Interim Executives Allow for Easy Entries and Easy Exits for Organizations Part 1
Postscript: “But What If It Doesn’t Work Out?” Business owners and CEOs have a number of options to build their leadership team, grow their organizations, and solve business challenges that come along. The interim executive staffing model has become another tool they now have to pull from as they do this.
Full-time executives are of course integral, effective, indispensable members of every organization’s leadership team. But they are often hired for roles that evolve, need a range of experience and expertise to cover a number of responsibilities, face steep learning curves, and struggle with continual distractions and multiple priorities.
Interim executives come into organizations to accomplish specific objectives and provide specific results. They are strategic and tactical specialists. They tend to be able to stay clear of company politics and avoid becoming distracted by activities other than what they were brought in for.
In the end, the interim executive is frequently able to provide results more quickly and efficiently, providing great value and a return on investment.
Finally, let’s address the elephant in the room.
We’ve talked a lot about successes in this book. Obviously, no one bats 1000.
When Failure is Actually Success
We worked with a formerly midsized company that had been reduced to about half its peak revenues. A full-time COO was not in the budget, but a part-time COO was just the right fit—or so the CEO thought.
Through the course of a two-month engagement, the interim COO brought in growth capital to support the organization’s longer-term goals. During this time, the CEO and part-time COO both realized they were simply not meant to work together in the longer-term. But in the meantime, the COO had helped the CEO recognize a gem in the existing team who was then able to take on some key operational initiatives and fill the role.
Businesses are not conducted in a vacuum. They grow. They contract. Markets expand and morph. Threats emerge, and opportunities disappear. Nothing ever stays the same.
Humans, on the other hand, are sometimes not quite as adaptable.
We had a client who was about to do a number of M&A transactions as part of his organization’s growth strategy. He brought in an interim CFO who specialized in this discipline. After three months, things were going great; he’d completed a couple of rounds of due diligence.
Within the next three months, the company’s strategy rapidly changed to focus more on organic growth. A major market opportunity had emerged, and it had to be capitalized on. Timing, in business, is everything.
Come back tomorrow to read part 2.