Do you consider interim management to be a necessary evil mandated by unplanned circumstances? If so, this is clearly a necessary evil with the required ROI. In particular, it is not usually found in your company’s business plan. When you are dreaming of the next gear, you do not expect long for the opportunity to intend to take over your business or investment. Rather, it is what you do when there is a skills gap in your core team, the sudden departure of a chief executive, an otherwise competent sitting executive who lacks all the necessary skills needed to execute a modified or expanded element of your strategic plan. Happen, a business obstacle stands in the way of achieving a performance KPI or price advantage, or a critical life cycle pivot in your company that a project CXO requires.
Value Extends Well Beyond Cost Considerations:
With the stage set for this construct of necessity for Interim Services, it’s worth highlighting that the total price tag for interim management is less costly than buyers of the services might first believe. In fact, the all-in costs can be measurably lower than a full-time executive – given the incremental expenses of bonuses, stock incentives, options, and perks – none of which are typically required for Interim Professionals. The additional expenses of a full-time employee also include what are sometimes underestimated costs, such as executive-level healthcare benefits, car reimbursements and payroll burden (i.e. state, federal and social security taxes). With all that said, the services rendered and their related charges are circumstantial, and the actual cost comparison is heavily dependent on many factors, including company size, industry, employer profitability and the unique circumstances of the scenario in question. In contrast, the all-in costs of an interim manager, inclusive of travel and ancillary expenses is an estimated minimum of 20% less costly than that of a long-term hire.
Positive Outcomes of Hiring a Temporary Senior Professional:
All of these broad categories have a dramatic impact on the bottom line for the company.
The Truth of The Matter:
This is not to say that there aren’t other solutions that can be considered for resolving gaps in the senior ranks and with a lower outlay of capital. Although a “do nothing” approach is reminiscent of the “hope is not a strategy” cliché, sometimes companies can leverage existing team members for project work due to a vacated spot, promote from within on an interim basis or split duties among current executives. However, this approach should be weighed carefully.
Interim Management is not always the right solution, but given its impressive and longstanding track record of return on investment and the ability to validate its value with results in the form of completed project work, departmental efficiency, firm KPI’s and the direct cost comparison as outlined above, its utility as a key tool in the toolkit for owners, boards and investors is likely to be heavily (and happily) leveraged for many years to come.
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* Security and Affiliation! *
As the name suggests, an interim manager is a temporary manager. Ideally, this is a matter of mutual understanding. It is therefore clear to both parties that this is a common path, for a common goal, for a limited time period. In this case, advantages of an interim manager can be fully exploited. At that moment the Interim Manager is only committed to success and is not hindered by securing the “job”. They can therefore concentrate completely on the matter at hand, on the essentials. The question of what needs to be done is never about: how do my decisions and actions influence my future in the company? Admittedly, it contradicts the understanding that generally prevails, namely the striving for security and belonging. However, it is only possible to escape this striving if the interim manager’s (self-) confidence in his or her own abilities and possibilities is high enough. It requires the willingness to constantly analyze the market in order to identify economic and market trends, as well as to adjust to the resulting requirements and adapt flexibly.
On the way to independence I often encountered the lack of understanding for the decision and the supposed uncertainty connected with it. Certainly, this way is also not the right for everyone. Only those who are willing to accept it, will have the chance to take advantage of the opportunities. A permanent position and self-employment are two completely different concepts, which are only partially compatible with each other and are therefore usually largely mutually exclusive.
*Opportunities Through the Interim Manager!*
This is one of the opportunities offered by the independence of an Interim Manager. The actions are geared to the task as well as the goal and keep the focus on the essentials without having to worry about “company politics”.
This is exactly where I see one of the reasons, why many things do not work out the way they should. Most of the people involved are often aware of the necessary actions or changes, but out of self-protection and fear of reprisals or not being part of it anymore, they are not addressed or implemented. Only a few dare to come out of their “cover”. If they do, however, they have to expect considerable difficulties with colleagues and superiors.
In practice, this now means that an Interim Manager should always be called in when changes are desired that require unpopular decisions or even the loss of the actual function or unit. The client does not incur any obligations and costs through the use of an Interim Manager as a result of lengthy separation procedures as with a permanent employee, as there are practically no notice periods and even less so no protection against dismissal. The company can hire specialist and management knowledge as required on a temporary basis. This is also one of the advantages of the interim manager, who after a mandate usually has a more or less long period of time off work, which must be used for further training and the continuous improvement of his/her services.
