A third of hospitals have chief executives who have been in post less than a year. The enquiry in to the deaths at Mid Staffordshire hospital referred to the alarmingly short tenure of chief executives.
‘The organisation’s performance has not suffered a dramatic dip. the board just fancied a change’
A chief executive’s time in post is short and getting shorter. In the past it was the high flyers who swooped in, made changes and moved on to the next bigger and better job. But now it is just as likely to be the board who fancies a change.
The harsh financial climate has seen an increase in what HR consultants call the “no fault” dismissal. The organisation’s performance has not suffered a dramatic dip, a major budget hole has not been uncovered, nor are the Sunday papers planning to highlight some damaging personal indiscretion. The board just fancied a change.
They want someone who shares their ambitions for the organisation, someone with a higher profile who would give the organisation a national profile, someone with an impressive track record or just someone new who was “their” appointment.
‘The tenure of a chief executive is short and getting shorter. The modern chief executive is transformer but not a consolidator’
The high flyers and the highly ambitious can’t really complain as they have always put their careers before loyalty to an organisation, a chair or a senior management team. The trend is to hit the ground running, make big changes quickly and move on to the next job. Promotion does not come within an organisation, unless a merger is on the cards, otherwise after 18 months and they are looking round. This is good business for the headhunters: the more movement, the more demand for their services.
The difference now is that hospital trusts don’t appear to expect or want chief executives to stick around.
The tenure of a chief executive is short and getting shorter. The modern chief executive is transformer but not a consolidator, which prompts the question who is going to build up the relationships and develop the levels of trust necessary to shape a shared vision and a common set of priorities across agencies and partnerships?