A mid economic upheaval and increasing challenges, what is the best source of sound, applicable counsel available to the CEO? This is a simple question, but of great importance for the development of small and mid-size businesses (SMEs). At different times a leader may want to use specialized expertise, generate a strategic decision or strengthen discussion around business development. There are many possible sources of professional advice; the executive team, shareholders, peers, professional advisors, family, etc. each have its pros and cons, but an Interim C-Level Executive can certainly provide the kind of results Leaders of small and midsize businesses can expect from their chosen soothsayer.
By working with many CEOs over the years on several specific projects, many clients understood C-Levels to be a higher level and strategic guidance of a more general nature. There seems to be a growing demand for such comprehensive high-level advice, which is not available to any one person. This contemporary body of research was sponsored and shared. This gives a staggering revelation of the kind of impact that experienced consulting business can have on productivity and profitability.
Although large organizations often have a board of directors, many SMEs are not in a position to use the benefits of such a formal structure, for several reasons. However, it is well within the capacity of a small to medium-sized organization to employ the services of an advisory board. It is a relatively straightforward way of accessing expertise, know-how and depth of experience, and yet it is a far more flexible approach, especially if the leader of an organization is focused on getting further perspectives and guidance, as opposed to rear-view oversight which was practiced by most corporate boards.
The outstanding feature of the BDC methodology is their use of metrics to determine the value of the use of advisory boards. Two major highlights of the research found that organizations with an advisory board reported that they enjoyed 24% higher sales and 18% higher productivity than the higher board less’ control group. 86% of these SMEs were also “respondents who benefited from the advice of their advisory board and believe that it had a significant impact on their company”. Those results speak volumes. So far BDC reports that only 6% of American SMEs have formed advisory boards to assist them. The study concludes that “the role, operations and benefits of this governance tool should be highly promoted to American business leaders to help them better manage their company’s success.”
Based on this trailblazing study, and by tapping into the depth and breadth of the talent pool at C-Level, we have developed a consistent approach to help clients actively establish their own advisory board. This approach reduces time, effort, and risk; and provides immediate direction by focusing on upcoming major issues; be it vision, profitability, increased sales, strategic initiatives or enhanced transactions.
Have you considered the benefits of an advisory board? Care to see the findings of the entire BDC research? Potential benefits are indisputable.
No matter what business owners do, businesses will always run into a rough patch where things all seem to go wrong. To deal with this rough patch, you sometimes need someone with a specific skill set to help get your business out of this tough time. This is where interim leadership comes in. Through interim leadership, you can find that specific person with expertise in a certain area to help your company.
What is Interim Leadership:
Now as the name suggests, interim leadership is leadership on a temporary basis. These executives are usually brought in for a short time period or on a project basis. The reason is these executives are highly specialized. Not only do they have the specific skills needed to fix the problems, they also have years of experience to back these skills up. You may be wondering if this form of leadership is another form of consultants. That is not the case. The main difference between a consultant and an interim, is that not only does interim leadership advise your company, but they also can execute on the solutions to assist your company.
When comparing an interim to a full-time hire, there are 2 main benefits in choosing the interim route. One benefit is the flexibility they provide. A full-time hire may not have the background expertise in each of the areas needed the company may encounter. With interim leadership, you can hire one executive who has the expertise for a specific project or situation the company is facing such as new channel expansion. Once this is launched, another set of expertise may be needed to achieve the company’s goals. The second benefit of an interim is the cost. There are no hidden costs with an Interim Executive such as pension or paid vacation. Interim leadership is a more flexible model where you can pay as you go, only for what is worked on.
For the various challenges your company will face throughout its life, it may not make sense to hire a new full time executive. This is where an interim comes in. Interim leadership is flexible and highly specialized, so whatever the challenge your company may face, an interim can be the superhero that saves the day!
To learn about how International Executive Consulting LLC can help you and for more information on interim executives, please visit our home page by Clicking Here.
As an often-underutilized resource, interim executives for portfolio companies and CEO’s should be used in ways that further your company’s goals. In our final part, we will discuss where to find interim CEOs when you’re in need and what to ask in the interview to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Where to Look
If your business is in a bind, you have options. There’s a variety of spots on the web and services you can employ to ensure that you get the help you need quickly and efficiently. Maybe you’re new to this and need some guidance. Below are just some options and ideas that you can look at when you’re in need of an interim CEO.
Social media is no longer just a way for old friends to connect over the internet. Businesses use social media to promote themselves. Professionals use social media to get jobs. LinkedIn, in particular, is one of the top most popular social media platform.
Specialized Staffing Companies:
If you do a Google search, this is likely the most common way that you’ll be able to connect with interim CEOs or interim management. Specialized staffing companies like the three listed below work directly with qualified candidates to ensure they are matched with a suitable company.
What to Ask
Past performance is the best indicator of future performance, and as a result, you’ll want to ask your potential interim executive the right questions to ensure that they have the correct experience to help you. Here are some of our recommended questions to ensure you select the best interim executive for you.
In your own words, can you tell me what we do?
This question will not only catch a serious candidate but will also catch candidates who know what they’re doing. You want a candidate who has done research on your company, not only because that’s good practice before an interview, but also because the interim executives for portfolio companies CEO who is quick to learn, understand, and analyze your company’s situation will be more apt to help your company succeed.
What is the most grounded quality that you bring to the table given our current situation?
