Interim Management Definition

Interim management

is the provision of effective business solutions by an independent, board or near-board level manager or executive, over a finite time span. Such complex solutions may include change, transformation and turnaround management, business improvement, crisis management and strategy development. Interim managers are often experienced in multiple sectors and disciplines.

Interim managers

are leaders who bring well qualified skills and expertise to bear at short notice, without the overheads and shackles associated with employment. They consult, plan, advise, implement, and embed the lessons, then exit, handling a range of key strategic and tactical interventions. Offering independent expertise, free of company politics, they take responsibility for delivering results, not just giving advice.

What differentiates professional interim managers and executives from other types of temporary or fixed-term contract resources?

The ‘hallmarks’ of a professional interim manager are:

1. High-impact. Interim managers are practiced at making a significant difference quickly, assessing and working with the company culture and often with little in the way of a formal ‘brief’. They do not need time to warm-up or to settle-in, but focus quickly on the work in hand.

2. Independent. They remain outside of company politics and so are able to address issues from a position of neutrality. This can be particularly useful when difficult and unpopular decisions have to be taken. They also act as trusted advisors who tell it as it is.

3. Professional. Interim managers are micro-businesses in their own right, usually operating as Limited companies, trading with the hallmarks of business, not employment. Typically they have elected to make interim management a career choice, having honed their interim skills.

4. Senior. Operating at Board or near-board level, interim managers are managers and executives who have gravitas and credibility. They are used to leading businesses, functions, and departments. They have the authority to advise then lead to deliver effective solutions.

5. Transformational. Interim mangers thrive on ‘Business As Unusual’ typically focused on change management, transition, business improvement, crisis management and turnaround. Even when addressing a gap or shortage, they add value and energise the workplace.

6. Elastic expertise. With a strong track record of completing a variety of assignments, interim managers typically combine depth and breadth of expertise in their chosen sectors and disciplines. Their agility gives them truly elastic expertise to deliver results quickly.

7. Time focused. Interim managers offer ‘Expertise as a Service’. Available at short notice, once engaged, they focus on providing significant value within a finite time-scale, seeing the assignment through and for not longer than needed, to a conclusion.

[This common sense explanation © Institute of Interim Management (IIM) may be freely reproduced and used, with due credit, to explain interim management (03/ 2011) ]

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