Passing the Torch: Succession Leadership Planning in the Performing Arts
Succession planning is an integral aspect of collaborative leadership that is critical to the success, and even survival, of performing arts companies. Few organizations, profit or nonprofit, develop adequate succession planning. There are several examples of performing arts companies that have lapsed into hard times, and even failure, after their visionary leaders left them. Difficulties experienced by these companies subsequent to their leaders' departures indicated that there really had not been any quiding coalition in place while the founders were still present and in charge. It appeared that in each of these companies there had not been much more than the founder's vision, and the force of his or her personality. Co-workers were not true collaborators. Their founders may have been genuine, visionary leaders, but when they left, the organizations weren't adequately focused, cohesive, or functional. Leaders in the performing arts must reinvent themselves in whichever ways are necessary in order to serve their art, colleagues, students and the advancement of the industry. We need to create a succession development program that would be useful in training the future leaders of the performing arts industry.
Keywords: Succession Leadership Planning
Professor Paul Stuart Graham
Assistant Professor/ Associate Department Chairman, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, California State University, Los Angeles