Ten years ago, Interim Management was largely an unknown concept in Finland, but since a couple of years ago, the industry is on the rise. Our colleague Niklas Björkman, Partner at Nordic Interim Oy, tells us his background, his view of Interim Management, and what the Finnish interim market looks like today.
What does the interim market look like in Finland?
“The Finnish market is a little behind Sweden. We need to keep working on educating the market about Interim Management and about how it differs from management consulting. Historically, you chose either recruitment or consulting, and an interim was hired for vacancies. Now the demand for Interim Management is starting to take off, and the companies we talk to are very positive about this solution. This also entails greater competition, but most players are locally based around Finland. The fact that we are Nordic is a big advantage and we see an increasing need from our customers for support throughout Scandinavia. Together with our owners Valtus, we collaborate cross-border all around the world, and at the moment we have several assignments in Central Europe and the USA. We also see a great demand within new technologies and in digitalization.”
“Dare to be a little more forward-thinking” – what do you mean by that?
“Dare more! In the Finnish culture, people are a bit cautious about telling you what they can do. Dare to be a little more forward-thinking. The flexibility of working as an Interim Manager is huge, for example, you can work in board positions at the same time as you have an assignment, work internationally, and decide when you take on an assignment and when you want to have time off. Also, an interim is not alone during the assignment, we are there all the way with monthly meetings and as a sounding board. Our clients also need to be brave. In today’s volatile world, there are no safe cards to play, you must proactively choose your path. This also means opting out of areas where you do not want to in the future. With an Interim Manager, you can react flexibly, quickly and be brave. If the new direction turns out to be wrong, you can also change it in no time. An Interim Manager is also an excellent solution when you lack the right skills internally for a specific project. An Interim Manager is always a ‘doer’, getting things done, drives and implements the needed changes.”
Niklas has a broad background in B2B and B2C in industry, management consulting, telecom and FMCG. In his career, he has consistently tried to find new platforms to see what can be done better with the resources at hand, such as employees, a factory, intellectual property, or technology – it is all about building a new business. Niklas himself has worked as an Interim Manager within business development, which is always about understanding how to be relevant to the customer and how to continue to be it.
“Interim Management is exciting because it is the same mindset that I am used to. We can come up with unorthodox candidates and solve the client’s challenges with Interim Managers from our large pool of candidates. In recruitment, the choice too often becomes a ‘usual suspect from one’s own industry and that means that the company often keep following old tracks and does not find new competitive advantages. Helping customers with new thoughts, new ways of working, and above all, the right person and solution, is the best thing about working for Nordic Interim.”