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SMART TRANSITIONS: Consulting for Executives in Transition from Stevens Strategy

Stevens Strategy is a full-service consulting firm specializing in managing the process of strategic change in colleges, universities and schools. We offer professional services to the leaders of these institutions in the areas of Strategic Planning, Strategic Governance, Focused Strategic Analysis, Financial Analysis and Planning and Institution-wide Policy Development. Our consultants have extensive experience serving colleges, universities and schools—including positions as present and former trustees, presidents, faculty, vice presidents and other senior staff—each with a particular area of expertise in college, university and school leadership and management. Our clients include independent and public institutions from the largest universities to the smallest colleges and schools in America and throughout the world.

Smart Transitions is a Stevens Strategy Consulting Service for executives in transition, led by Jeanie Watson and Ellen Hurwitz, highly experienced college and university presidents with strong academic backgrounds and a deep commitment to facilitating successful executive leadership transitions.

When a current executive leader leaves the institution and a new one is appointed and begins his or her tenure, it inevitably initiates a change-process. Ideally, this transition in leadership is well-thought-through and well- managed, so as to be strategic, positive, and productive: for the out-going leader; the in-coming leader; and, ultimately, for the institution. Smart Transitions specifically focuses on the executive leaders in these times of leadership transition. We are the sounding boards, questioners, and conversation-partners, helping the executive leader navigate his or her transition within the historical, cultural, and political context of the institution.

Smart Transitions offers an advantage that enables a college or university to attract and retain effective leaders while exemplifying best practice in managing timely and well-executed transitions.

The Advantage of Transition Executive Consulting:

College and university executives come and go, not always in ways that facilitate institutional growth and stability. All too often leadership change is abrupt and unexpected, resulting in dysfunctional behaviors across the campus, a decline in institutional support, and a less than favorable environment for any future leader. Smart, thoughtful transitions, on the other hand, yield institutional transformation and growth. Smart Transitions provides services at critical junctures of leadership transition:

  • *the announced departure of the current executive leader;
  • *the time after the naming of a new executive leader, but before his or her “start” date; and
  • *during the new leader’s first year

Acknowledged and respected within the corporate and business community as “executive coaching,” counsel to the executive is seen there as an effective way to enhance the abilities and performance of senior executive leadership. Only recently, however, have higher education and other not-for-profits begun to use this process to facilitate the successful transition and further develop the leadership skills of their executives. We believe this trend will only continue to grow, since in this time of rapid—often turbulent—change, the role of higher education and other non-profit leaders becomes ever more challenging. And, thus, the need for confident, perceptive, forward-looking leadership is imperative.

About the Author: John Stevens, Ed.D.

John A. Stevens is Founder and President of Stevens Strategy, LLC, a full-service consulting firm specializing in managing the process of strategic change in colleges, universities and schools. He also serves as a Founder and Principal of Chronos Company, LLC, organized to design, oversee the … (Read More)

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