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7 reasons for engaging an interim manager

As an interim manager you enter organizations facing business critical challenges and who lack the right resources. An interim manager can also quickly take care of a vacancy or can lead different projects or programs. Here we share some very good reasons to be supported by an interim when you have a specific need.

An interim manager is a great solution when your organization faces a challenge, a change, vacancy or sick leave. Working as an interim is the best of two worlds, you enter as a qualified manager or specialist in an organization and take operational responsibility with full focus on a clear defined assignment.

”In many cases a transformation or a project is best driven by an external person that during a shorter period can concentrate on the specific assignment. The organization can continue its daily business without loosing speed. It is a real win-win-situation.”

There are many strong reasons why it is a good idea to engage an interim manager

1. Better and more affordable than a management consultant when implementation is prioritized

When the analysis is done, the execution is in focus. An interim manager does not only analyze and present an action plan, but also execute it with full mandate and makes sure that the organization can keep on driving the change in the right direction.

2. Commitment for a unique situation

All assignments are unique. By engaging an interim manager you can narrow it down and get access to a person who has the knowledge and experience of what you need at the right moment. That gives you full flexibility! Sometimes you need to get an objective view of the management team and the organization. Sometimes a certain skill is missing internally and you don’t have the resources to hire a person on a permanent basis, or you have problems with attracting the right person. With an interim manager, you get access to a very experienced leader without the fixed costs of a permanent recruitment.

3. Focus on the assignment 

To achieve the best result an interim manager must be a short term injection for a project or a specific task. An interim focuses on the task and is priceless in transformations such as strategy projects, implementations, large change initiatives, or to drive growth. While an interim manager puts all attention and time on the assignment, the organization can keep on focusing on the daily business.

4. Decisive and och apolitical

Many things can be delegated but someone has to make the decisions and do it quickly. Daring to act, be tougher and stand above the internal politics and even work as a battering ram in internal conflicts, are often key points in driving change. An interim manager puts the facts on the table and is not afraid to tell the truth about the situation.

”My competence and experiences together with the ability to talk to all kinds of people, has given me the trust of the organization. I am honest and keep my promises. The employees understand that it is not a question of prestige, but an assignment that needs to be executed.”

5. Prestigeless doer

An interim leader leads through ”management by doing” without prestige. With experience from different environments and situations an interim consultant knows what needs to be done when and by whom and how to engage and motivate teams. A title or a specific line management role is not important, it is the assignment and the ability to contribute which attracts an interim. They bring important experiences from different organizations and have collaborated with people from different organizational cultures and roles. The will to roll up the sleeves and work hard is something that all interims have in common. Mandate, execution power and leadership is key.

6. Documented experience and results

In order to succeed with an assignment an interim leader needs to have experience from similar journeys – and maybe even have failed! With knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, the interim can lead the organization with a safe hand. All interim managers that we collaborate with have documented experience of similar journeys that the current assignment requires.

7. An interim supplier sees the clients real need

Sometimes the management team doesn’t know exactly what they need. They see that something is not working and that the numbers don’t add up, but they don’t know exactly where the problem lies, or they don’t know how to fix it or what profile they need. An advisor such as Nordic Interim asks the right questions and helps the organization to analyze their exact needs which are then matched against the right profile. We all have long experience from management consulting, management line roles and executive search within our team and have a good understanding of what is needed to take on complex challenges combined with good leadership.

”The strength of being an interim is that it is easier and quicker to be executive and make tough decisions. I have implemented many strategic decisions that were already taken before I entered the scene. Decisions shall be respected or reconsidered, not be neglected. For a good implementation you need to anchor the strategy and be able to justify why.”

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When is an interim manager the right solution?