Most of the new generation of freelance executives, like independent consultants, actively chose this career path for a considerable portion of their careers. At International Executive Consulting LLC, we’ve discovered that most people make this decision in their mid-career (rather than at retirement) and in quest of hands-on, satisfying employment (rather than while searching for a permanent role).
According to the Worldwide Interim Leadership organization, 57% of interim executives have been in the job for more than three years, while 19% have been in the job for more than ten years. They have experience in a wide range of industries, including energy, retail, manufacturing, and logistics. One-quarter of temporary executives work as CEOs or members of boards of directors, while 23% are active in company change. A further 14.5 percent are in charge of finance. They are well-qualified and, in some cases, over-qualified for the roles they play.
What services may these interim executives provide? Here are some recent engagements that we’ve worked on:
Traditional intermediate jobs have been updated in terms of scope and capabilities. The demand for traditional interim executives has not diminished. What’s changed is their availability at lower levels of the corporate organizational chart, as well as how corporations think about short-term skills shortfalls. We’ve noticed that the motive for filling a leadership void has shifted from just “stabilizing the ship” to leveraging the interim to achieve a specific short-term goal, from executing a turnaround to installing new business processes. We assisted a worldwide private equity firm in locating an interim CEO for a retail company whose permanent CEO was on medical leave in the last six months.
Interim Executives can provide meaningful leadership on vital but short-term projects. When the head of innovation at a major American bank discovered that his staff lacked the technical expertise to manage this critical endeavor, he hired an interim executive with more than 20 years of CRM program implementation experience. For ten months, this interim leader oversaw not just day-to-day growth initiatives, but also the development of top-level goals and strategies. Then he left the system up and operating, with a crew that was well-prepared to run it in the future.
Interim leaders can also serve as consultants to internal executives, providing behind-the-scenes assistance and enhancing information transfer. Interim Manager recruited an experienced M&A specialist to advise the acquisition and integration team when the EVP of a prominent industrial firm conducted a carve out acquisition from a competitor. Experienced and intuitive. This executive had the ability to read both business cultures and was able to assist the team in anticipating, assessing, prioritizing, and resolving difficulties.
Roles developed to evaluate new services and enterprises during the start-up stage: Before making a permanent hire, more and more firms acknowledge the importance of testing/iterating/fine-tuning new jobs in the field, not simply on paper. What will the pace of a new product’s deployment be like in reality? What will be the ultimate governance structure for this new division, and how will this new function’s resourcing work? Moving forward with work while remaining open to actual learning and a variety of outcomes is required to answer these and other concerns. We recently assisted a major insurer with the introduction of a new data-rich business unit by providing an interim CIO to learn and “move the ball down the field” before committing to a retained search and a permanent job spec that was more educated and focused on success.
Being temporary without the assistance of a key executive or a deep leadership bench in a scarce talent segment doesn’t mean you have to suffer or make a quick permanent hire. You may move forward without missing a beat and get an advantage over competitors that are still locked in a 20th century talent mindset if you have a better understanding of today’s temporary executive market. International Executive Consulting LLC provides you the top level Interim Services by the experts. For more information, give us a call today – +1-202-258-5376!
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