Tired of Losing Sleep Over Your Company’s Biggest Challenges? An Introduction to the Benefits of Adding an ATE

Tired of Losing Sleep Over Your Company’s Biggest Challenges? An Introduction to the Benefits of Adding an ATE

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  • Tired of Losing Sleep Over Your Company’s Biggest Challenges? An Introduction to the Benefits of Adding an ATE

  • What if I told you any organization of any size in any industry could use an “Adjutant Transitory Executive” (ATE) right now? 
  • Would you recognize your organization’s need for an ATE? 
  • Are you aware that an ATE with the right type of experience could help your organization navigate your most challenging issues? 
  • Did you know that you could sleep better at night if you contracted an ATE? 

Wait, what?  What is an adjutant transitory executive and why should you care?

Let me explain…

Very few organizations can maintain the status quo.  External or internal environmental changes can create unforeseen and momentary challenges that need to be addressed in order to move forward with a company’s goals and objectives.  These challenges can occur no matter the type of organization.  Change occurs in non-profit, manufacturing, and service industries.  No one is immune. 

Each challenge is unique to the organization because of its place in time.  Yes, maybe this particular challenge is cyclical but is your organization the same as it was one year ago when you last overcame this trial?  Maybe, but not likely.  Most companies are evolving continuously.  Even the most competent leaders can face a sudden increase in workload or a problem that is outside their experience or education.  Gaps can occur quickly.  Perhaps a key leader has left the organization, or a young leader is just learning the ropes.  It is also possible that an external change in the business environment has presented a challenge that is outside of your company’s skillset. 

When I listen to General Managers, CEO’s, or small business owners, most often they are losing sleep because they have an obstacle that needs laser focus for a short period of time and they do not have the appropriate resource to address it.  Why hire a full-time position for a temporary challenge?  Why add more overwhelm to your leadership team for a short-term problem?  If they lie awake at night, it’s because they do not want the organization to lose ground during these periods of transition or change.

When I listen to leaders who work for GM’s, CEO’s or business owners, they want their managers to recognize that they need help to get through these challenging periods.

Here’s why you should care about Adjutant Transitory Executives

First, we should break this impractical title into a practical definition.  Let’s take each term and see how Merriam-Webster references them:

  • “Adjutant”: one who helps.  A thesaurus outlines other words for “adjutant” which are aide, helper or auxiliary.
  • “Transitory”: of brief duration or tending to pass away, not persistent.  The thesaurus provides other terms such as brief, fleeting or temporary.

This pretentious title is an elegant way of describing an executive who helps others for a temporary or brief period. This type of resource is exactly what leaders are looking for when short term challenges come along that require an expertise or skillset that they need for a fleeting moment.  Too many organizations hire full time people for short term problems and create a less agile and flexible top-heavy team.  And – for the responsible owner / executive - less sleep again as difficult decisions must be made regarding the cost of your bloated leadership team.

Still don’t understand what an ATE can do for your and your organization?  Maybe an example or two will add clarity.

  1. Organization A wants to increase their share in a specific market to provide a more stable revenue stream to protect their company when other more volatile market segments (and resulting revenue streams) affect them in their industry.  The company has a talented but small sales team that is active and successful, but an additional experienced resource is needed for a short period to address the new objective of deeper penetration into a specific market.  This resource must understand the identified market, be skilled at market research and provide strategies for new marketing processes that could benefit the organization in the future once the short-term objective is achieved.
  2. Organization B is facing explosive growth starting six months from now and they want to prepare their organization for that growth rather than waiting until they are too busy to adequately hire, orientate and train the additional headcount they will need to manage the new business.  This company needs a short-term resource to help train their current team and new hires for the upcoming surge in sales.  They need a resource which will allow their current team to maintain the existing level of performance without losing ground. This resource must be able to provide customized training, provide support during this transition period, and prepare them for the future once the short-term objective has been achieved.
  3. Organization C is struggling with an unexpected manufacturing challenge with the launch of a new product offering with tight deadlines for delivery.  The company is working to identify the problem and resolve the issues quickly while maintaining production on their legacy products.  Their operational team is lean and laboring long hours to solve this critical challenge.  They cannot afford the expense of a full-time resource that will not be required once this issue is resolved.  They need an experienced short-term resource to focus specifically on the manufacturing challenge and help to put a permanent solution in place for the company that will ensure that customer expectations are achieved.

These are just a few examples. There are others in many business categories.  As I stated earlier, most organizations find that they need additional short-term experienced resources to help them overcome the inevitable external or internal environmental changes that create obstacles that impede forward progress.  These companies do not have the time or budget to hire a full-time resource to solve a short-term problem. 

But…not all ATE’s are created equal.

This doesn’t mean that you should reach out for the next available executive who tells you they can save the day.  Respond to your challenges in an expeditious but cautious way.  An effective adjutant transitory executive understands the following:

  • They are not hired to preserve the status quo – this provides no value to the organization.
  • They must clearly recognize the organization’s current state and expected objective and be willing to work within the hiring company’s organizational values. (NOTE:  This is critical.  You must learn to avoid “mercenary” interim executives whose only objective is take your money without regard to the long-term effect on your business)
  • Once they understand that change is needed and there is an expected outcome, a successful ATE will be decisive, deliberate and efficient in providing the organization with their options and then executing to a collaborative action plan.

Remember – you want to work with a capable and experienced ATE who has your company’s best interest in mind.  Someone who will work with you to provide value and achieve your intended outcome.  And best of all – once the objective is achieved you are not stuck with a full time hire that is a burden to your organization.

See?  You might need an ATE! 

Do you need additional information or are you looking for a specific resource for your most challenging situations?

If your organization is facing a short-term challenge and you want to ensure that your objectives are achieved, KM Shinn Consulting can help you navigate a difficult transition period by providing “adjutant transitory executive” services (or provide help for a short-term complex problem!). We have 28 years of executive experience and have seen it all.  We are available to discuss your need over the phone at 801-428-7622 or set up an appointment for a visit.  Contact us at michelle@kmshinnconsulting.com today or access our website at www.kmshinnconsulting.com and schedule a consultation. We want to help.

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