By Mike Fisher, Director at Adastrum Consulting, executive search, interim management and leadership advisory organisation.
In the current unpredictable global marketplace, businesses are facing the need to transform at an unprecedented rate. With emerging technology and agile competitors shifting traditional models, it is important for organisations to embrace change and embark on a more forward-thinking approach to business transformation.
Many organisations can hit stumbling blocks when it comes to change and it can seem a daunting challenge to more traditional companies, though in this day and age, all businesses of all shapes and sizes must be able to rapidly respond to change and disruption in the market. However, the larger the company the harder the transition often is. This is because there are more routes and opportunities to explore. With larger teams and more departments, creating a strategy which best suits the business can seem overwhelming and many businesses can get lost in the ever-growing array of opportunities and challenges.
An interim manager is a temporary role that is sourced to achieve flexible outcomes and solutions to manage a period of change, for instance a change in business models or to fill an internal position till full time employment is established. They are equipped with a high level of expertise and offer a professional skill set to steer a business in the right direction.
With the ability to drive transformation at a rapid rate, an interim manager can be a vital necessity in this current economy of nimble competitors and ‘disruptive’ technology. In this article we will be discussing the key benefits of an interim manager and how to incorporate the role to get the best outcome, as well as common exploring misconceptions around interim management.
Misconceptions surrounding interim management
Harnessed correctly, interim managers have the ability to take a business to the next level, yet often we see the role misunderstood. Commonly, businesses mistake interims for contractors or consultants.
It is equally important to understand the difference in roles. A consultant will offer great strategic insight though will not execute the strategy. A contractor is the opposite. They deliver the task at hand though are not expected to make strategic decisions.
A good interim executive is a combination of the above roles;they will offer both strategic advice as well as execution. An interim manager will guide the businesses through transformation, initially starting with discussing the strategy, right through to the final delivery. They will then leave a series of processes in place to maintain the achieved result.
The benefits of an interim manager
As such, there are many benefits to using an interim manager. These include:
As interim managers are normally available to start immediately and can offer quick solutions, the role is a great alternative to permanent employment, which could take months to fill. They join for however long they are needed and leave once their job is complete.
Interims are adaptable to working environments; skilled in working with speedy turnarounds,meaning you will be able to see progress soon after they start.
- Skilled expertise
With experience across various industries,interim managers offer expert skills and knowledge. Their extensive experience ensures a project is executed to the highest standard, filling missing skills gaps and driving change with minimal direction as well as transferring knowledge to the rest of the team.
Leaving a lasting legacy of their knowledge is a key aspect to their role, as is ensuring effective systems and processes are in place when concluding a project.
A real benefit of an interim manager is that they are separated from company politics and team personalities, though still have the ability to adapt to company culture. Having no previous history with the business, interim managers will have an unbiased opinion and will base their strategy on facts and evidence, offering strategic and impartial advice.
Time-efficiency is an acquired skill for a good interim manager. They are focused on successful outcomes and work tactically to ensure work is delivered on time as well as still in budget. Interims also share skillsets with the rest of the company and deliver certain projects that may have been put on hold.
This may be a time of ever changing markets and trends, though with the right advisory set in place and incorporating an interim manager into your new and improved business strategy, you have the ability to take charge of forward-thinking trends and keep up with agile competitors.