Saturday, January 20, 2007

Interim whoas

I get a call every 18 months or so looking for someone who could fill in as an interim exec. Once or twice I've been able to give the caller a suggestion, and sometimes, (I know in total desperation) they ask me to do the job. I always say, "No, no NO....thank you".

This week, I had three such calls.

This is yet another indicator of the change going on in the sector. Not only have we established that most current execs NEVER want another exec job, but also that most senior managers in the sector are at or near retirement. Thus, the math is pretty simple: More job openings plus fewer candidates equals a greater need for interim execs when searches fail to be successful before the current leader departs.

I've always thought that being an interim exec would be a horrible job, although I know two ministers who I greatly respect who have done only that for about 15 years each... and they love the work. Good for them.

Of course the irony of going after a "titular" interim ED is this: usually, after a long term ED leaves, the next person is only there for a few years anyway, and thus is really a de-facto interim exec, followed by another long termer. I've seen this a dozen times.

Well, the generation change is coming...oops, its here.

Two resources, one that I'll flog shamelessly here for the next few weeks:
My new book Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Nonprofits, is coming out March 15. You can read more about the book at the publisher: Fieldstone Alliance, by clicking on the link.

And, another resource on interim directors is a great article from Bridgespan on utilizing interim directors and how it benefits the organization. Here's a news article on the Bridgespan piece, with links to the original article. And, if you do go to Bridgespan...join as a free member, and get their regular newlsetter, Leadership Matters. Good stuff.

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