Interim Leadership Case Study

How it came about

A newly appointed Director of Children’s Services (DCS), with a background in education, approached our Interim Leadership Practice to source someone to operate as a Mentor / Strategic Consultant. The DCS had worked with us on a number of occasions as both a client and a candidate, but up until that point had not worked with our Interim Leadership team.

The brief

Our client had inherited a service widely recognised to be performing well. However, on the social care side a few informal concerns around quality assurance and procedure were beginning to surface, and there was a need for someone with strong social care experience to undertake a diagnostic review.

There were also some established pooled commissioning arrangements with Health that needed reviewing to work for the children’s service more effectively, requiring someone familiar with the interface with health partners.

Key to achieving this was the recruitment of an individual who had a track record of success, both substantively and as an interim manager, who could act both as consultant, and ‘critical friend’ to the DCS and the service.

What we did

We received a detailed brief and then, from our extensive network, spoke to a very select number of interim consultants who we were confident had the required style and credentials (nationally and locally) for this confidential project.

We recommended that the authority work with someone who could be flexible with their availability (3-4 days per week down to a few days per month, over the course of a year). This suited those consultants with other commitments, typically non exec positions and independent commissions.

Many experienced interims with genuine track records are extremely well suited to mentoring assignments, bringing with them credibility and discretion so important for establishing trust.

The outcome

Of the three recommendations we made, our client decided to meet with our first choice. The meeting was extremely successful and an instant rapport and understanding was established between client and consultant.

From this experience a quite different picture soon began to emerge of how the consultant could work with the service, in terms of up-skilling existing SMT members, giving constructive strategic advice and objective service review and recommendations.

If you would like to learn more about how GatenbySanderson can help you, contact us on Leeds 0113 205 6071, London 020 7426 3960 or Birmingham 0121 644 5700.