What's Next Leading a Thriving Transition


Are you a long-time leader considering departure?
Uncertain how to prepare your organization for what’s next?
You are not alone.

In our recent study on nonprofit leadership in New England, we found that 64% of leaders plan to leave their position in the next five years and 60% have no succession plan. 

A large portion of nonprofit leaders on the brink of transitioning out of their executive role, but many leaders and their organizations are not well-prepared for what comes next. TSNE’s What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition supports long-time leaders to prepare their organizations and themselves for their departure and ensure ongoing sustainability. A leadership transition is a critical moment in the lifecycle of any organization as it brings opportunities for growth and change as well as challenges. For a long-time leader, leadership transitions can bring specific challenges as executives explore their legacy and plan for what is next in their lives, boards increase their leadership role, and organizations prepare for change. What’s Next assists leaders to depart with strength and grace, and supports organizations to prepare for and embrace change.

What’s Next participants engage in confidential, thoughtful and strategic discussions and exercises about leadership transitions, both personal and organizational. The program features two intensive retreats, individual coaching and an ongoing support network of long-time leaders.

Read about the program participants in The Boston Globe article "Nonprofits Hungry for New Leadership."

Participant Benefits

  • Assessment of the organization’s transition readiness
  • Best practices and tools to prepare for the transition
  • Progress on addressing organizational vulnerabilities related to a transition
  • Increased clarity on the leader's personal steps to departure and plans for future
  • Support and motivation to plan and implement the steps necessary to leave well
  • A confidential space to process and plan for your departure and what’s next
  • Focused leadership related to the leader's upcoming transition
  • Groundwork for a sustainability/succession plan
  • Celebration of the leader's legacy
  • A support network of peers

Program Details

What’s Next offers its program in different locations across the country.

TSNE launched What’s Next in 2014 to prepare for the looming wave of departing leaders and the need for organizations and leaders to prepare for the transitions. The program's ultimate goal is to help leaders depart with strength and grace, and to help organizations embrace change and manage it successfully. Sixty-five people in 5 different cohorts have participated in What’s Next on the East Coast and the feedback about its positive impact continues to grow.

  • Four-day retreats in two sessions for each cohort
  • Leadership coaching sessions
  • Cost: $750 to $5,000 (based on organization budget size – subsidy may be available)
  • Each cohort includes up to 18 participants
  • Participants must be long-time executive directors planning to leave the organization in the next one to five years. All information is confidential. Once you complete the confidential application form, you will have a phone call with TSNE staff to discuss the program and answer any questions you may have.

Our upcoming sessions:

*To apply for sessions on the West Coast you must be a grantee of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, The Durfee Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation or the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

Southern California

March 14-16, June 6-8, September 24-26, and November 28-30, 2017. Participants should arrive on the evening of the first date. The program ends at 5:00 p.m. on the last day.

La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, California.*

Northern California

March 19-21, June 11-13, September 20-22, and December 3-5, 2017. Participants should arrive on the evening of the first date. The program ends at 5:00 p.m. on the last day.

Earthrise Retreat Center, Petaluma, California.*

New England

October 5-6 and December 12-13, 2017.

Warren Conference Center, Ashland, Massachusetts.

Sessions in California begin on 9:00 a.m. of the second day and end on 5 p.m. of the third day. Please arrive by the evening of the first day.

Learn more about What's Next. Click here.