Breakout Session #14

Karen Houston-Johnson

Chief Executive Succession Planning
Karen Houston-Johnson, CU Resources, Inc.

Chief executive leadership transitions are pivotal points that exert a profound impact on credit union performance.  This is why the selection, evaluation, and retention of the right leader are widely proclaimed as the board’s most important role.  The announcement from the incumbent executive that he or she wishes to move on, a sudden or unexpected departure, or the awareness of the need for NEW leadership are occasions that prompt boards to leap into the choreography of an executive search.

But that leap often comes too late.  Failure to plan for succession well in advance of the executive search can result in chaos when a chief executive abruptly departs or passes away.  It can create costly delays in organizational momentum and progress and needlessly raise a sense of uncertainty on the part of many board and staff members.

The best way to ensure a smooth and successful executive transition is to anticipate it and to plan for it.  During this information packed session, we will cover the following strategies:

  • Succession Planning Precedes Executive Transitions
  • Five Key Succession Planning Steps Prior to the Executive Search
  • Determining Where the Credit Union Wants to Go Prior to an Executive Transition
  • Six Key Issues for the Board to Address During the Executive Search
  • Hiring the Chief Executive Does NOT Complete the Succession Planning Process

About Karen Houston-Johnson

Karen has worked in the Credit Union Industry for 35+ years and was with EECU in Fort Worth for 22 years.  She formed her own consulting company in 1996 serving CUs throughout the U.S. and abroad and joined Credit Union Resources in 2003 as Regional VP. She graduated from Southwest CUNA School in 1987 as an Honor Student, served on the SCMS faculty for five years, and was honored as an SCMS Alumnus of the Year in 1996.

Effective January 1, 2006, Karen was appointed Vice President of OnBalance, a department of Credit Union Resources (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cornerstone Credit Union League) that specializes in strategic planning, training and consulting for Credit Unions and the Credit Union Industry

Her expertise includes Management, Operations, Human Resources, Corporate Strategic Planning, Leadership Development and Professional Coaching, Teamwork and Training.