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Interim Management: Helping Companies to be More Effective – and Ultimately More Globally Competitive

3 July 2014


"The prevalence of lean management teams, the post-recession drive to cap costs and the accelerating pace of change combine to make interim solutions compelling for organizations."

Q. How does interim management help businesses increase productivity?
A.Hiring interim executives provides access to experienced skill sets immediately – often within days. It’s like parachuting a seasoned executive into a specific role that can help streamline operations, get products out faster, create efficiencies or test a new business idea.

Q. How does this type of human capital management help an organization create business efficiencies and become more leading edge?
A. The interim model lets companies quickly start new initiatives and easily dial the size of projects up and down. Let me give you an example: if a pharmaceutical company wanted to launch a new product, the interim route allows you to speed up that process. Essentially you are bringing on someone who knows exactly how to navigate that process. Once the product is launched, the interim executive moves on. When companies realize they can bring on talent this quickly and with fewer risks, they are able to try more things. This drives innovation.

Q. What are some examples of how this approach has helped a company to become more innovative or productive?
A. We recently placed an experienced, start-up finance executive to join one of the fastest growing marketing companies in Canada and he delivered $300k in savings in just four months. We also put an interim executive into a General Manager role with a struggling Canadian-based, global manufacturer to help stabilize the business. He was so successful in improving its profitability and company morale that the group has decided to expand the Canadian operation.

Q. Going forward, what are some emerging trends in terms of human capital from the demand side, i.e. what are employers looking for?
A. With senior leaders retiring in droves over the next 5 years, most organizations either don’t have the people to replace them or their next generation of leaders is not ready to take over. Also, the influence of emerging markets and globalization means that top talent will increasingly come from across borders. As a result, organizations will have to think more creatively about talent. Employers will be looking for people with diverse skill sets and multi-industry experience – executives who can bring a new way of looking at old problems.

Q. What skill sets are going to be in demand that cut across industries?
A. To be successful, interim executives must be able to quickly integrate themselves into organizations and motivate people to change. To do this, they need be effective communicators, strategic thinkers and very outcome-focused. Most importantly interim executives must be flexible and adaptable, and able to roll up their sleeves while also rolling with the punches.