The Fading Line: Insights from Non-Profit and For-Profit Healthcare Leaders

By Nelson Mann and Margaret Base

As executive search consultants with extensive experience in both the for-profit and non-profit healthcare sectors, we have witnessed an interesting trend in recent years. The “line in the sand” that previously deterred healthcare executives from moving between the two sectors has significantly blurred. Healthcare organizations are discovering the benefits of hiring leaders from outside their traditional sphere, and executives are enjoying the career growth they experience…



Before Signing On, What Not-for-Profit CEO Candidates Must Ask

“When recruiting chief executives for not-for-profit organizations,” writes Witt/Kieffer’s Julie Rosen, “I pose one key question for each candidate: Are you truly passionate and committed to the organization’s mission and its work?”

Mission alignment is critical, Rosen says. As a not-for-profit CEO, “you will be eating and breathing this work, 24/7.” Beyond this, however, Rosen believes there are several fundamental questions…



Can Coaching Help College Presidents?

It’s lonely and tough at the top of the higher education administrative ladder. College and university presidents have more on their plates, and with greater consequences, than ever before. Many presidents are now turning to leadership coaches for support.

Witt/Kieffer recently conducted an online survey of more than 60 presidents on their experience with and thoughts about leadership coaching. More than half of these had experienced coaching at some point in their…



Health Conversion Foundations: How (and When) to Slice the Pie?

By Wayne Luke

Health conversion foundations are not new to healthcare but they are increasingly a by-product of the current era of mergers and acquisitions. These foundations are created to ensure that proceeds from the sale of nonprofit healthcare entities to for-profit organizations are funnelled into core community needs.

What is usually a significant initial endowment for a new foundation can present dilemmas for its leaders and board: How do we spend the money? How much now, how much later?…



Do Values Still Matter in Recruiting Healthcare Executives?

By Donna Padilla

“Leadership selection has a greater impact on an organization than any other single activity,” wrote ethicist and theologian John “Jack” Glaser in 1989. Dr. Glaser, who passed away in 2012, was an icon in Catholic healthcare circles and in the industry in general, and his words still ring true today. As an executive search consultant (who regularly serves major faith-based healthcare systems), I may be a little biased but it is hard to…



Power Principles: Nonprofit Leadership through an Entrepreneur’s Lens

Perkins Nonprofit Leadership Case StudyIn 2013 when the recruitment began for a new president and CEO for Perkins – known best as the parent organization for the Perkins School for the Blind – Dave Power did not consider himself a candidate. The more he thought about the job, however, the more it made sense. He was a successful corporate executive and venture capitalist always looking to make a mark, and…



10 Great Articles on Nonprofit Leadership

By Wayne Luke, Not-for-Profit Practice Leader

What’s the latest in nonprofit leadership? It’s always helpful to scan major media outlets and nonprofit-oriented publications to see what issues are front and center for executives today. Below are 10 articles—all of which have been published since the start of the New Year—that highlight key non-for-profit industry leadership and industry trends.  They emphasize the importance of mission,…



Higher Education Institutional Advancement: Finding Opportunity in Leadership Transition

Few things stress advancement and development professionals as much as turnover at the top of their organizations. In higher education institutional advancement offices, entire campaigns and carefully nurtured relationships can be dashed if the transition of a new president, provost, or dean isn’t managed smoothly or the new leader has other, unanticipated priorities. The best way to respond to the uncertainty of leadership turnover is for the chief development officer and colleagues to be proactive, and positive, says Witt/Kieffer…



Nonprofit Executive Search: A Scientific Success Story

Finding successful leaders for not-for-profits is no easier than for corporations—all top executives today need broad skill sets combined with the ability to think strategically and with vision.

When the Union of Concern Scientists (UCS) set out recently to find a Director for its new Center for Science and Democracy, it sought someone who was a demonstrated leader, proven scientific intellectual, a specialist in public policy, and PR/communications expert. It…



Who Will Lead Health Conversion Foundations?

Guest post by Marvene M. Eastham, Witt/Kieffer Senior Vice President

As nonprofit hospitals and health systems struggle to maintain access to capital to reinvest in their organizations, they may turn to acquisition by for-profit healthcare organizations. In theory it is a win-win: the for-profit expands its reach and gains access to a larger market share, which is attractive to shareholders, while the former nonprofit pays debts and has ready access to capital in…