Succession Resident

Succession Planning Residency & Resources

In 2018, our Compensation and Benefits Analysis found that pooling was expected to lose over 70 percent of top executive talent by 2028. To ensure your pool can navigate any upcoming executive transition — planned or unplanned — it’s important to prepare now.

Our Succession Planning Residency is designed to help pools preserve and transfer vision, skills and knowledge in the event of executive turnover. However, the concepts and tools are also applicable to all pool staff.

It is recommended but not required that you complete residency initiatives in sequence:

  1. The Big Picture Project, a template-based toolkit to help you articulate your strategic vision to your pool team. There are written and video instructions for the toolkit, and most executives engage with the materials and produce their Big Picture Project slide deck in less than 90 minutes.

  2. Our Knowledge Silo Matrix Exercise, a method for identifying your pool’s critical operational knowledge, expert resources and areas of talent risk. We launched this exercise by direct email to executives in July with instructions to:

    • Use our Knowledge Silo Matrix template to identify skill gaps and talent risks across operational silos at your pool. After watching the video tutorials we provide, you complete this work independently and at your own pace. (It will only take you a couple hours.)

    • Sign up for an Alignment Meeting on Sept. 8, Sept. 14 or Sept. 17 by emailing us your date preference. At these virtual meetings with Resident Steve Trautman, you’ll compare matrices with other pool executives to identify common pool concerns and explore ways to mitigate talent risks. Steve will provide expert insight and advice to each group.

  3. The Knowledge Transfer Workshop, an in-person seminar (Oct. 4 and 5 in Minneapolis) where pool executives will learn to teach their specialized knowledge to their successors. This is a hands-on learning and working experience similar to how information is typically presented at CEO Institute.


    Attendees will learn:

    • How to teach their specialized knowledge to their successors, regardless of their learning style
    • How to use communications strategies to improve efficiency and reduce stress in the knowledge transfer process
    • How to map out the “basics” and ensure they’re mentored quickly
    • How to measure explicit and tacit knowledge transfer

    The workshop is open to
    pool executives and any potential successor(s) at the executive’s discretion.


Direct questions about the residency to
Steve Keller.

AGRiP Succession Planning Resources


External Succession Planning Resources

  • Use the Cybrary (login required) to find succession planning resources applicable to public entity pools. Search terms like “succession planning,” “executive succession,” “executive retirement” and so forth. You might focus on tabbed results from member pools, QEI Patrons and associations.

Example resources found through the Cybrary:

AGRiP Presentations

Executive Succession Planning Tips for Pool Governing Bodies (June 2021 AGRiP webinar presented by Steve Trautman)


Emergency Succession Planning
(Aug. 2020 AGRiP webinar presented by Steve Trautman); see associated presentation slides

Steve Trautman

2020–21 Succession Planning Resident

As Succession Planning Resident, Steve Trautman helps pools adequately plan for succession of key organizational leaders and transfer knowledge that’s critical to pool operations. To do this, Steve uses his experience as a talent risk management expert and his practical, data-driven ideas on knowledge transfer. Steve is the principal and founder of The Steve Trautman Co. and has written three books, including Do You Have Who It Takes? Managing Talent Risk in a High-Stakes Technical Workforce.