#InterimsInAction – Scarlett Mcloughlin, Executive leader in the healthcare, social care and medical devices industries

In the third instalment of this series, Jason Atkinson, Managing Director of Russam, continues his discussions with leading interim professionals. He explores their methods for rapidly making an impact, delves into their perspectives on the latest innovations and cutting-edge ideas, and investigates how they generate significant value, achieve return on investment (ROI), and leave a lasting legacy.

In this episode, Jason engages in conversation with Scarlett Mcloughlin, Executive leader in the healthcare, social care and medical devices industries. Previously placed by Russam to AJM Healthcare. #GreatHires.

What do Interims bring to the healthcare sector and why are they so in demand?

If you’re an employer in the healthcare sector, bringing in an ‘interim executive’ could be one of the best decisions you make. These professionals typically boast extensive experience across various disciplines within the sector, including medical equipment, social care, healthcare manufacturing, and healthcare IT. They possess a deep understanding of purchasing processes, maintain crucial ‘C’ level relationships, and thrive in fast-paced, high-pressure environments.

With their wealth of experience, interim executives can swiftly intervene and turn around operations or address underperformance issues, making them invaluable assets for businesses looking to grow or tackle challenges. Opting for self-employment in the interim environment signifies a strong commitment to success, agility, and resilience.

However, it’s important to note that becoming an interim executive isn’t for the faint-hearted. Employers can rest assured that they’re gaining a dedicated and hardworking professional capable of overcoming any challenge.

How does PE ownership impact the way things are done and achieved?

PE ownership provides its own challenges. 

They will want fast paced change, have high expectations, and will seek clarity over expenditure, change and revenue results. No place to hide and you should be prepared to provide in depth forecasting for visibility and expect to be asked some hard-hitting questions regarding the running of your business.

Your interim executive will normally have been previously employed by a PE owned business and can help you and coach you through these challenges, to assist you to ensure that you are providing your PE company, with the timely information they will most certainly require.

What is your approach to successful business transformation / acquisition integration and change management?

My approach to successful business transformation begins with a comprehensive understanding of existing processes, structures, and competitor landscapes. Armed with this information, I conduct a SWOT analysis, seeking stakeholder authorisation to implement necessary changes swiftly. Open and assertive communication is key, building confidence and support among stakeholders. Providing value from day one and articulating a clear path forward are essential for successful transformation.

If I am given the time – I will write a full business plan, but most often, I am required to make the relevant changes within the first working month.

As an Interim how do you approach stakeholder management and gets things done quickly – avoid being seen as an “outsider”?

For me this is the single most challenging thing. Being seen as the outsider and being taken seriously, in my opinion, is the biggest challenge.

This will require diligence and forthright communications and you will need to be seen as credible and know what you are talking about from day one. You will need to gain the trust and support of your hiring manager very quickly to champion your appointment in your early days.

Again, not for the faint hearted and you will need to justify and provide clarity for every communication you make within the company who hires you.

Finding the balance for polite but assertive communication is key.

Your thoughts on the convergence between “Interim” and “Perm”?

For me this has been a great experience! 

Proving myself over a stressful and challenging period of 8 months, at great personal expense being located away from home, has been personally exhilarating! I’ve had to think on my feet, been criticised, questioned, but have been resolute with my plans to prove my worth, and to show that my initial thoughts on how the business should be run and should operate have been vindicated.

I am delighted to receive the offer to migrate from an interim contact onto a permanent one. For me, this gives me the ability to see a project through which I have started, and to benefit from the fruits of my labour.

Is the future bright or uncertain for Interim Management going forward – UK/international?

Absolutely bright!  If you are an experienced Interim with a kit bag of great experience – the interim world is your oyster!

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