* Not Possible for One Employee! *
In addition to bridging a vacancy, Interim Management is about the concrete implementation of a goal or goals that are useful and important for the company, committing to one another in the long term. In comparison to consulting, it is about the actual implementation of projects with corresponding added values, rather than simply pointing out potentials. To realize profound changes often requires a high effort, which theoretically can also be done by the employees. However, since this cannot be sustained by them in the long run and thus cannot be achieved, they are forced to adjust their workload until it is sustainable for them over a longer period of many years.
So, who is Interim Management for? Actually, for every company that has temporary tasks or objectives that cannot be realized to the desired extent by internal employees for various reasons.
In these fast-moving times with their rapidly increasing changes, interim management can help companies to meet the constantly demanding challenges and to push ahead with their innovations. Ultimately, as a strategic building block for securing competitiveness.
* Success Through Limited Duration of Employment! *
This is the success that assigns the task to the Interim Manager and not the contract with the company. This results in an interesting opportunity for the company and the interim manager to work together with a variety of advantages and high benefits.
“It is lonely at the top” is a common saying between CEOs and business owners.
In many cases, you are the head of the organization and you do not have any peer inside the company with whom to talk. Ironically, once you are in that role, you have things to talk about more than ever – vision, strategy, what you want to do next with the business, personnel issues, major challenges, And the list goes on and on.
There is no question, this issue has never been more prevalent.
At IE Consulting LLC, we have recently seen a very large increase in requests for business advisors. I quite often asked why I think this is happening.
My answer, “As the leaders of a company, we are more alone than ever, we do not have all the answers, sometimes feeling like we don’t have visibility into what the future holds, and just need someone to talk to us, be on top for a while and bring their point of view and vision. ”
The next question I get is, “What kind of consultants are CEOs looking for?” My response varies depending on the situation, but below are some examples to help answer that question.
A mid-to-large-sized company with a business growth in an industry or business sector is not familiar or comfortable. Interim CEOs are expecting a 50% increase again this year and are unsure what their organizational structure should look like at that point. It has no ratio or compensation benchmark for other companies in the industry as it is a fairly new industry for it. The CEO is looking for someone with a deep industry background to tell him/her what she/he knows and does not do around plans for profitable growth.
Small family-owned businesses that seek to focus not just on growth but on business value. The CEO has received an offer to buy the company but it is “not enough to retire.” There are some long-term business relationships that are potential catering. The owners are looking for someone to help them figure out what the roadmap options are, so that an increased assessment can be obtained and they can be trained through the mines.
The interim CEO has a long-term employee who aims to help the company manage and reduce its workload. Unfortunately, none of this is happening. S/He knows s/he needs to replace the employee but there is also a long-term connection. S/He is then not sure if s/he needs to move forward and how best to replace the person. The CEO is looking to reduce his/her workload and reduce expenses. She/He is looking for a mentor to help guide in completing both.
In each of these situations, the head of the company had no one who could provide advice internally and needed someone who could step in in that capacity.
As difficult as it is to get beyond our four walls (metaphorical company walls or office / home office walls), it is now more necessary than ever.
Here are some common options for gaining perspective or finding like-minded people and building a credible relationship with them.
Industry Events, Roundtables
CEO Peer Groups
If you feel that you don’t have time for these or are a little too familiar with the above examples, you can bring expertise.
Here are some examples of how to get help within your four walls without hiring someone for long term.
Expert Roundtable – Specific to Your Company and Business Issues
Part Time Interim Executive
There are several options for transferring a conversation from one person to two or more within a trusted and confidential setting. If you do not have it internally with your leadership team, then it is easy to find someone who is suitable for the time you need. Let us know how we can help.
Healthcare spending was projected to increase 5.4 percent annually from 2017 to 2022 according to the US and Global Health Care Industry Outlook. This is more than $10 trillion by 2022.
The United States continues to outpace other countries at projected spending – in both public and private health services – from 2017 to 2026, estimated at a total of $ 5.7 trillion. Yet positive health outcomes are worse, with spending almost double that of similar countries.
