With more fears of a double dip recession and debt still firmly at the forefront of European governments’ thinking, the marketplace is one of extreme caution and difficult trading conditions. Traditional management styles and skills seen over the past twenty years have focused on growth and development but, in this uncertain environment, different abilities are likely to be needed.
At Alium, we are seeing more clients asking to work with our expert interim managers to help them through these tricky times and bring in the wherewithal to effect change. But what benefits do senior interim managers bring to the fore? Using our unique Alium Resourcing Model, we have identified several desirable qualities that interims bring:
- Interim managers have the key competencies to enable the delivery of change needed
- An agile resource that can respond quickly to your needs
- A capability that can embed processes into your organization for lasting effect
- Seeing through corporate complexity and achieving results, rather than just another piece of consultancy that sits on the shelf
- A mentoring and supportive style that supports and integrates with the business to enable lasting change
An experienced interim manager is able to plug an immediate skills gap in the organization – this could be across finance, IT, HR and a number of other disciplines in both the private and public sectors. Many businesses also find themselves having to handle a sudden departure. For a variety of reasons, senior stakeholders can suddenly leave their position and create a potentially dangerous vacuum to form at the highest levels of the company. Calling on the skills of an interim means that this sort of situation can be avoided and the risk to your business mitigated.
Interims are not only just for sudden departures however. There are times when a business finds themselves lacking in expertise and many look to interim or transformation management to help them. Whether this is to manage or take over a particular project in the business that a start-up would otherwise not have the resources to action, such as legislative change or a personnel restructure, a temporary injection of specialist skills could be just what is needed.
Employing an interim manager has also proved useful to early stage businesses or those entering a new market by providing knowledge of a particular sector – this is especially beneficial for fast-growth businesses who need to be able to react quickly to market changes so they can take advantage of the latest opportunities. In the same vein, many start-up businesses simply find themselves needing advice, mentoring or coaching in the day to day tasks of running their organization, helping them to perform better in business.
Many early stage businesses/SMEs might be put off by the cost of hiring an interim manager. However it’s a flexible and affordable option – with interims you can hire for as long as you need, keeping costs measured and risk managed. With the uncertain economic climate, bringing in the expertise of someone who has led or grown a business before can prove invaluable in providing stability to a growing business. While there is no silver bullet to fixing all of your business woes, by bringing in a senior interim manager who has the skills and experience to work with you and enact change, you will see the revenue and margin improvement necessary for survival in 2012.
Contributed by Stephen at aliumpartners.com, a global provider of interim management solutions.