The Greeley Company
March 22, 2018 3 Min Read

The Best of Both Worlds: Honor Your Organization by NOT Choosing an Internal Interim CMO

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Every organization has struggled at one point or another to fill this key and complex role. It takes time to find a great Chief Medical Officer. So what happens in the meantime? An Interim CMO?

Many organizations opt to appoint an internal interim CMO, but it’s often a lose-lose scenario.

[HINT: Yes, we have an alternative solution.  Keep reading…]

An experienced Interim CMO can:

  • Avoid loss of revenue
  • Triage and right the ship
  • Pick up where a great CMO left off
  • Mentor a promising internal candidate

A hospital might choose a popular or senior physician to tide the organization over. Will there be a revenue downside for the facility with this physician’s shift from earner to executive? Will the physician’s practice and patients be negatively impacted?

CMO duties are a tough balancing act for practicing physicians. Finding a physician who can step out of a practice and away from patients easily to focus on the CMO role on an interim basis is even tougher.

Despite those challenges, if a hospital is able to recruit and appoint an internal interim CMO, there are additional hurdles to consider.

What if this local, respected physician likes the role and decides to throw his or her hat in the ring for the permanent job? But then, while serving in the interim CMO role, proves to be somewhat lacking in leadership and executive abilities? Or proves unable to effectively transition… Becoming a CMO is a big leap from physician leader to executive. It’s truly the toughest job in healthcare. [We have a retreat for that.]

On the other side of that same coin, what if there is an internal CMO candidate that shows real leadership potential, plus a natural flair for walking the fine lines between the physicians and management. And this person knows the internal politics, so that’s good, right? But a first-time CMO? Can a hospital in today’s change-is-constant environment really succeed as a training ground for a rookie in a pivotal role?

Now, if another more capable candidate is chosen, this local, respected physician has to come to terms with the organization’s choice, and try to step back into daily practice and physician leadership. But some things can’t be unseen.

So many questions… One more:

What if there was a proven 6-18 month succession model – a model that would work to relieve any of these painful scenarios?

An experienced interim CMO can:

  • Avoid the loss of revenue and potential patient/practice impacts of appointing an internal interim to a time-intensive and politically charged role;
  • Triage, pick up the pieces, and right the ship after a less-than-ideal CMO’s departure;
  • Pick up where a great CMO left off, work to continue efforts, or champion new initiatives, while paving the road for the next CMO as the normal and lengthy hiring process runs its course; and
  • Mentor a promising internal candidate as a part of a time-and-benchmark succession plan

Greeley has proven Interim CMOs who can serve in any or all of these win-win scenarios. Let’s start the conversation about how Greeley interim leadership staffing solutions can serve your organization by:

  • Quickly filling staff vacancies with qualified professionals;
  • Maintaining your high standards of service as you seek permanent candidates;
  • Freeing up your time to recruit permanent candidates;
  • Improving patient, physician, and staff satisfaction during the critical transition period; and
  • Keeping your key initiatives out of the “on hold until hire” column.
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