Interim Leadership and How It Can Help your Healthcare Organization

Interim leadership is quite different than traditional leadership. It needs to be so. Interim leaders are put in place to avoid the negative effects of executive and leadership vacancies in organizations. They also come in to take on intricate projects when there is no leader in place with the skills to do so. When a key team member such as a VP, director, or CEO resigns, it is critical to put someone in their place while someone is either promoted into the position, or a brand new leader is found. That means that finding the right Interim leader is critical, but it is important to understand that an interim leader will be quite different from your permanent leaders.

How Interim Leadership can be beneficial to healthcare organizations

Although both work towards the same cause and have almost identical goals, there are some very key differences between the two. Traditional leaders are looking at the organization’s goals in the long-term view while an interim leader is focusing on a shorter term goal in order to help the organization in a period of transition. A good interim leader will consider the long-term goals, but their primary function is to set up an environment that will make for an easier transition for the incoming long-term leader.

Interim Leaders Prepare the Scene for Their Successors

An interim role is meant to be temporary. A stellar interim leader will take the time to analyze the systems of the organization in order to understand what actions will help the incoming leader. A great interim leader does not just maintain but will look at organizational issues and apply fixes to make the transition smoother. This can include anything from looking at the cohesiveness of the team, financial issues, policies, and much more. An interim leader will look at the organization from the outside to evaluate what can be done to get the department ready and solidify its foundation once the permanent hire is in place.

Interim Leaders Are Invested Differently

In certain situations, interim leaders will manage circumstances in a much different way than a permanent team member. For example, in the case that an organization is merging with another, a permanent leader may view this as the end of their career. For an interim leader, this is a current assignment to be completed on a certain date. Interim leaders provide effective short-term solutions to deliver results; a permanent leader is working towards long-term goals, so it is very important that the deliverables are set up properly for your interim leader.

How Interim Leaders Can Help Your Healthcare Organization

Interim leaders can be a perfect solution for many types of situations. Below are a few circumstances when an interim leader could be a perfect fit for your health care organization.

Fill In During a Vacancy

The most traditional role for an interim leader is to fill in a vacancy while the hiring process for a director or executive happens. Attracting, vetting, and hiring talented team members can take months. It is not a decision that should be rushed, but a department can not be left unmanned. An interim leader can fill in while a permanent leader is brought in.

Complex Time-Consuming Projects

Interim leaders are a great fit when there are new, complex projects that can defocus your current team, or when your team does not have the skills to execute that project. For example, when you are about to expand a department or when you are preparing for a special fundraiser. An interim leader can be an incredible asset during massive undertakings as well, such as when your organization is undergoing a financial turnaround or during EMR (Electronic Medical Record) implementation. These types of changes are complicated and time-consuming. It is a good idea to hire a professional to conduct the implementation and bring in interim staff to make sure you get the implementation right. Bringing on interim healthcare leaders to oversee projects such as the above can have unexpected benefits, especially allowing your current team and executives to pick up new skills from the individual that has been brought in because they have skills that are specific to that task. Because interim leaders work with various organizations, they are privy to experience, knowledge, and best practices that they can then share with yours.

Improve Quality

Interim leadership is great for QC. When an interim is brought into a role such as clinical director, executive, or manager, it can be the perfect opportunity to improve quality. An interim can look at the organization with neutral eyes to spot issues in the supply chain, inventory management, efficiency, patient service, and more. An interim leader can be a great resource for improving service and optimizing performance.

How an Executive Search Firm Can Help You with Interim Search Needs

Interim leadership can be an incredibly beneficial service for a healthcare organization, but only if you find the right interim leader. Summit Talent Group is an executive search firm that specializes in interim leadership placement. The team at Summit Talent Group has placed interim leaders in positions such as interim Chief Financial Officer; Chief Information Officer; Director, Trauma Services (RN); Senior Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer; and Director, Perioperative Services. If you would like to speak to us about how we work and how we can help you with your healthcare organization’s interim leadership needs, contact us.