The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed

By Keith Butler

We live in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times, with considerable disruption across multiple markets and geographies. Work flows are hard to predict and it is little wonder that the use of interims is on the increase.

Interim managers can plug immediate, often business-critical skills gaps within organisations. This could be because a key manager leaves unexpectedly, there is a shortage of in-house resources to address an unforeseen crisis, or to take advantage of a market opening. Whatever the reason, there can be a significant upside if an interim with the right skills and experience is engaged immediately. On the other hand, the absence of effective leadership whilst waiting for a new manager to come on board can cause disruption and result in missed opportunities.

As well as starting quickly, it is important for interims to take stock, often within a few days, and assess accurately what is needed for success. Interims can operate at both a strategic and tactical level and will often have faced similar challenges before, enabling them to take decisive action. This tends to create a positive atmosphere around the interim’s engagement, helping to overcome any resistance to change that might be felt by other colleagues.

To get the best value from an interim, it is necessary to agree and set both strategic targets and short-term milestones at the outset, and to review progress regularly to ensure the assignment is on track. But where do you get them from?

Engaging the best interims requires a speedy and agile recruitment process. How do you spot an effective interim provider?

They will:

  • Move quickly in response to your approach, matching their activity and tone to meet your operational requirements
  • Really listen to understand the precise role, challenges and deliverables you are looking to achieve
  • Ask sensible questions to understand the culture and context within which the interim will operate
  • Understand the competencies needed for the interim to undertake and execute the assignment effectively
  • Have access to an established network of experienced, professional interims that have the required skills and are immediately available within budget
  • Have a thorough understanding of the challenges and issues typically faced when hiring an interim

A provider that demonstrates these qualities is likely to deliver an effective interim solution with tangible benefits. To get access to a quality interim professional call Keith Butler on 01625 508100 or email

If you are an experienced interim manager and want to be part of our interim capability Register here.

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