Healthcare organizations that want to remain competitive must deliver positive results while running sustainable, profitable businesses. Many healthcare providers are now outsourcing the expertise of Interim CEOs to try to lead them towards a healthier financial future.
“Many organizations bring me in to provide an unbiased view and make recommendations before bringing in a permanent CEO or controller,” explained an interim CEO, who has worked with many health systems, critical access hospitals and clinics around the US . For him/her, which often means meeting and learning from everyone in the department, looking at production, completing monthly statements and addressing issues in the underlying financials to ensure consistent reporting to the board.
An Interim CEO is a proponent in strategic planning and brings hands-on experience to the table. They first help healthcare organizations understand their current financial situation and then guide them in making informed accounting and investment decisions about their healthcare practice or business.
Every healthcare organization faces financial challenges, from hospitals to clinics, from health tech companies to laboratories. Whether their financial problems are revenue-driven, competitively based, or revolve around patient outcomes, it is difficult to prioritize which issues to solve. An interim CEO knows how to understand all those moving parts, and to take swift action.
Interim CEOs are no strangers to challenging situations. The interim CEO helped a small-town hospital that had terminated its full-time CEO by training its controller.
Some healthcare providers simply require basic guidance with their financial statements, while others require an in-depth analysis of how well or how their financial systems operate. Other organizations need to determine if their financial capabilities are on par with their new business goals, does that mean improved levels of care, expansion or merger due-diligence and integration. In any case, an experienced interim CEO can quickly identify what financial issues should be done first, and whether the fire should be put out immediately.
An interim CEO empowers healthcare providers, not only to develop and implement a strong financial plan, but also to ensure that the healthcare provider is well positioned for development. In turn, health organizations can then make confident decisions that enhance financial stability in the future.
Interim executive tips to grow your platform, product or service.
Understanding Network Effects:
You buy a toothbrush and use it to clean your teeth. You got what you paid for. Most products are like this. But in the last decade, a new kind of work is taking place whose value actually increases as the number of people using it increases. Otherwise known as network effect.
Facebook, AirBnB, Uber, and eBay are popular examples of companies that have only grown more powerful and useful as their user base. This is not to be confused with development as it does not always translate to a large network.
Focus on Business:
Seeking to grow quickly, businesses can often lose touch with their existing user base. This is not good before branching out to new markets and cities, focus on increasing engagement with people using your product or service.
If you don’t focus on busyness in the early days, you can grow very quickly and lose your old user base. And so you’re not really focused on products and improvements that help the overall network. It’s very important to focus on your growth, how strong your engagement is and how much of your existing users are serving you. Ready to use more.
Interim Executive Tip: An Access Strategy
Sometimes the best way to develop your network is to use other networks. Integration with social media apps and platforms is great for getting your product out there. Focus on users tweeting or sharing your product. This may just be your ‘something special’.
Not only do we as individuals try to improve our productivity to become hyper efficient, but it is also the goal of any company in any industry.
When your company brings in interim management, you can expect this new executive to implement specific changes to help improve your company’s productivity. Today we will go over some of those changes that you could expect to see.
You would be surprised to hear that there are many companies who still do things the old fashioned way like taking inventory with a pen and paper. Though this method may be “tried and true”, we all can agree that using things like a pen and paper is time consuming. Technology may have a steep learning curve, but the amount of time that is saved with technology is invaluable. Our Interim Executives may implement things such as company-wide communications through applications like Slack or changing the way customer service works through social media.
Becoming More Proactive:
There are some companies who are proactive, and some that are reactive. For the most part, the most successful companies are those who are always proactive. They become the innovator rather than the follower. You may be wondering how being more proactive can improve productivity. A good example to explain this is the stock market. When investors do their research and can find that one under the radar company who had great earnings or developed new product and invests in that company then they obviously will make more on that investment then an investor who invests when that stock becomes more mainstream. Interim management can change the way your company acts to market changes or technological developments by becoming proactive. This “proactivity” can be that one change which not only helps to improve your company’s productivity, but it can also put it in the forefront of innovation.
Not only can interim management help solve your company’s problems but they can also implement new ways of getting things done in your company, which can help to improve your company’s productivity.
To learn about how International Executive Consulting LLC can help you and for more information on shot an email or give us call today – +1-202-258-5376!