Managing the transition from one district administrative year to the next is critical to each district’s long-term success. Creating an effective transition ensures that a district preserves its knowledge base, in turn enabling the district to continue to serve clubs in the most effective way possible. Follow this guide to help plan an effective district transition and set the district up for a successful year ahead. Keep in mind that this is a guide, and actual practices may differ from district to district.
Begin by scheduling a meeting that includes the outgoing and incoming district leadership teams.
Before the meeting:
- Identify what needs to transition:
- Spend time identifying key items that need to transition and who they should transition to.
- Look at any pressing business that will need to occur in the midst of the transition (i.e., financial or any decisions that were made in the current administration that will affect and/or impact incoming leaders).
- Create a transition calendar and checklist -- this ensures everyone is on the same page and creates accountability.
- Create an agenda – A suggested agenda might cover areas such as:
- Reviewing the mission of the district – the reason why it exists.
- Reviewing goal achievement over the past year – understanding where the district has been will help you identify where you are going.
- Addressing any pressing business that may impact the incoming officers.
- Spending some dedicated time on position-specific transition (e.g., outgoing LGET works with incoming LGET).
At the meeting:
- Spend some time discussing the following (you can also use this exercise for any discussion related to specific district leader positions):
- Things the district liked the outgoing team doing.
- Things the outgoing leadership wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to.
- Things we would have done differently - if we knew then what we know now.
The following are examples of items that should be transferred according to position, but there may be more:
- Oversee district transition.
- Year-end audit, due to WHQ on August 31.
- District financial records, due to WHQ on November 30.
Lt. Governor Education and Training
- Negotiated contracts (e.g., district conference, etc.).
- Training evaluations (e.g., club and district leader).
- Any processes for district-level speech contests.
Lt. Governor Marketing
- Contact information for club leads (community & corporate) and any marketing relationships built during the year.
- Incentive program logistical information.
- Club coaches, mentors and sponsors – who are they and how you can best support them.
- Club-building initiatives/marketing campaigns.
Public Relations Officer
- Contact information for local media and any media relationship built during the year.
- District records (e.g., meeting minutes, actions recorded, etc.)
- District budget and all monthly reporting and variance history.
- District assets (e.g., anything the district purchased during the year).
- Any documentation (e.g., minutes) and actions of the division council.
- Any area club visit reports that could assist an incoming area governor in servicing and supporting the club.
- Any documentation (e.g., minutes) and actions of the area council.
It’s a good planning move to start thinking about transition; your district will be better for it. The incoming leadership team should focus on learning what they can from the outgoing team. In addition, look for opportunities for your incoming and outgoing district teams to work together to ensure a smooth transition.
As the incoming leadership team learns their roles, they may be able to identify things they wish they would have known or needed in order to effectively do their jobs. Those are exactly the kinds of comments and experiences that will ensure a great transition plan for the following year.
Make transition planning part of every district year. Set the stage now and put a process in place that will be long-standing and effective for continued success.