Best Practices for Interim Managers

by | Aug 30, 2023 | News & Insights

Interim management requires a sensitive balance between stepping out of one’s comfort zone and being able to push realistic objectives forward, usually in tumultuous times. Unlock the true potential of interim management by following 5 simple steps:

📋 An effective interim manager doesn’t rely purely on perception but has a keen interest in the industry and stays up to date with its trends and dynamics on a daily basis. Interim managers don’t just participate in the game, they are game changers, usually foreseeing the direction in which the industry is heading and are able to make informed decisions based on comprehensive data and predictive tools.

🧬Understand the client expectations and surpass them. Avoid assumptions and step into the client’s shoes, make sure you dive deep into their vision and current market scenario. Active listening is a must, and make sure to ask penetrating questions to truly comprehend their vision. Talk to clients about how they will use your experience to solve their problems, perhaps only using 70% of your skillset but recognize that’s what the client really needs. It’s also about aligning your strategies to reflect the client’s desired outcome, while simultaneously considering the ever-changing market dynamics. It’s about being agile, adaptable, and always staying one step ahead. Successful interim executives articulate their ‘service offering’; problems they can solve, projects they can turn around, teams they can run, investors they can manage.

☑️ Once you deeply understand the client’s needs, it is time to set achievable goals. Connect the dots between the client’s expectations and what is possible in reality. Set clear, actionable goals and metrics to evaluate performance. Keep in mind that one strategy is only as good as the results it delivers. Don’t forget, the main differentiator of an Interim Manager lies in the implementation, ensuring that business goals are met, not only in setting up the strategy. To build up a name in the Interim management world you have to view the company’s success as your own success.

❗️ Speed of reaching the objectives is what companies usually expect when hiring an Interim Manager. A client selects Interims for the projects because they are experienced in the job that needs to be done, have done it several times before and shown that they are very good at it, and also that they really enjoy it. Therefore, there will be no inevitable delay of a hypothetical learning curve.

📣 Success of an Interim Management project is linked also to transparency of communicating the steps, actions and results achieved by each phase, to keep the client in the loop and ensure them that the assignment works well for their organization and that their goals are achieved. After each agreed phase of the project is a MUST to offer the company’s responsible (Board member usually) a post-completion review.

Interim management is about making a difference. Make the most of interim management, be prepared for change, make informed decisions and turn each new assignment to your advantage.  

This article is the first in a Series of Tips and Insights for Interim Managers with the aim of increasing interest in this type of assignments among executive professionals. Let us know what works best for you in this fast-paced, ever-evolving field of interim management.