Continuity of leadership is critical to the success of all organizations – especially in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Minding Your Leadership Gap
Interim executives can provide a significant contribution to healthcare organizations. As veteran executives, they bring experience in specific domains such as finance, strategy, technology and operations. Many individuals who are drawn to interim assignments do so after enjoying a successful leadership career. Having honed a specific skillset, they find it rewarding to offer their services to organizations who are looking to fill a leadership void or to manage a time sensitive complex project.
There are advantages to hiring an interim well beyond filling a leadership gap. An interim can provide a specific skill set or expertise that is lacking within an organization and offer an unbiased assessment on important issues. S/he can keep the trains running while senior leadership or the Board of Directors assume a more deliberate approach to identifying a permanent recruit. This is especially pertinent at the C-suite when a CEO, COO or CFO departs as it offers an opportunity to assess the organization and leadership structure as a whole and determine which direction a new leader should strategically guide the business.
Immediate productivity: A significant advantage in hiring an interim is their ability to be immediately productive and “hit the ground running”, taking immediate action to stabilize a department or organization. Depth of experience (often an interim can be “overqualified” for an interim position) coupled with the ability to gain credibility and take necessary steps is crucial. It ensures that during uncertain times an organization doesn’t stagnate but continues to move forward.
Reduce risk: An interim leader can help maintain relationships and keep everyone calm during the transition before a new permanent senior executive is chosen. Restoring trust may be an important part of this process. Establishing stability helps keep talented people from leaving due to uncertainty.
Change agent: A seasoned interim executive doesn’t have to worry about his/her career advancement, but can focus on making changes and harnessing the best efforts of the team. An interim executive creates an environment for learning and reduces the personal risk of the next level of management. S/he is also less constrained by company habit and history and is not mired in organizational politics. However, they are also leadership savvy and know how to get everyone moving together on various initiatives without alienating the “old guard”.
Specific task execution: An interim leader can also focus on the execution of a specific task. This may be in advance of a new leader joining the organization or at a time when an especially challenging initiative needs to be addressed quickly. Interim leaders enjoy problem solving. They are seasoned in their ability to listen effectively, diagnose problems quickly and implement solutions. It is precisely because an interim does not have organizational history and is not entrenched in the politics of the organization that enables him/her to operate independently without the risk of alienating long standing colleagues.
Leadership and staff turnover is inevitable. It happens across all industries but the impact of turnover in healthcare stretches beyond financial ramifications and can even directly impact patient care. A good interim brings expertise, stability, and an objective perspective to an engagement.
We’ll partner with you to guarantee the best interim talent available in healthcare.
ZDinterim: We Mind Your Leadership Gap.
For additional information, contact Jeff Zegas