Interim Managers are skilled and experienced managers who are able to step into senior manager / director / expert roles in companies and add value very quickly.
They need to be self-assured individuals, who combine considerable ability to bring fresh ideas and ways of doing things with the ability to listen, build consensus and lead. They will exercise management responsibility (including, for instance, managing staff) and take executive decisions to the extent of their delegated authority. They offer advice, decisions and results.
Interim Managers normally work for a client for between 3 and 6 months while another arrangement is put in place.
Ten advices for Interim Managers
- Get into ‘crash’ position and listen. Very seriously, you have no induction and it’s up to you to do the accelerated learning.
- Be emphatic and do not assume that your most important social tool for information and credibility is the boss – those in crucial admin exec roles usually know more about the organizational levers than anyone.
- You need to create value from the beginning but your powers are limited so accept that real, big strategic change happens with sweat and struggle which will take years not months.
- Ask the real questions – people understand that you are objective and will not be ‘feathering your own nest’.
- Be straightforward and honest. It’s unlikely that you will have totally breakthrough thinking in such a short time.
- You might present an interesting new approach, but present this with some humility and modesty. Most things may have been given an airing before; it takes big budgets and time to do real innovation.
- Remember that even though you will be off in a few months, you might want them to invite you back, so keep interested in their work and keep in touch with your ex colleagues. It’s also fun – you can get lonely rowing your own boat.
- Respect the struggles that have gone before you and the people but do not let that prevent you offering new solutions.
- Your best opportunities will be with those who already know your work, and will speak to others about you – warmly. Never forget: your reputation is everything!
- Prove that you care about the sector by being involved, keeping active and helping even those who cannot pay you – you are a part of the sector and should be a contributor, not just an extractor of value.