This is as much a strength question as it is a culture question. You can have a great interim executive who doesn’t fit with your company culture and it won’t make much of a difference. Depending on what the candidate names as their strongest attribute will determine what their impact on the culture is, what approach they will take, and how effective they will be.
What do you offer to us that we cannot do ourselves?
Most companies require a fresh set of eyes and ears as well as stability in order to be successful. The next level of growth comes with something different than what you already possess as a company. What makes this candidate unique from your management’s current skillset? This is your potential interim executive’s opportunity to show you what they can do for you.
Tell us about a time that you resolved a situation?
If your interim executive doesn’t have the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of your specific company, they’re likely not the best fit. You’ll be able to tell which candidate stands out if someone has specifically dealt with a situation like yours before. Someone with a proven track record will be able to jump in and assist your company immediately unlike someone with no experience.
Describe your exit strategy in an interim role like this one?
The nature of an interim role is that your CEO will be there for the short-term only. Having an individual who understands what their presence means and how they will potentially extract themselves will be an asset to your company. How they enter and exit the company will impact your company culture and your business success. Neither of you should forget about how transition plays a part in this period of time.
Visit us for more information at International Executive Consulting LLC or give us a call at +1 202-258-5376!
Operating a Small business can be an immensely rewarding experience, both personally and financially. However, there is always the risk of making mistakes that can impact your bottom line or even tarnish the reputation of your business. Below are some strategies from International Executive Consulting LLC that every entrepreneur should know in order to push through major setbacks and even turn them into opportunities for future success.
Own Up Right Away:
Transparency is important, especially when it comes to making mistakes. If you don’t own up to them, you risk alienating clients or customers and harming your reputation. At best it will seem like you didn’t notice the error, which makes your business appear incompetent. At worst, you may be accused of deliberately covering up the mistake or withholding information. Confessing to botches immediately lets you approach the issue on your own terms while doing harm control, and clients will be bound to move toward you again in the event that you are transparent from the earliest starting point.
Make Personal Connections:
Behind every product, service or business is a team of human beings and sometimes it’s important to make a personal connection when things go up. Reaching out to consumers and putting a human face to the business can go a long way toward remedying a bad situation.
Factor in Failure
No matter how large a business may be, it is vitally important to factor mistakes and even large-scale failures into the budget. Some companies go so far as to set aside line items specifically for such eventualities and while that may not be a feasible option for small business management consulting. Repeat business and reputation are especially important for fledgling businesses and being able to issue refunds or aggressively react to mistakes without putting yourself at major financial risk may make all the difference when the time comes.
Learn When to Say No:
While it may be tempting to tackle every single order, project or event that comes your way, it’s important for small management consulting firms owners to realize that biting off more than you can chew may have serious repercussions, especially early on. Growth is important for any business but taking on projects that can’t be properly managed or resourced risks complications or even major failure, which can spell doom for a business that hasn’t established itself yet.
When it comes to big mistakes, take initiative and be proactive instead of reactive. Remember that failure can be a learning experience; get back to the drawing board and figure out exactly what went wrong, so that you can either correct it or ensure that it isn’t an issue in the future. Create a plan of action to reassure clients or customers and restore confidence in your product. Having the fortitude to bounce back and carry on is one of the things that separate successful small business management consulting services from the ones that flounder and fold.
Consider a Consultant:
Sometimes there is no simple way to recover from a mistake or to prevent backlash. In these worst-case scenarios, it may be wise to consider courting outside opinions. If you’ve put time into networking and building relationships, it’s possible that there are other business owners or professionals in your field that would be willing to provide advice or put you in touch with people that can help. In serious cases, when the reputation of your business or brand is jeopardized, professional reputation management consultants might prove necessary in order to protect your business.
Who doesn’t want to take complete control of their work life? Freelancing workforce is growing at a much faster pace than traditional workforce. If the growth remains consistent, more than 50% of the US population will be working as freelancers by 2027, according to a survey results published by Forbes.
A large number of employees today are looking for careers that can provide them freedom, flexibility, independence, variety and most importantly security. This is driving employees to choose interim management as a career and collaborate with the interim C suite consulting services providers.
Advantages of Working as an Interim Manager
A better work life balance and flexibility to choose preferred challenges is found to be the main reason executives are choosing to do interim consulting work. Being an interim executive was thought to be a post retirement thing. However, it isn’t anymore. According to a management survey published by Senior Management WorldWide, more than 50% of the interim managers are baby boomers. They are taking up the position of CEOs, marketing and sales managers and other senior executive positions to help businesses thrive in critical times.
Interim managers have the possibility of taking up to 3-4 assignments a year with different companies. Their objective thinking allows them to see that others may not be able to. Tackling challenging projects helps executives leave a mark. This helps a professional achieve an impressive portfolio in business experience, while enhancing their knowledge and expertise.
Businesses Relying on Interim Management
Interim managers are experienced executives with niche skills. They are hired by businesses for a set period of time. They can take up advisory roles or work in leadership roles within the organisation. Companies are taking advantage of hiring an interim manager to leverage on their highly specialised skills in critical times.
Being an interim manager spares an executive from corporate politics, minimizes the risk of stress. As a result, these freelance executives enjoy higher job satisfaction which is reflected in their work. These result oriented individuals are driven to make a difference. Their full commitment to the client helps them come up with business strategies that are unique and can ensure long term growth.
To find the best interim managers, companies can contact the reliable interim C suite consulting services provider .