Interim Managers Not Just for Emergencies

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<p><strong>London &mdash; May 1</strong><br />In today&#39;s typically lean organizations, managing resources to cope with the absence of senior employees is a significant challenge. </p><p>Although maternity and paternity leave, sabbaticals and secondments theoretically should be easier to plan for, many organizations are struggling to manage the gaps created by illness, new projects or temporary staff redeployment to support new initiatives such as outsourcing.<br /><br />&quot;Interim managers can, and do, deliver extraordinary value during a short period of time, so why waste it?&quot; said Chris Fry, Orbys Consulting head of interim management. &quot;The onus is on business and the recruitment consultancies to work together to deliver and maximize the right resource to meet quantifiable, strategic objectives.&quot; <br />&nbsp;<br />Interim managers are paid a premium to step outside the remit and are able to deliver above and beyond the typical full time employee in that role. </p><p>Despite the significant investment involved, however, fewer than 20 percent of companies are making use of interims in this way. </p><p>Instead, they fail to define objectives or enable autonomy, actively constraining what the interim can deliver.<br /><br />&quot;This is a market in its infancy,&quot; Fry said. </p><p>The interim management role has been in place only a decade, so it is little wonder that few organisations have yet mastered the process of recruiting and deploying this resource to deliver maximum value. But times are changing.<br /><br />&quot;Increasingly harsh employment legislation is encouraging organizations away from permanent recruitment toward short-term contracts and interim roles,&quot; Fry said. </p><p>Organizations often are surprised by the proposed cost of an interim. Yet, they rarely define a budget upfront or, more critically, prepare a written brief for the role to be filled. </p><p>Further, by failing to take the time to create a clear brief for the interim manager role, organizations are less likely to attain the most appropriate skills or experience. <br /><br />A written brief enables the consultancy to channel the search effectively and constructively, ensuring not only the right skills are discovered but also supporting the rapid process required in these emergency situations. </p><p>It also forms the foundation of ongoing discussions among organization, consultancy and interim as to how best to maximize this highly valuable resource.<br /><br />&quot;Taking the time upfront to define the role provides the interim with both a clear understanding of overall objectives and direction toward priority tasks,&quot; Fry said.<br /><br />One of the key benefits of the interim manager is the lack of ax to grind. With new vision and impartiality, interims also can highlight corporate processes that are actively hindering business development or achievement of regulatory compliance, providing further value even after the interim role has been completed.<br /><br />&quot;Making the most of this highly experienced resource may require some behavioral changes within organizations, especially those that typically view the appointment of an interim as just one more recruitment problem,&quot; Fry said. &quot;This is a chance to achieve significant change, to leverage skills and expertise to enable innovation both within the specified role and at a broader corporate level.&quot; </p>

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