I have been involved with MassChallenge since its inception, mentoring over a dozen companies. Some went on to become cash prize winners, and most are still on-going concerns. I have also completed three interim assignments, helping MassChallenge itself by working on key operational initiatives. Most recently as Interim COO I implemented organizational changes so we could take the best practices from our Boston accelerator and apply them to the successful launch of MassChallenge UK, our first international in-country program. In 2015 we welcomed 90 startups to our London accelerator while spending $500k under budget. Based on what we learned in the UK, we created a “Play Book” to permit the simultaneous and efficient expansion of MassChallenge to multiple cities around the world, with three cities –- Jerusalem, Geneva, and Mexico City — added in 2016 vs. a plan for two cities. I once again will mentor companies in 2016.
Archive for the ‘United Kingdom’ Category
The Economist recently reported that venture capitalists and boards of directors of European companies are far ahead of their US counterparts in understanding when it makes sense to hire an interim CEO. Now, a new report out of the UK – which has perhaps the most sophisticated interim management services in the world – details eight cases when a board should consider putting in an interim CEO.
I’ve listed them below, but first three other key points from the report:
- Interim CEOs are not consultants; rather, they are hands-on workers.
- Interim CEOs are not potential employees; the good ones do interim work as a way of life (and not as a “filler” until a poor economy improves.)
- Interim CEOs can be taken into the confidence of a board (as an interim person has the advantage of impartiality.)
The report also talks about why younger and younger executives are turning to interim management as a way to achieve a more flexible and rewarding career. While delivering significant benefits to the client, interim managers provide themselves with (more…)
My post, “Three Cases When Interim Executive Management Make Sense” focuses on Interim Executive Management from the company’s point of view. An article published in the UK focus on Interim Management from the person’s point of view.
I’m still a little surprised when I find myself recommending that, under certain circumstances, companies should make interim appointments at the executive / C-level. “Short-term” is simply not my nature. But some of the comments in the article help explain why, for the last decade, I’ve enjoyed success in a handful of assignments both in the States and in Europe:
- Fixing Things Fast: Interim executives need to enjoy fixing / changing things in a defined period of time.
- High-Pressure Situations: Interim executives need to be passionate about the task at hand, with a strong ability to succeed under high-pressure situations.
- Hands-On Role: Interim executives need to become an integral part of the organization; most employees open up to them, providing key support for a rapid solution.
- Loyalty: Interim executives develop a keen sense of loyalty to the organization, particularly to the need to improve it.
- Prior Knowledge: Interim executives bring to each organization the learnings from many other enterprises, allowing for rapid improvement.
- Permanent Interim: The best interim managers are those “who do it for a living” and are not simply “between jobs.”
The article’s not particularly well written, but it’s a quick read if you are so inclined.
I promised in my first post to write about areas where we Americans might consider doing things ‘the Irish way.’ Given The Economist has now reported that Ireland has the highest quality of life in the world – well ahead of our thirteenth place finish – I should get started!
One area where Ireland beats the USA hands down is on Monday holidays. Other than Memorial and Labor days, all other Monday American holidays (Martin Luther King, Presidents, Patriots, Columbus, Veterans, etc.) are not universally celebrated by government and business. Rather than making for a long weekend with family and friends, American Monday holidays have become juggling acts, where kids are out of school yet many parents are required to work. And for those Americans working in retail there never seems to be a holiday break.
In Ireland, Monday holiday weekends are true long weekends for virtually everyone in the country, including those working in retail. Six times a year Ireland has what is called a ‘Bank Holiday Weekend’ with Monday the holiday. These weekends are better than the ‘long holiday weekend’ in the States because… (more…)