An organization that loses a top leader such as a CEO or other C-suite executive faces an anxiety-producing situation even under the best circumstances. Without a succession plan in place, the situation can be particularly agonizing. But before you begin an immediate search for a new executive, you may want to consider a short-term solution that will give your hiring committee time to consider the organization’s longer-term goals.
Today, organizations are engaging interim executives at an increasing rate in order to bridge the gap between the loss of a top leader and the hiring of his or her permanent successor. I have had the opportunity to serve in several interim leadership roles throughout my consulting career and can attest to the many benefits this solution provides for companies of all sizes.
Benefit #1: Experience
Interim leaders are highly qualified. Their past experience working with companies similar to yours – with challenges like yours – ensures success. What’s more, they are able to produce as soon as they arrive on scene. Interim management solutions provide the resources your company needs quickly, while remaining flexible, so you can expand or extend as necessary. Interim leadership also doesn’t affect succession planning or impact permanent headcount.
Benefit #2: Objectivity
Because interim executives don’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak, they can assess your situation objectively and assure stakeholders that results aren’t tied to internal or external influences, as they are free from any previous involvement in company processes, staff relationships, office politics or career advancement goals. In short, they are able to concentrate only on what is best for the business. What’s more, interim leaders have a fresh, outside perspective that allows them to identify problems and implement new solutions that may not have occurred to company insiders who are close to the issue.
Benefit #3: Planning
As mentioned above, one of the benefits of hiring an interim executive is the time it allows other executives to consider the organization’s future goals and the type of leader that would be the best replacement. Pausing to consider these questions can help ensure that the new executive doesn’t become an unintentional interim. Having an interim leader also allows the organization to continue pursuit of organizational growth without burdening other departments with gap of missing leadership.
Benefit #4: Accountability
Interim leaders do not act in a purely advisory role as consultants do. Rather, they are responsible for managing a business or implementing a project to success. They take full and primary accountability for assignments, including delivery of objectives, budget control, resource management, on-time delivery, etc. Plus, because interim executives operating at the C-suite level, they have the authority to effect significant change or transition within a company, rather than simply manage the status quo.
Benefit #5: A Calming Influence
No matter the state, size, or make-up for your business, when an executive leaves, upheaval is unavoidable. The departure causes anxiety among staff members wondering what the future holds for them, which can lead to a loss of morale, discord, and organizational entropy. Fellow executives may feel abandoned, disappointed, or even angry. An interim executive can be a stabilizing force and steady hand during times of transition.
CHCG Interim Leadership
As mentioned above, I have served in several interim executive roles, and CHCG is often called upon fill these positions because of the relationships we have built over the years in the contact center space. When helping clients with interim leadership, we focus on finding interim leaders who:
- Are agents of change, at your organization to make things happen quickly. They aren’t considered “just a stop gap” until a suitable permanent position is found; they are placed in your organization to move business objectives or special projects forward.
- Embrace the challenges of difficult assignments and take pride in maintaining the highest standards.
- Provide invaluable insights on project planning, growth strategy, project implementation and/or project management to move your organization forward
- Quickly get control of the situation, put plans and resources in place to run the company, find their replacement if necessary, and leave when the project ends or the company is turned around.
Interim leaders bring tremendous value to an organization, from expertise and experience to quick results, flexible options, fresh perspective and a commitment to success. To learn more about how CHCG can help fill your interim leadership roles, contact me directly.