Interim Management: “Magic Pill” For Business

Interim Management

There are situations that are innocent at first glance, but can develop into a huge problem for the organization. Take, for example, the sales department. At some point you understand that something is not going well, the old methods do not work, sales do not grow, or even start to fall. And how to do it differently is incomprehensible. You send employees for training, the head of the department offers some options, you try them one by one, but all to no avail. And here you decide to invite a consultant. He carefully examines the methodology of your department, solemnly hands you a report on 50 pages, proposes the introduction of a new super-progressive method … you are implementing everything … seemingly. Yes, that does not suit you very much, and here you correct a little for the specifics, but your employees will not do that, so we will do without this trifle. In general, everything is according to plan. By a very clever and wonderful plan. Only here the effect as it was not, and no, why – it’s not clear. Dead end?

Nothing like this. It is this situation – the best reason to invite an interim manager …

Interim Manager: Who is this?

In a sense, an interim manager can be called a lifeguard. This person is a professional manager with deep knowledge in a specific subject area and, most importantly, a huge experience in putting them into practice. His work is organized according to the project principle: goals are set, clear criteria for their implementation, some intermediate benchmarks, timelines are stipulated, and for this period he, in fact, becomes the head of the “affected” unit.

Unlike the consultant who came and went, he is engaged in the implementation of his recommendations, building an effective system of the unit, adjusts and trains people. And when his work is finished and the goals are reached, he leaves – and you have a system built by him and employees who are able and ready to work in it and have all the necessary competencies. The criterion for the quality of his work is not a thick report, but a very concrete result, expressed in terms of the growth of your profits. Is it tempting? Certainly.

Interim Management
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Invited Specialist or Staff Member?

What about the security of our information, you ask? To let an outsider, a temporary stranger, into the company’s holy of holies, entrust him with important commercial information? And is not it easier to accept a good specialist for permanent work? Then you do not have to worry not only about the security of information, but also about how strong the system built, will it break with his departure, and you can expect other breakthrough solutions from him.

All is true, all is reasonable. But. The system of interim management would not have received such huge popularity in the West, if it did not give the companies serious advantages in comparison with the work of full-time specialists. Firstly, the invited specialist is independent – from intrigues and undercover games that take place in absolutely any company, for fear of spoiling the relationship – with the leadership, with colleagues or subordinates – and is free from the desire to please you and “come to court” in your organization. Its goal is maximum efficiency and result by all means. It depends on his payment and his reputation, which for any interim – everything. That is why the speed and effectiveness of interim action in the intended direction is several times higher than the same indicators of any qualified professional staff.

Another reason is that interim people are people of a certain character warehouse, who are attracted to work “in a snatch”, organizing and carrying out various cardinal changes, detaching processes from scratch. It is interesting and comfortable for them to work in this mode. When it comes to ensuring the routine functioning of the unit, they get bored very quickly. The quality of their work, directly dependent on the interest in it, begins to fall, and, in the end, they still leave – often leaving behind a not very good memory.

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It is also necessary to take into account that the staff specialist will inevitably need time to adapt and incorporate into the work, as they usually do not have the experience of a “quick start”, which is accumulated by the interim in the process of switching from one project to another quite often, with a lot of different companies and tasks. The average time of “inclusion” of a new employee is about three months, and even training in this case will not give you an instant result: there are certain psychological barriers, and you need a skill.

Interim Management
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Not to mention the attendant risks associated with a possible error in the assessment of a specialist – it’s no secret that among the candidates for leadership, especially “top” positions, there are often people who know how to present themselves perfectly, but who are not able to give even a minimum result in work. And to find out this circumstance you can go well, if not a year – which in certain circumstances can become critical for your company.

Finally, another important point is the amount of payment for interim services. It must be understood that interim services are expensive. Very expensive. The purchase of its services has an economic meaning in the context of a particular project, where you pay not for the time of work, but for an understandable, pre-determined result that will certainly pay for all your expenses and expenses – and the payment for interim is most often directly attributed to the result. When it comes to working in a regular mode, the economy is changing somewhat. Obviously, it is impossible to live in the mode of continuous “breakthrough”, which, following a sharp rise in indicators, comes their stabilization at a new level – and now it is simply not profitable for you to pay such money for the usual routine work. Especially if you bear in mind that under the current legislation your expenses for a staff specialist will increase by another 1.5 times due to taxes. Independent the interim manager acts, as a rule, as a private entrepreneur or representative of another legal entity, and you pay for his work under the contract, without bearing any additional tax burden.

Well, as for the security of information – here your fears are absolutely groundless. First, it is guaranteed by the reputation of interim. Interim, who has lost his reputation, loses everything – therefore, such a specialist is extremely sensitive to the issues of preserving trade secrets, and in general any official information of his clients. Secondly, most often with such a specialist is an agreement, which protects you from leaks of important information, including at the legislative level.

Interim Management
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Where To Find Such a Specialist?

This is perhaps the most interesting question. In the West, the institute of interim is extremely developed, in this market is still only the first steps, and finding a good interim manager is not an easy task. Interim “are transferred” from the client to the client on the recommendation, practically not engaged in attracting clients “from the outside”, and information about yourself is not advertised anywhere – Why? – Because demand exceeds demand, and they always have enough customers. And even if you are lucky, and you found it – the “cycle” of the work of the interim manager in the project is from three months to a year, and you will have to wait until he is released. Problems that require intervention interim, often cannot wait, and in six months you may no longer need it.

Fortunately, not everything is so sad. To date, organizations that offer interim services have already started appearing on the market. However, they can be called otherwise – for example, often this service hides behind the name “specialist for hire” or “outsourcing of management personnel”. Such companies, as a rule, have a sufficiently large staff of high-class specialists who “cover” the various areas of activity of the average enterprise-the organization of sales and promotion of the company to the market, production, logistics, finance, and HR. You conclude a contract not with an individual person, but with a company that, moreover, can give you much more weighty guarantees than an independent specialist.

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