The undeniable benefits of hiring an interim manager.

We live in a rapidly changing world. It is no longer key to innovate; success and growth are to be found in the speed of innovation.

This is one observation. Another interesting observation is the fact that, in Belgium alone, the average stay of an employee is no longer than 5 years per employer. If we rule out the baby boom generation (currently retiring) the number decreases even more to somewhere between 2 and 3 years.

There are many reasons we can discuss why this is happening but in general it leads us to the conclusion that jobs, assignments (however you choose to call them) should more than ever be interpreted as projects.
Projects with well-defined targets and objectives. In this light, the classic job description is losing its importance while the deliverables of the project are gaining importance.

In fact, this has quite a high effect on focus. The interim manager is much more focused on the deliverables, they have no place to hide. They know on beforehand what the project will be and they know they are held accountable for this. As a side note: for companies contemplating to hire an interim manager, it is good to know they should formulate the mission more as a project than a job description. It will be beneficial in the field.
So, we know the interim manager can be much more focused and thus losing less time. Time-efficiency which fits into the speed of innovation nicely.
Interim managers are not first-timers. They bring along their expertise and specialisms which increases the success rate of the projects. The effectuation is quicker and usually more effective.

This effectuation should be considered for gap filling: during a normal recruitment and onboarding process the company will loose time and business continuity. As you might well know the loss of business goes quicker than the building of business. An interim manager can ensure the business continuity and affect the business flows long after he or she has moved on.

Especially for scale-up companies and for companies looking to expand their business in other domains, hiring an interim manager means the import of knowhow. Why try and fail and loose budget if you can get it right the first time?

Sometimes you need a captain who can steer away from the void. This is not to be taken lightly, if it’s needed then it’s needed – do or die. Maybe this is the point where companies should decide to give matters into the hands of an experienced captain.
When a company foresees changes, is willing to anticipate and evolve, they are benefitted by a guide who has walked that path before, who has discovered the pitfalls and knows how and where to avoid them. Change management is dependent on vision and direction on one hand but also on consistency. An Interim manager has experienced first hand not to redirect the course in strong weather but to be consistent, looking at the light behind the storm.

Drawing that line even further merging and acquisition also needs experienced guidance. There is no need to endure the changes longer than needed. That is, if you have a good guide on board leading the way. Why should companies experiment by trial and error in precarious times like those? There are experienced people out there who can help. If you are ill, you can try to self-medicate but it’s going to be good luck when no more added damage is done by waiting too long. Maybe you should have gone to the doctor in the first place?

The interim manager is the import of knowhow. This knowhow should be radiated onto the existing team-members or the permanent hire for that position. It’s like throwing a stone in the pond, the waves will grow and affect the whole pond. Let an interim manager look from a third person viewpoint and discover the blind spots. Maybe they can identify where optimizations can be realized. Let them challenge the old ways and let them work on the growth of people.

So you might still think an interim manager is expensive? Well… let’s look beyond, let us look at some facts. You might be impressed by the daily fee. Compared to what? The gross monthly salary of an employee on the same seat? Hmmm… Maybe you should compare the yearly total company cost with the insurances, company car, fuel card, … to the yearly cost of the interim manager (if you need him/her for so long). You will be surprised that sometimes the interim manager is cheaper. Then you should consider the gain of know-how and the non-loosing of business continuity. The indirect gain is not to be underestimated.

You can be sure the interim manager has made very conscious decisions. The decision to become an interim manager is not taken lightly, it impacts the life of the interim manager in many ways: they need to adapt quickly, change environments, risk of having time with no income,… Why do people do that? Because they enjoy empowering organizations and the people within, because they go for results, because they love doing what they do. And that’s the kind of people you want for your project to succeed.


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