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Do you need C level help? Evaluating the pros and cons.

If you own or have ever owned a business, there have been times when you needed expert help.

The words “temporary” and/or “consulting” typically comes with trepidation, like if all hell is about to break loose. Not really, although sometimes it feels like it.

If you are on a corporate board or own the whole shebang and are looking for interim leadership position, consider both the advantages and disadvantages of interim executive leadership.

Pros:

  • New blood, knowledge and experience, can add long term value to a company.

  • Interim executives can bring an objective view to the organization and provide a much-needed outside assessment.

  • When former leadership has left the company in turmoil, a temporary executive can bring calm and assurance to an organization, as well as take on stakeholder pressure.

  • Although short-term hires, interim executives can bring hyper-focused experience in a specific area of expertise that can quickly benefit an organization in need of help.

  • Cost is controllable, and you can only use the help while needed.

Despite these benefits, some companies may choose against an interim hire for the following drawbacks.

Cons:

  • The presence of interim executives can spur negative reaction at the employee level and unrest at privately held organizations.

  • There is the possibility of a perceived lack of commitment from an interim executive because of the anticipated limited tenure.

  • Most gains achieved may ultimately be short term because institutional knowledge is not developed in interim engagements.

  • The interim executive may not have the proper expertise to help you solve your short term problems, hence not providing a worthwhile ROI.

There are plenty of reasons for and against hiring an interim executive. Since I’m one of those interim C type of consultant, my recommendation is that you do your homework and ask the proper questions to both asses if it is a match and if there is a “Value” for the services provided. Remember willingness and knowledge is key.