Magazine article International Musician

Next in Line, Will It Be You?

Magazine article International Musician

Next in Line, Will It Be You?

Article excerpt

What would happen in your collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations if one or more committee members suddenly quit? What would happen to your local if the principal officer suddenly passed away?

Planning for succession is a good strategy for companies, for orchestra committees, and for locals. When effectively implemented, planning for succession ensures that critical positions within the organization are not left to chance and will only be filled by the best-qualified candidates.

But what is "succession" and how do you plan for it?

Planning for succession is a systematic approach which can:

* Identify a pool of talent to ensure continuity

* Develop potential successor candidates and pinpoint their strengths

* Recognize the best candidates for specific positions

* Dedicate available resources to potential successor candidates

Planning for succession within the framework of a labor organization can be one of the most important tasks for leadership and members to engage in. The most challenging part of this task is to bring people together to evaluate the needs of the organization before there is a crisis. AFM members are increasingly busy, often traveling great distances for work, and membership numbers are limited. Musicians have highly developed skills in one particular area (their instrument) and may not have any interest in serving as a committee member or elected officer. Also, financial rewards are practically nonexistent, so people who serve on a committee or as an elected officer will probably find their reward in their work, not in their compensation.

Many orchestra committees, especially in a negotiation year, carefully consider who will be elected to serve on both the orchestra committee and the negotiating committee. Planning for succession might include looking at past committee members, and perhaps bringing one member back to serve on the negotiating team. …

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