What is Interim Executive Services anyway?
Interim EXECUTIVE SERVICES is a temporary consulting service provided in or to the executive suite of an organization. Interim consulting is differentiated from traditional consulting based on the fact that an interim consultant assumes a seated executive role in an organization and works there on a full-time basis until the job is complete as contrasted with a traditional consultant that is in and out of an organization a number of times during the course of an engagement. It is common for interim executives to be involved in execution and not just acting as advisors. In some situations, Interim Executives have hiring/firing authority along with signatory responsibilities.
Executive Services is differentiated from other interim services based on the reporting relationship of the Interim Executive. If the interim executive is reporting to the Board of Directors or CEO, they are engaged in Executive Services as opposed to other interims or temps working at lower levels in the organization. The differentiating factor of Executive Services is that the work is more strategic and cognitive in focus as opposed to task orientated, supervised activities carried out by staff and other lower-level interims an organization may engage. There is more risk to an organization with an interim executive providing Executive Services. Typically, billing rates are higher for Executive Services and the potential of the Interim Executive to have a profound effect on the organization is much higher. An organization engaging Executive Services has the right to expect a lot more from a sophisticated Executive Services Interim than they would from someone picked to just fill a slot temporarily.
The stereotypical reason for engaging an Interim Executive is to deal with an unexpected turnover situation or operational challenge. Interim executives are also useful in what I call project work. Sometimes, an executive cannot adequately address all of the demands they are facing. A financing, a rating agency presentation preparation or a strategic planning exercise are examples of how an interim that is able to focus on only a couple of things can make a big difference as an extender to help an organization or executive get over a hump.
Another example of how an interim can add value in a stable situation is during a normal turnover event (if there is such a thing). Thirty days is never enough time to conduct an executive recruitment unless there has been succession planning that has a successor waiting in the wings. An interim executive in a turnover situation can assist the organization through a transition while buying valuable time to conduct a robust, thorough search. I know this works. All of the executives I have been involved in placing for more than ten years are still where I left them except for retirements.
What is in this blog?
This blog contains articles focusing on leadership, Interim Executive Services, and organizational transitions. What is it? How does it work? Where do you find resources? How do you structure a deal? How do you manage an engagement? What kind of people are involved in providing Interim services? Along the way, my growing group of followers is asking questions and making suggestions for me to produce content that addresses areas of their interest. If there is something you are interested in and do not know where to find answers, I can help you by providing resources or by writing on the topic as I have done several times.
Why should you be interested in this content?
My objective in producing and maintaining this blog is to provide a contribution to the improved practice of healthcare leadership and Interim Executive Services. I intend to imbue the reader with experience and insight that took years of arduous work and study to obtain. This blog is designed to be of interest to Interim Executives, persons considering Interim Executive Services as a career path and decision-makers considering the use of Interim Executives to add value to their organization.
If you are an Interim Executive, this blog is for you. If you are considering Interim Executive Services as a means of earning a living this blog is for you. If you are an Interim Executive that wishes to improve your value to the organizations you serve this blog is for you. If you are new to Interim Executive Services and you want to know more about whether it makes sense to affiliate with a firm, this blog is for you. If you are a current or aspiring leader and you want to make yourself better or more competitive in the industry, this blog is for you.
If you are a decision-maker wondering if bringing an interim executive into your organization will be accretive, this blog is for you. If you are a decision-maker struggling to understand the value proposition of interim Executive Services, this blog is for you. If you are a decision-maker that does not know how to structure or manage an interim engagement, this blog is for you. If you are a decision-maker that wishes to maximize the value of an interim engagement not only to your organization but to your career, this blog is for you.
About the Author: My name is Ray Snead. I have been practicing healthcare finance and administration in a variety of capacities for over thirty-five years. Nearly fifteen years ago, my life took a significant turn when I became a Partner of Tatum, LLC, an Interim Executive Services provider firm based in Atlanta that at the time had the largest Interim Executive Services practice in the healthcare industry. I found my calling in practice as an Interim Executive. Nothing provides a better opportunity to have a favorable, transformative impact in an organization that is in transition. At this stage of my career, I have become passionate about making differences in healthcare organizations that improve their ability to serve their communities. I have become enamored with the potential of Interim Executive Services to have profound favorable effects on organizations. I have been a key figure in a number of incredible organizational transitions where the trajectory of an organization was literally altered for the better.
A brochure from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) launched my career in ways I could have never imagined. UAB’s Department of Health Services Administration is the number one graduate health administration program in the country. I was besotted by the program mantra of “Evidence-based leadership in Healthcare Administration” because of my experience as an Interim Executive dealing with organizations that were experiencing difficulty frequently due to patterns of executive decision making that was not evidence-based. My practice has shown me that one of the common characteristics of organizations that end up needing the services of Interim Executives is that they have compiled a consistent pattern of poor (non-evidence based) decision making. Seeing little risk from applying, I sent an application to UAB to enter their doctorate in healthcare administration program. When the time came for the dissertation part of the program, I was surprised to learn that no one had conducted dissertation research on the subject of Interim Executive Services in the history of the US Healthcare industry so the field was wide open for research. The University approved my dissertation proposal and I have gone on to become the only person to conduct such a study to date. I guess that makes me an expert of sorts. You can find my dissertation here. I look forward to developing original content for this blog and collaborating with thought leaders in the industry to develop content that adds value to the practice of Interim Executive Services.
How to get in contact with me
There is more information about me on my LinkedIn profile.
I can be reached through LinkedIn, comments to blog posts or directly at email@example.com. I look forward to collaborating with each and every reader.
What you should do
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I encourage your feedback and commentary. At any given time, I have several articles in various stages of completion. I am interested in collaborating with practicing executives on the development of articles for publication on this blog. Please let me know if you have a question or idea. Finally, if you are a decision-maker interested in knowing more about Interim Executive Services or an executive considering this type of consulting as a career path, I would love to hear from you.