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6 signs your business may need an interim manager

by Marty Jaynes on 25 Jun 2018
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Interim managers are an indispensable resource for organisations seeking to adapt and change. They have been used successfully by organisations across all industries and all job functions throughout the UK and globally.

Interim managers are commissioned at a senior level on an assignment basis and take the lead on vital projects that may be outside the skill set of the current team. A typical assignment can last between three and twelve months depending on the complexity and nature of the business requirement.

So we know why interims can be so valuable to organisations. But how do you know if your company needs one?

We take a look at the top six reasons why you may need to hire an interim manager.

1. You’re going through a major transformation programme

Just 42% of organisations have the internal capability to deliver business transformation, according to a survey of business leaders carried out by BIE in 2017. If your organisation is one of more than half of those who don’t have the internal capability, you may benefit from hiring an interim manager.

An interim will take the lead on vital projects necessary for delivering a successful business transformation. Although your business challenges may appear unique, there will be interims out there with vast experience of delivering similar solutions in similar circumstances who can guide you on your journey.

2. You're integrating a new system

Changing to a new system can have a significant impact on your entire organisation. A change to a new HR system, for instance, will have a knock-on effect on the finance and IT functions.

When implementing a new system, you need to ask yourself: do we have the capability and expertise internally to ensure a smooth transition? If the answer is no, you may want to hire an interim who possesses the relevant skills and knowledge to bring in the new system without risks.

3. A big project or campaign means you need someone to manage business-as-usual

At times when managers are required to shift their focus to a big project or campaign, and away from the day-to-day running of the business, you may need extra resource to maintain healthy operations. Interim managers, with senior executive level experience, can provide an agile solution.

4. You’re going through a merger or acquisition

If your organisation is going through a merger or acquisition, you will be facing substantial change. Assets and activities need to be merged, from IT systems to finance functions to sales and marketing. Usually, you will also see a change to the organisational design, with new owners making changes in pursuit of improved results. You may consider bringing in an interim to smooth the transition and deliver improvements quickly.

5. A senior manager leaves unexpectedly

Like with anything in life, things will happen that will disrupt the everyday flow of your business. Whether a senior manager becomes ill, or they choose to leave the business at short notice, it can lead to disruption. In these instances, an interim could be brought in to hold the team in place, keep projects on track and to implement the strategic vision until you find someone permanent to take over the role.

6. You’re struggling to get failing projects back on track

Once you’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole on a failing project, it can be difficult to turn it around. Your permanent employees may not have the skills or experience to successfully get it back on track, but interims do. They bring with them a fresh pair of eyes and the speed and agility needed to turn it around quickly.

Interim managers are used most effectively when there is a lack of skills internally to meet business requirements. Whether you need someone to deliver business transformation, to guide you through a merger or acquisition, or to fill a skills gap on a short-term basis; interim managers bring with them a specific set of skills and experiences to take the lead.

However, success will be reliant on choosing an interim with a solid understanding of your strategic requirements, the right skill set to achieve the business goal and a proven track record of delivery. Many organisations choose to enlist the help of a specialist interim agency in their search for the ideal candidate. They will have a wide talent pool to choose from, all of whom will have been vetted to guarantee the highest quality.

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Topics: interim management

Marty Jaynes

Written by Marty Jaynes