Interim management can save company

There are a number of different business situations that could result in the need for an interim manager. Typically these could be situations such as crisis management, sudden departure, illness, death, change management, managing change or transition, sabbaticals, MBO’s and IPO’s, mergers and acquisitions, and project management. Interim management can save company, in more than one way.

According to the Interim Management Association, “Interim Management is the rapid provision of senior executives to manage change or transition”.

In simpler terms, an interim manager is a highly experienced and specialized executive whom you can employ in your firm for a short period of time to solve a specific business problem. He is a master project manager and will not only act as a consultant and give you advice, but also solve the problem for you.

An interim executive provides the solution to any number of problems in business. They are committed to their role as a short-term staff member and their varied experience in critical situations gives them a strategic advantage when handling new problems.

For a layman, it may appear that “interim manager” is just a fancy word for a management consultant. This is not the case! Some of their responsibilities do overlap, but there are very simple – and important – differences between them. Let us investigate this properly.

What are the differences between Interim Managers and Management Consultants?

There is a vast distinction between them. Although on the surface they appear to be similar roles, their functions are quite distinguishable.

Essentially, an interim manager is a management consultant, but a management consultant is not an interim manager.

Their core differences are outlined below:

Interim Managers

• An interim executive manager is hired as an independent person on the basis of his or her personal abilities and reputation.

• An interim executive manager will always try to cut costs and improve company effectiveness to achieve organizational goals as quickly as possible. This will assist in building his or her reputation.

• An interim executive manager does not only advise on the situation, he or she also implements measures to solve the problem.

• An interim executive manager reports directly to you, the employer, and not through a third party agency, so you are well informed and there is no conflict of interest.

• An interim executive manager works with your own team, provided by your company as you see fit.

Interim executive manager are usually specialists in their particular fields. Their experience is vast and relates to the particular field that you hire them for.

 Management Consultants

• A consultant generally works through an agency and is hired on the basis of the agency’s merits more so than his or her own reputation.

• A consultant may try to push additional services or “stretch out” the service to increase his or her own revenue or that of the agency.

• A consultant does advise on a situation, but will not implement his or her own advice.

• A consultant reports back to his or her agency, who then reports to you, costing valuable time and other resources.

• A consultant works with the people he or she chooses and brings them into your company instead of adapting to work with the people you already have.

• Consultants generally do not specialize in one area, but are a “jack of all trades” in business.

It is clear, then, that an interim manager is able to perform a far more specialized job for your company, using your own resources and reporting only to you. He or she does a “start to finish” job: overseeing the company’s current operations, developing strategies for improvement and then implementing the strategies. A recent survey of 100 senior directors reported that 78 per cent of them feel that interim executive managers are a better option than management consultants.

Prof Gary is an Executive Interim Manager – helping business out “just in time” for “just for a time”. Contact Prof Gary today to discuss your unique situation.

Institute for Interim Management