When is it time to think about interim management?
Interim management has been around for a long time. Both in economically good times and in recession, skilled interim managers play a crucial role within organisations. With the common thread always being that they can be the difference that takes the company further.
In practice, interim management is generally implemented with a strong focus on restoration. For instance, when departments are in need of streamlining, or when a complete reorganisation is needed. Something that’s less common, is using interim management to achieve growth and development. That’s a shame, because there are many opportunities to be found here.
The question of whether interim management offers opportunities for your organisation therefore doesn’t depend on your economic situation, but on the possibilities you see for the future. It is good to ask yourself the following questions:
Which strategically important issues remain unaddressed or seem hard to get off the ground? – Look at these issues in a cross-organisational manner and be critical.
Who is responsible for the current staffing at the moment? – Assess carefully whether there is sufficient capacity and expertise available.
What are the consequences of us not doing this or not doing this properly? – Do not just assess this internally, but also look at what it does with your position on the market.
How are we going to fill these holes? – What is the plan of attack, which actions to we take and who will be responsible?
Four seemingly simple questions, but ones that are not always easy to answer. When certain questions remain unanswered or cannot be answered in a satisfying manner, it is necessary to make a clear plan of attack with the Supervisory Board or the Management Board. This allows you to determine clearly formulated goals, measures, responsibilities and required moments of evaluation. Take a look around, don’t forget to talk to people from outside the organisation, and ask questions: “How do you guys do that?” What we often see, is that with some focus and input from within and from outside, things are quickly back in order.
Sometimes, the situation is more complex and requires more capacity, knowledge and experience. This is when interim management comes into play. Because interim managers often have very specialised experience and are used to getting to the core of issues and achieving goals within a short time, they can help organisations quickly get back on their feet in the face of complex issues.
What’s more, interim managers possess a number of qualities that can benefit any organisation. They are aware of organisational politics, have excellent social skills, and their goal-oriented approach allows them to expertly analyse and diagnose an assignment. They will then develop a plan of attack and implement it in a hands-on manner. Although organisations often dread the initial costs of interim management, it is our experience that good interim management more than pays for itself.