Most nonprofit organizations manage the transition time caused by the vacancy of their top executive leadership through temporary internal appointments. Either a board or a staff leader fills the role during the recruitment process.
Sometimes it works, but frequently it doesn’t. The organization is already burdened with extra crisis and tackling it with less expertise compounds the problems. Consider these Ten Top Reasons why you might want to partner with an experienced interim consultant during this challenging transitional period:
- It provides a committed “outsider” with no organizational baggage to stabilize during a potentially confusing and demoralizing period.
- An adept interim consultant will promote a strong partnership between the appointed interim leader and board leadership. This relationship is critical for the success of any transition.
- Bringing on an experienced nonprofit consultant means the appointed leader will have expertise in their corner so staff can do its magic—implement programs, fundraise, and carry on the day-do-day nonprofit business.
- When board leadership senses staff is thriving and the mission is being implemented, that leadership focuses more effectively on governance as well as the recruitment of its next executive leader.
- When the interim team is shored up with a dedicated expert partner, that organization has a better chance of picking up its momentum, becoming more attractive to funders as well as choice candidates for the #1 position.
- A good interim consultant provides open and honest feedback on organizational issues that have to be addressed and supplies guidance in solving them. By cleaning up its house, the nonprofit will set up its future leader for success, not immediate crisis.
- An interim consultant protects everyone from burnout. The program and all the day-to-day operations can run smoothly for a longer period so the Board can recruit and hire the new executive director with care.
- It can provide considerable cost savings: should this step not be taken and the replacement process be hurried and ineffective, the organization must repeat the process—a nightmare for all the obvious reasons.
- A good interim executive partner can help to identify and guide an in-house candidate who might be the interim appointee. This is a tricky situation for the interim and possible future leader; he or she can get stuck in the sometimes-necessary but delicate function of managing “up” to the Board while also interviewing for the future leadership position.
- A good outside partner who deftly coaches the staff-board team can help the organization turn a tough transition time into a creative and healing opportunity.