An organization’s leadership is fundamental to its success. Great leadership leads to great governance, which in turn leads to successful planning and implementation of an organization’s strategic plan to achieve its mission.

Many organizations are familiar with the idea of nominating committees, which is a popular fashion for identifying and promoting members of their organization and industry into leadership positions. However, many organizations would benefit from forgoing the traditional nominating committee and substituting it with a leadership development committee and here’s why:

  • Leadership development will increase overall member engagement.
  • Providing opportunities for leadership development will foster a leadership pipeline of meaningfully engaged members prepared to serve the specific needs of your organization.
  • Connecting current and future leaders of your organization through leadership development will strengthen your organization’s strategic plan.

First, we often see nominating committees spend a significant amount of time on the application and recruiting process when ultimately their membership is disengaged and not motivated to become more involved. Recruiting in this sense can become a “needle in the haystack” form of looking for leadership or, even worse, a risk of putting warm bodies in positions they are not prepared for.

This will ultimately lead to an ineffective board and an unfulfilled mission. A leadership development committee, however, can work to provide opportunities that engages members and simultaneously develops characteristics and traits of leadership within its membership.

Second, leadership development will not only elevate member engagement but foster a leadership pipeline for the organization. This will remove the challenges of recruiting but also build leaders fit for the organization and its industry.

Often during the recruitment process, nominating committees tend to mold the organization around the capabilities of individuals that have certain characteristics and traits of leadership. With a leadership development committee, a planned curriculum molds your organization’s members into the leaders you need to achieve organizational success while also developing leaders ready to serve your industry in the best way possible.

Lastly, a leadership development committee will strengthen your strategic plan and move your organization closer to achieving its mission in the most effective way. Through engaging members in leadership development, you are connecting them with current leaders and facilitating the communication of information, thus positioning your organization to listen and better respond to challenges facing your industry. The result will not only be a stronger strategic plan but a stronger leadership, current and future, to fulfill the plan and achieve the organization’s mission.

Substituting your organization’s nomination committee with a leadership development committee starts by saying yes to change. While breaking from tradition can come with some challenges, this change will ultimately position your organization for a lifetime of successful leadership succession and continuous, effective fulfillment of its mission.