‘Interim’ – it’s not really a positive word is it? It doesn’t inspire confidence, reminding one as it does of transience. Even recruitment firms sell their services based on the fact that an interim won’t cost employers a company car, healthcare, NI or a pension because they’re not employees. Having done the job successfully for over 5 years, here’s my take on why the temporariness of an Interim is the very thing that makes us really valuable.
Interim manager: short but sweet
It’s the start of 2017 and, however irritating (and short-lived) New Year’s Resolutions are, we all inevitably think about starting afresh and making improvements to our lives, including work. So, how about hiring a specialist to kick start a project (particularly a major one)? Interim managers don’t just fill existing roles; sometimes it’s the job itself that creates the need for a short term manager. For example, an extra pair of expert hands to help embed a new product or maybe take a fresh approach to driving new business. On a couple of occasions, I have helped engineering firms reset their sales and marketing focus:
• Disovering the highest growth opportunities and concentrating activities in this direction.
• Introducing a key account management process for the top 10 clients.
My ability to focus purely on achieving key objectives for the sales team motivated them into creating their own processes with which they could work when my tenure was up.
The short term nature of an interim manager is a great advantage because it allows you to focus your mind on what you want to achieve during a pre determined timescale – whether the role is existing or newly created. We simply follow your lead, do the heavy lifting and create the perfect ‘template’ for you to implement through subsequent phases of the project.
Interims think (and work) outside the box
An interim is a bit like a guest chef in your kitchen: someone you trust, and whose only baggage contains the tools of their trade and experience of preparing great food. Your reason for inviting an interim into your organisation is to benefit from the fresh air introduced by their ideas and knowledge.
Interim managers are often hired to fill an existing vacancy, such as cover during maternity or sabbatical leave. Two major functions are a) to maintain continuity of team performance, customer experience etc, and, b) ensure progress – contributing towards meeting commercial objectives. The interim manager isn’t immersed in the minutiae of company ways and people politics, so they are able to work unencumbered, focusing entirely on these tasks.
Some organisations manage the absence of a medium-weight (even senior) executive by adding the role to the duties of another manager. Not only could this halt progress, reversing the upward trend of an organisation, it will also overload other team members. Conversely, a an interim – a talented executive fulfilling an identified, and very specific role – can be a game changer for an organisation.
An interim is a transformer
An interim is a dynamic resource. Unlike most businesses, interims are not only used to change, we also thrive on it. From crisis management to business turnaround – interims facilitate and can provide leadership. By design, we interim managers are micro businesses in our own right. Our experience is broad and ongoing so we remain up-to-date, chock-full of fresh ideas and primed to put them into practice.
My Pro-Interim Rationale
See the value of an interim beyond saving on your payroll:
- An interim is your very own Limited Edition Executive: You’re hiring a specialist to achieve something specific in a short space of time – something that has a lasting effect. Like giving an aspiring tennis player the chance to train with a professional coach – it’s an opportunity to make a significant difference with minimal fuss.
- An interim isn’t immersed in company ways, there’s no ‘history’ between them and other employees leaving enabling them to focus and work smarter.
- Interims thrive on change in a way companies rarely do so use them to move your business forward.
So, an Interim manager is temporary for sure but also value in concentrated form.