Ccentric Interview with David Tibby
Could you outline your current position?
I am the executive director of Nursing and Midwifery at South West Hospital and Health Services in Queensland. The South West Hospital and Health Service is a remote public health service in the rural areas of Queensland that provides safe, sustainable and quality healthcare to a population of 26,000 people. It is made up of 26 healthcare facilities, including hospitals, community clinics, aged care facilities, multipurpose health services and general practice services.
What attracted you to the role at South West Hospital?
I have worked in many executive positions before and I was asked by the board and the CE to take up this position.
You have worked several Interim roles throughout your career, what were the characteristics that primarily attracted you to an Interim position?
I have been on contract work since 2014. I really enjoy the flexibility of this type of work. It is almost like doing projects because there is always a reason for it. Occasionally it is just to maintain Governments, and processes. Other times I will be requested to do some extra work, such as review services, quality improvements or work towards KPI’s. There was a role that I took on in Canberra and I was doing maternity relief, but they asked me to do some specifics. I also love the variety and challenges that come within an Interim role.
How long do your projects usually last?
Between 2 to 6 months.
Have you ever had any concerns before accepting any of your Interim roles?
I know the health delivery network well so there are a few places that I know I wouldn’t want to work at, and therefore I wouldn’t take a position in that establishment.
Do you believe that an Interim role can serve as an opportunity for personal growth?
I don’t think Interim roles are a permanent solution, but there is an opportunity for personal growth. You need to change your skill set. It is time-dependent, so you need to be able to adapt and hit the ground running. You need to think about what you are doing in a different way to how you would in a permanent position and have a different perspective.
What are the main differences between an Interim, and a permanent position, other than the duration of the role?
In an interim role you are there for a shorter time, as far as planning and strategy goes, you need to make plans to be just over the bonnet. You need to decide on time-driven achievements because there are some things that you simply don’t have time to complete. You can’t always change the direction which you could if you were working permanently in a position. The person who is in the job isn’t there, so you need to suss it out by managing up and speaking to people. From a workforce point of view, the person could decide to come back and not do it. I have had a few assignments…
If you had any advice for a person who was planning to take up an Interim role, what would it be?
When you accept an Interim position, you leave home and your life behind. You need to be wise about the assignment length that you are taking on. Everyone probably has different preferences, I think 1 month is quite disruptive because it doesn’t give you much time to do anything, other than maintain the status quo. I think the longer-term ones are good because you have time to formulate a plan and get things going. Social isolation and how you handle that can play a big role in your success, especially in different environments, depending on whether you choose to work in a city or rural areas.
How was your experience with Ccentric?
I worked with Sarah and she took the time to get to know me. She wanted to know what my drivers were and things like that which was good.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I like to swim and go on bush walks. I have also written a book called ‘Body with Soul’ which is about the human and spiritual condition of life.
David was placed by Ccentric as the Interim General Manager at Calvary Retirement Community Canberra in 2018. He has had extensive health care experience including roles at South West Hospital and Health Service, Blue Care, and eHealth Queensland.