Jeffrey Wilcox, CEO of Third Sector Company, discusses the state of the interim profession, highlighting its significance, various types of interim relationships, demographics of interim leaders, and an upcoming conference that explores these topics. Jeffrey shares valuable insights and experiences gained from his extensive career in the nonprofit sector, shedding light on the importance of interim leadership in fostering organizational continuity.
The lively discussion begins with clarifying the distinction between individuals who choose to provide interim management and those who offer interim leadership. Interim leadership, according to Jeffrey, goes beyond being a substitute or caretaker. It empowers ordinary individuals to accomplish extraordinary goals collectively. By facilitating consensus on an organization’s future leader, interim leadership ensures operational excellence while fostering transformative change.
Jeffrey then discusses the ten main types of interim relationships that have emerged in the field. These relationships include first-time interims for organizations without prior executive leadership experience, last-time interims for organizations sunsetting their mission, and merger interims for organizations undergoing amalgamation or consolidation. He also mentions bankruptcy interims, interim CEOs, interim chief operating officers, virtual interims, temp-to-perm solutions, founder interims, and specialized interims for unique contexts.
Next, the conversation focuses on the evolving demographics of interim leaders. Jeffrey notes a shift toward greater diversity and a lower average age in the profession. Interim leadership appeals to individuals seeking a better work-life balance compared to working excessive hours for a single nonprofit organization. He also mentions the increasing trend of professionals from various sectors seeking interim opportunities, not limited to the nonprofit industry. However, he acknowledges the need for greater inclusivity and economic support to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter the interim profession.
Jeffrey emphasizes the importance of interim leaders bringing fresh perspectives and asking crucial questions to organizations in transition. Their diverse experiences often lead to enhanced organizational growth and effectiveness.
Towards the end of the discussion, Jeffrey introduces an upcoming virtual conference organized by Third Sector Company. The conference aims to bring together self-identified interim leaders from the United States and Canada. It will explore the state of the profession, advocate for the need for interim leaders in the sector and validate the profession as a unique community of professionals.