The Benefits of Interim Management

I usually like to write about sales and marketing issues, and synergy and strategy stuff. However, today I wanted to weigh in on the evolution of work, and comment on our ability to cope with the changing environment.

In speaking with a number of CEO’s, several have confided their frustration with plans that are pacing behind. Sometimes market forces and other external challenges impact our ability to make progress. And sometimes we get in our own way.

To be sure, we live in a fast paced world. In the last decade, we’ve seen more change than in the history of humankind. There are now about 7 billion people on the planet, and around 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions. Internet users have grown roughly 6 fold since 2002, and the average corporate email user does 115 emails per day. In the last eighteen months social networking has seen explosive growth, adding yet another dimension to both home and work lives.

On a more grass roots level, many companies are shedding FTE’s, and striving to ‘do more with less’ as they address economic challenges. Of those employees remaining, research indicates white collar workers are interrupted every three minutes at work, and most would consider 40 hours per week a part time job.

Against that backdrop, I’m not sure we’re coping all that well. I think the urgent is supplanting the important, and  little wonder CEO’s are frustrated by waning timelines on critical work.

Since continuous volatility is the new norm, and we’re not likely to get more FTE’s, maybe it’s time to consider a different approach. One option would be to leverage a strategic network of outside experts to deliver significant work. This could be a new category launch, perhaps entry into a foreign market, or taking the reins to build out the innovation agenda. I’m not talking about a contract worker to fill in for a maternity leave. I’m talking about experienced senior resources to take responsibility for both the strategic elements of a major project, as well as accountability for project execution.

I think it’s time to embrace the interim management concept so popular in the UK and Europe, as one strategy to enhance corporate agility and flexibility.

There are several benefits to this ‘in-sourcing’ approach. For example:

  1. This approach effectively turns fixed overhead into variable labour. Leadership, accountability, focus and dedication to the specific project greatly enhances the ability to deliver. Both the economic benefit of the project and the interim’s cost can therefore be built into the budget/ business plan.
  2. An in-sourced solution is a cost effective approach since there is no long term commitment, or hidden costs such as training, benefits, or pension plan.
  3. There is considerable flexibility in type and amount of labour resources.
  4. The interim manager provides immediate access to expertise that may not be present internally.

Consider a more innovative and flexible organization structure that includes a strategic network of agile interim managers to take accountability for both strategy and execution, while working in tandem with your traditional management. You’ll deliver those critical activities and reap the benefits sooner.

If you are interested in discussing how interim management can help address your challenges, please contact Boardroom Metrics. Email: [email protected]