Jane completed a successful term as Interim CEO, CatalystX in 2019, and has held two prior successful Interim Executive roles. Jane Garthson, an experienced association chair, Interim Executive Director, and former senior manager in the Ontario government, can be a professionally trained virtual advisor to your Interim or new CEO or Executive Director. Jane can also help you select your Interim Executive, and recommend the best search firm for your needs.
To ensure she could provide wise advice on a fully professional, methodical, intentional and transformational approach, Jane recently graduated from the Interim Executives Academy, run by Third Sector. Through Third Sector and other initiatives she has been involved in, Jane has an amazing international network of experienced not-for-profit executives she can call on if an unfamiliar situation arises in your organization.
Are you worried about an executive director position coming vacant or already vacant because of a sabbatical, maternity leave, illness or sudden parting of the ways?
Need to ensure the organization keeps moving forward during the leave or permanent recruitment?
You need a professional Interim Executive with proven experience, who can hit the ground running with hands-on interim leadership for not-for-profits too important to their community to fail. Interim executive professionals have chosen to move from one challenging Interim Executive role to another, bringing extensive experience and skills that would be difficult to attract to the permanent role (or beyond the compensation level you could afford long-term). Short-term, they will likely save you money.
The goal: That the new permanent (or returning) Executive is given every chance for success in that role.
In 2017, I became Executive Director on two days notice of a charity that had 1,000 active volunteers, no staff (ever), only a few remaining board members, some issues I can’t mention here, and a lot of doubt about whether the organization could function or survive without the specialized expertise of the consulting Executive Director who had departed. Here’s what the Chair and Vice Chair (both of whom were absolutely amazing in their roles) had to say afterwards:
“Jane Garthson became Toronto Cat Rescue’s (TCR) interim ED during a gap in leadership in the spring of 2017. Her strong leadership skills, human resource knowledge, and keen eye for governance were an asset through the seven months she was with TCR. Jane led the search for our first staff and conducted an executive search for a new ED. She supported the board through recruiting more board members. And, she helped to initiate the development of an internal structure to support the organization and future growth. Jane’s expertise and advice helped the board immensely in understanding their role and transitioning the board from operations to a traditional governance model. Jane’s willingness to step into this leadership role during a time of uncertainty and big transition is very much appreciated.”
I’m delighted to report that the organization found a permanent Executive Director and is thriving.
What happens when your organization hires an Interim CEO or Executive Director?
- The Board has the time to conduct a thoughtful, unhurried executive recruitment process if applicable;
- Your organization continues to serve its mission, make progress on strategic priorities, generate revenues and engage its community;
- The Board receives great strategic advice on decisions and issues;
- The work of Board and staff members is not disrupted by the need to fill in for the Executive Director’s duties;
- Excellent candidates apply for the permanent role, if applicable, because they see a wisely led organization and no pre-chosen individual (i.e., no internal person is acting in the role);
- The organization has planned for a smooth transition and a positive environment of success for the new or returning permanent executive.
What does Jane Garthson bring to the role?
- A fast learner with exceptional ability to ask the right questions and absorb information about your culture and situation, so she can quickly be effective in a short term role;
- A systems thinker who will see the patterns and will facilitate catalytic conversations to generate innovative ways to achieve the vision;
- A leader with successful experience in managing the operations of nonprofit and government organizations;
- A person fully comfortable with diversity, people from all generations and today’s information technology and fast communication;
- A person with high level expertise in governance, planning, finance and more, to help your Interim Executive support high quality board decision-making and lead effectively;
- A person of great integrity, who you can trust; and
- A person with great respect for your cause, the people you seek to benefit and the efforts of volunteers and staff in service to the cause.
For tips on executive transition, check out the blog post Six Issues in Executive Transition Part 1, then read Part 2 as well.