Signs and Symptoms you Need an Interim Executive


interim executiveIn this episode of Cerius Business Today Podcast we are joined with Interim Executive Scott Coolidge. He has over 35 years of experience, almost exclusively in Human Resources. About half of his career was with large consulting firms, including Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) and Hay Management Consultants. The other half was spent in corporate roles in HR and various capacities.

We asked him what are some of the more common situations he gets brought into as an interim executive especially in a small to mid-size businesses. He told us:

As I’ve stepped into these interim roles, it tends to be small to medium-sized businesses. Usually they’ll have a human resources person there, but that person tends to be more administrative than executional with respect to the programs that they already have in place. And typically what I have found is that the organization is in a situation where they’re trying to grow or have grown, and the number and complexity of human resources issues has grown dramatically. What they’re looking for is somebody who’s been there and done that before, and been exposed to situations that their current staff just simply hasn’t been associated with. So they’re looking for an advisor to help them think about the situations they find themselves in, retention of staff, engagement of staff.

They might have some pretty dramatic issues around leadership development, performance management, or change management. And so they’re looking for somebody to tap who’s been there, done that and can give them some advice around what to do, when to do it, where to invest their time, and what the implications are of doing that to their business operations, and frankly to their bottom line. And that’s what’s been so interesting for me.

Scott also shared some symptoms that means a business owner might need some outside help from an interim executive:

Typically it’s a spike in turnover; that it is certainly one element. The second element is that they’re just not getting the performance that they’re looking for. They’re not growing as fast as they’d like, they recognize that part of the problem is a leadership issue, and they know that they need to upgrade their talent. The challengeis they’re just not quite sure how to go about it and what to do in that regard. The other symptom that often presents itself is that they’re having trouble recruiting and retaining the talent that they need in order to get to the next level. Again, they’ll bring some people in, they think they’re moving in the right direction but then the new people that join turn over fairly quickly, and they’re trying to figure out why that’s the case and what they need to do to resolve that.


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