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Interim Executive Management and It's Future
Interim Management should be seen as an evolutionary way of working at the forefront of a wave of change, sweeping through the workplace.
Interims should be ‘riding on the crest of a wave.’ Although this choice of career can be very tough, it can also be risky, thrilling and highly rewarding. The people involved with it have an
eye towards the future.
Interim Executive Management has come a long way, since its introduction from the Netherlands. The ‘Interim Management’ route offers an organisation a substantial extra resource – able to inject a fresh perspective based on a very experienced ‘hands on’ approach.
The role suits any type of organisation, whether it’s a small / medium sized business, a public organisation or large Government body or corporate business. ‘ Interim Management ‘ is now considered to be an excellent ‘tool’ as the prefered choice to consultancy for managing ‘change’
Originally seen as an emergency ‘distress’ purchase, following sudden departures of key executives, or indeed when a company is in ‘crisis’, forward thinking users are employing it as a strategic resourcing option. Sadly there are still too few potential buyers who understand ‘Interim Management’s ‘ true capabilities, application and speed at which it can be introduced
through specialist providers.
Whenever a vacancy occurs, either planned or unexpected, at senior management level, or there is a major project to resource, there is an opportunity to apply ‘Executive Interim Management.’ Traditional alternatives such as promoting from within, turning to ‘head hunters’ or commissioning management consultants can take time, might not necessarily be ‘hands on’ and may not be at all cost-effective. These are situations where speed, flexibility and cost-effective delivery are of the essence. Thus many businesses therefore face an irony in this business strategy; on the one hand they have to be flexible, nimble to embrace change and circumstance. On the other hand businesses need to maintain consistency to create a corporate culture and achieve economies of scope, scale and experience.
To enable the ‘Interim Management’ market to grow, potential users must be made aware of where and when to apply ‘Interim Executive Management’ and where to go to ensure success.
However the success of any assignment will critically depend on the provision of the correctly matched and best available ‘Interim Executive’ from the still relatively small pool of the U.K’s Interim talent. Ultimately it will be the quality and professionalism of the ‘Interim Provider’ which will determine whether or not the project succeeds. There is a very delicate balance to be made here as not only should the prospective ‘Interim’ candidate have a convincing C.V, but must have the necessary inter-personal skills to adapt to a variety of industries and people. The ability to work around any political situations is valuable, so too are those attributes of having skills to see what needs to be done and the experience to ensure that these needs are translated and understood properly and importantly the objectivity to make it all happen on time.
Since we live in times of rapidly changing technology and global influences, these processes have been accelerating and appear to continue to do so, but with the change comes opportunity, especially if that change can be anticipated months or better still even weeks in advance, has far higher value than ever before since greater ability to rapidly commercialise products exists. Time to market is seen in terms of weeks and months, rather than years. Given that time itself becomes a strategic asset, rapid implementation is the key. In this event it is far quicker to put in place an ‘Interim Manager’ and for that person to be ‘up to speed’ than to recruit and select a new senior manager. Increasingly mentoring senior executives is often quicker and less risky than replacing them. ‘Interims ‘ typically specialise in getting things done quickly, with minimum risk and disruption. Rarely do ‘Executive Interim Managers’
hold formal authority , but rather exert power through influence. It is for this reason that in most sensitive situations interims are deployed for ‘mentoring’ senior executives. It is necessary to do a kind of mini-consultancy, before the interim executive goes in. A great deal depends on getting that right.
About the Author: J Hadley writes on behalf of Executive Interims - Supply Chain Practice. See: http://www.executive-interims.co.uk