Exploring the reasoning and effectiveness behind interim management solutions

A company crisis can arise at any moment. Whether it’s caused by external issues like a cyber attack, natural disaster or terrorist attack, or by an internal personnel issue, the stability of your company is critical.

When you’re faced with a crisis, personnel change or economic issue, you need to have a strong team in place to weather the storm. The hiring process for senior leadership can take a significant amount of time. What do you do in those days, months or years when your company is searching? You still need to run the day-to-day operations, maintain company image and continue financial stability. Interim management teams serve to resolve these concerns and prevent the company ship from sinking.

What is Interim Management?

  • A temporary management resource with keys skills
  • Short-term assignment with a proven executive heavyweight
  • Transition manager to execute a change in the business
  • Experienced manager to fill a need that can’t be met in house
  • Skilled expertise to bring new ideas, perspective and energy to a company

(derived from the Wikipedia article, “Interim management”)

In short, interim management is the hiring of experienced executives for periods of time (typically between three and twelve months) to rapidly address a wide variety of specific business challenges your organization might face.

What are some of the benefits of utilizing interim management?

The benefits of interim management are many. Beware, though: hiring the wrong person into a senior leadership position is one of the most damaging and costly mistakes an organization can make. Yet oftentimes, companies lack the executive bench strength to function at an optimum level of performance with a key position vacant. Anxiety over the length of time that’s often required to find the right candidate can lead to the temptation to “settle” for someone who’s only “almost right” for the position. Using effective interim management can prevent your organization from falling into this dangerous trap and making a costly mistake.

Consider all of these reasons why interim management may be right for you:

  1. Instant access to highly qualified executives. Most interim managers can be brought on board within 10 – 15 days.
  2. Flexibility during periods of change. Available on a contract, as-needed basis.
  3. Bridging a skills gap. Providing coverage until an executive search can be completed, thereby reducing staff stress.
  4. Buying time. To clarify the position specification and genuinely find the right person.
  5. Skilled transition management. Often, the skills you need to make a cultural change in an organization are different from those needed to run the operation on an ongoing basis. These executives closely match the functional and situational knowledge/experience that the assignment calls for.
  6. Focusing on key priorities. Requiring little or no supervision and are focused on achieving agreed-upon results, less likely to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of operations.
  7. Neutrality. A new set of eyes is generally less political, more objective and goal-oriented than longer-term, permanent employees, and can provide a neutral, objective perspective.
  8. Mentorship. For the talent around them, as well as for the future incoming executive.
  9. Outstanding value for the money. Usually more experienced and less expensive than consultants from large consulting firms.

Naturally, there are a variety of situations and circumstances working together that will determine whether or not interim management is useful for you. However, employing an interim executive in the right position at the right time can help your organization move forward in significant ways.

We have seen the successful use of interim management support staff grow in recent years. Nonprofit leaders, in particular, are coming to see the value in using interim executives as an option, particularly during periods of great transition.

How to Bring in an Interim Manager

With the expected number of leadership transitions rising due to upcoming retirement projections of existing leadership and the continued growth of the sector, it very well may be that an interim executive is the solution your organization determines is necessary at a particular time.

SahlComm specializes in interim management, and stands by ready to discuss with you what management solutions are best suited for you today, in order to bring you the greatest level of success. Contact us for a free consultation.