Review of the Program
Transitioning positions is an exciting time for chapter leaders, both outgoing and incoming. Outgoing officers are congratulated and thanked for giving their time and energy to their chapter throughout the term of their position, and the incoming officer is excited to begin his term and to positively affect the chapter. As the outgoing vice president of membership development will be aware, this position is incredibly important for the success of any chapter as his position oversees the learning and development for all members of the chapter. It is imperative that an effective and informative transition takes place to ensure the long-term success of the chapter and its members.
Before transition begins and once the True PIKE Experience program has been completed for the year, it is important to get feedback from the member development cabinet, the new initiates and any other member of the chapter that may be able to help improve the program.
Additionally, be sure to get input from the member development cabinet because they were involved with the process. It is also a good idea to get feedback from the new initiates and other members since they just went through the process. Hold a meeting or develop a survey with the new initiates and other members to ask for feedback from them. Also, announce in chapter meeting and over e-mail to the general membership that you would like to receive feedback about the True PIKE Experience member development program. You can communicate to the chapter members that they may submit recommendations through e-mail or on paper in person.
It may be beneficial during all discussions with members to list out discussion points about the True PIKE Experience program such as orientation materials and the True PIKE Experience curriculum to ensure that feedback is constructive and on point. Make sure that all feedback is captured and documented so that it may be added the True PIKE Experience documentation and the program may be improved in the future.
Ensure a Successful Transition for Your Successor
It is vital to the performance of your chapter that there is some transfer of knowledge to the next Membership Development Vice President when your tenure is complete. This knowledge should be communicated in person and in writing through physical documentation.
The purpose of the physical documentation is to ensure that information is available for the new vice president of membership development to easily reference during his tenure in the position. Documentation to include would be anything that could help your successor including but not limited to the True PIKE Experience member development program overall, the position handbooks and position holders, scripts/facilitator guides for member development sessions, slide decks, documentation of previous member education issues, e-mail correspondence, notes to successor, etc. Ensure that every chapter-wide guest speaker event that is completed has an accompanying event summary as well. Additionally, event summaries should be completed for all member development sessions, new member orientation, activities, etc. Any activity that you organized and completed during your tenure as the vice president of membership development should have an accompanying event summary. A sample event summary, a sample contact list, a sample notes to successor can be found in the vice president of membership development handbook. Again, the physical documentation pertains to anything that would help your successor transition more easily into his new position, so please ensure the physical documentation is organized.
Once the physical documentation is compiled, you will be able to sit down with your successor to have a transition meeting. During this meeting, you want to make sure to describe the overall position (including the purpose of the position, the goals, weekly tasks, semester/quarter tasks, successes and failures, and recommendations) and detail the physical documentation. Communicate anything to your successor that will be helpful and may be difficult to understand in the physical documentation. It is beneficial to review the goals that you set as the vice president of membership development, to help the new VMPD set goals, and to discuss any points that may be of difficulty during his tenure or that affected you while holding the position. It also helps to include the alumni education advisor in these meetings so that he can add his insight and advice, and it also ensures that the member development program has consistency and is developing in the proper manner. Taking notes during this meeting will ensure that everyone is aware of what was discussed on the development of the True PIKE Experience program.
You will have a successful transition for your successor if you are able to transfer physical documentation and conduct an in-person transition meeting. By ensuring proper transfer of knowledge takes place, the chapter will be able to continually develop a much better executed True PIKE Experience member development program.
The following check list is an example of what should be addressed and completed during this transition process between both the outgoing and incoming membership development vice president:
- Have the president, treasurer, or secretary update the chapter officer roster with your position along with the entire member development cabinet in the OmegaFi Vault Officer Roster as soon as elections and appointments have concluded
- Ensure incoming vice president of membership development has all transition material and handbooks
- One-on-one transition meeting established and completed between outgoing and incoming vice president of membership development
- Both outgoing and incoming vice presidents of membership development attend the chapter’s executive council transition retreat
- Transition meeting with the alumnus education advisor and incoming vice president of membership development (if it didn’t happen at executive council transition retreat)
- Transition with the outgoing and incoming member development cabinets in addition to one-on-one transition meetings with each individual outgoing and incoming educator in the cabinet
- The outgoing vice president of membership development should help the incoming vice president of membership development establish the member development sessions calendar/schedule of events for the first semester in the role
Notes to Successor
It is also a best practice during a transition to complete a Notes to Successor form, which is meant to be a guide for the next officer/chairman to use during and after a successful transition retreat. It should include current projects, upcoming events, suggestions for improvement, and a personal note from the outgoing position holder on the direction the chapter is going.
To ensure your transition goes off without a hitch, be sure to check out the Appendices section of the vice president of membership development handbook. Additionally, the outgoing vice president of membership development should contribute to developing the agenda for the outgoing executive council’s transition retreat. To aid in the development of the transition retreat agenda, be sure to check out The Transition Retreat and Optimizing Chapter Retreats blogs.
Devon T. Teixeira
Director of Membership Development