversity needed for future boards. She emphasizes communication and preparation, suggesting that “it’s all about starting the conversation early and making sure everyone understands the why behind what we’re doing.”

As the conversation wraps up, Yvonne’s insights offer a blend of reassurance and strategic advice, aiming to demystify the process and encourage more robust planning efforts within boards across various sectors. This engaging discussion not only highlights the challenges of board succession planning but also presents tangible solutions, underscoring the importance of structured approaches and thoughtful communication in navigating these transitional times.