“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!