What Makes a Good interim Manager

What Makes a Good interim Manager

August 11th, 2021 // 3:23 pm @

Some Interims are brought into replace a member of staff who is away from work for an extended period, and in that case one seeks the right proven skills to fill that role.

The second type of Interim is one brought in to review the business without any day to day responsibilities, and this is the type of work I normally undertake, so what makes a good interim of this type?

The biggest plus the right interim has is they are in the organization to drive change, most organizations have some level of internal inertia, a good interim has no such restriction.

Firstly, they will ensure that before they start undertaking a business review there is a clear understanding between the interim and the board of the organization as to what the goals of the review are, if the interim starts and different board members have different expectations, the process is likely going to fail.

The agreed objectives normally cover a review of strategy, a review of structure and key staff.

Business strategy can be a difficult area, and many organizations have no real strategy driving the operation, they either have no strategy, or it if they do it is an abstract document. The key to good strategy is that it is realistic and well communicated, if people within the organization buy into the strategy, they will normally work towards it, and it is when gets the whole organization working in one direction that real movement occurs.

The second part beyond strategy is structure, this is a much underrated tool for driving both business direction and efficiency. One needs to build an organization structure that reflects the strategy, and this is surprisingly rare. This is a key skill required by a good interim, and is probably better done by an interim from outside the organization who has no history with individuals. An organogram with dotted lines is to be treated with suspicion, it looks clever on paper but in reality, people do not normally do well reporting to two people.

Once one has a correct structure and strategy understanding what skills are required in each role is much easier, and again having this done by a contracted interim removes any personnel agendas.

It is also possible to recruit an interim to just implement strategy, and a good interim will do this quickly, I personally have undertaken such roles, specifically building / buying a pan European sales force in the 12 moths prior to flotation at a time where a pan European footprint was a key business driver.

In summary, understand exactly what you want to achieve by hiring an Interim manager, and recruit someone with the required skills, possibly the ability to understand good strategy, the ability to structure organizations, and understand required skills within people.

If done correctly it can be a powerful driver of change.



Category : Blog &Management Technique

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