Virtual Transitions

You have worked hard to ensure your chapter or colony’s success. Now it’s time to transition your successor. Follow the guidance below to ensure a seamless transition experience and successful operations headed into the spring.

Goal:  To virtually facilitate knowledge and process transfer of the executive council.

Timing:  Within 30 days of elections/prior to new officers taking office

Facilitator:  Alumni Advisory Board, MHQ representative, faculty advisor

Location:  Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, etc.

Tone:  Do not require attendance; encourage it (it’s their opportunity to express a voice). Make it fun, but also make sure it serves a greater purpose.

*Side Note: Zoom has the capability to have breakout rooms during the call, where the officers can be split into different groups to utilize time efficiently. For example, if the chapter decides to create breakout rooms during the transition breakout, a more personal setting can be created

Agenda Estimated Time: 3 hours & 30 minutes

Opening – 10 minutes

Ice Breaker – 15 minutes

Executive Board 101 – 30 minutes

Transition Breakout – 30 Minutes

Goal Setting (Evaluation) / Chapter Calendar – 45 Minutes

Comments/Questions/Reflection

Closing

Pre-Meeting: Preparation

Prior to the transition meeting and to maximize time, the outgoing and incoming executive boards shall find the proper means to meet given the virtual environment. Additionally, the following tasks should be distributed to participants.

Outgoing Executive Board:

  • Compile documentation from last semester and digitize for ease of sharing
  • Create a cloud-based file-sharing system to store documentation for the incoming executive board (i.e., GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive)
  • Create an agenda for the meeting and distribute to participants
  • Brainstorm advice for the person taking over your position
  • List two things you learned about your position while you were in office you wish you would have known prior to taking office
  • Compile a list of goals that are still in progress or suggested goals for next semester
  • Review and share notes from the last transition meeting

Incoming Executive Board:

  • Read the handbook and complete online materials located within the resource center (https://www.pikes.org/resources/chapter-resources/org-chart-position-handbooks)
  • Create your goals for your term in office
  • Brainstorm two things you think the person who held your position could have done better and how
  • Acquire note-taking materials
  • Meet with any stakeholders about position processes (i.e., new initiates about new member program)
  • The incoming secretary should be prepared to take notes on the meeting which will be needed for the next transition meeting

Step 1: Opening

Allowing participants time to connect and join in on the call is valuable due to technical issues that may arise due to the virtual setting. During this time frame, it will be essential to ensure the secretary can get a gauge on who is in attendance. The facilitator would then proceed in reviewing the agenda and action items to be achieved during the retreat.

During the opening, it is essential to outline expectations regarding participation and how to use specific which will be used during the virtual meeting (i.e., hand raise feature, mute feature, etc.). Doing so will ensure retreat organization, and discourage outside activities that could interfere with others while the transition is taking place.

Step 2: Ice Breakers

Virtual ice breakers are a great way of overcoming one of the biggest challenges of managing a virtual chapter: the lack of team bonding opportunities, building rapport, developing communication lines, and getting to know your chapter brothers takes effort when you are meeting in a virtual environment.

People may become less engaged and motivated over time. Furthermore, you might struggle to encourage creativity and problem-solving. Virtual ice breakers can help you bring chapter together and break down the communication barriers caused by remote operations. You can utilize many ice breaker activities by simply going online to find creative ideas to discuss.

Step 3: Executive Board 101

This section of the meeting is designed as an overview of executive board functions. Below is a list of possible conversation topics.

  • Consensus & Group Decision Making: How to work as a team and present a united front while allowing tough conversations, conflict, and personal opinion. How decisions are made. Chapter political processes & how to build a chapter consensus on tough issues. Servant leadership.
  • Purpose of Meetings: Purpose & execution of the following meetings:
    • Committee Meetings
    • Executive Board Meetings
    • Chapter Meetings
  • Constructive Criticism Process: LCD conversation model of giving criticism (Like, Concerns, Dislikes).
  • Goal Setting & Retreat Tool Overview: Review of the management tools that will be used for the retreat including S.M.A.R.T. goals, SWOT analysis, & GROW model (see: Strategic Planning Handbook).

Step 4: Transition Breakout

Individual incoming officers, outgoing officers, and advisors should breakout and discuss the agenda below. Information & materials should be transferred, successes and failures discussed, and notes taken so that a general assessment of chapter progress can be completed following the breakout.

  • Outgoing officer:
    • Description of position (daily, weekly, quarterly, semesterly tasks)
    • Transfer & explanation of resources
    • What went well, what didn’t go well, what needs to change?
    • View of next year
  • Incoming officer:
    • What went well, what didn’t go well, what needs to change?
    • Questions for outgoing officer
    • View of the next year
  • Outgoing/Incoming Advisor:
    • Goal setting for officer position. (SMART, GROW)

Step 5:  Goal Setting (Evaluation) / Chapter Calendar

At this point, all meeting participants should come back together if breakout rooms were utilized. If the chapter does an annual goal setting at the beginning of the academic year (and this is a mid-year transition), then an evaluation/assessment of goals should be conducted. If no goals have been set for the year, it is recommended to facilitate goal-setting prior to creating a chapter calendar. Following goal setting, a chapter calendar should be developed with significant events & meetings for the semester.

Resources: AAB Facilitate Retreat & Strategic Planning Handbook

Define a few high-level focus areas for the semester

*High-level focus areas are applicable to all areas of chapter operations – example: accountability, engagement, organization. What are your three overarching priorities for the semester?

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*All advising, transition, and goal setting resources can be found at www.pikes.org.