The Netherlands is the birthplace of Interim Management – a proven solution for companies with challenges in the whole Benelux area.
Wim De Mulder has thirty years of marketing, sales, and general management experience, including twelve years in human resources. Before joining Accord Group as Partner in May 2009, he worked as an Interim Manager, leading many change processes for international organizations in a transformational context, such as the growth of start-ups, M&A, geographical expansion, and strategic analyses.
Wim started his career as a Business Development Manager at Hanes Brands Inc., and later joined Mattel Toys as a Sales Manager. Prior to working as an Interim Manager, he was Commercial Director for Universal Music Group.
What does the Interim Management market look like in the Benelux countries?
“The Netherlands is the birthplace of Interim Management – a proven solution for companies with challenges in the whole Benelux area. As we are in the middle of a great paradigm where digitalization and technical development force almost all organizations to adjust, the demand for temporary experts is growing. There is a big trend towards working more independently and flexibly, meaning that more and more people turn to a career as Interim Managers, so both the demand and supply of Interim Managers are increasing.”
Which interim roles are most in-demand?
“The largest part of our clients is larger and medium-sized companies, and most of the roles are within finance, HR, marketing, change management, and technical expertise. The fast digital and technical development has increased the request for interims with experience in driving change within this field. We also have an increased inflow of senior managers who want to work with interim assignments. During Covid-19 they stayed in their permanent roles, but now they are interested in new challenges and a more flexible way of working. This has also led to an increased number of assignments as these, now vacant roles, have to be filled.”
What kind of solutions do you offer your clients?
- Best Practice Assignments, where the manager enters an organization with a focus on maximizing resources within a given context (e.g., operational excellence, cost reduction, or market expansion). Best practice managers will not be affected by a changing business context as they focus on the present and make the best out of it. They integrate available best practices with the purpose to optimize the function and organization. Their actions will be aimed at improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing revenues.
- Strategic Development Assignments, where the manager will contribute the most in companies where the existing product/service portfolio and/or working methods have limited growth, and new sources of value creation need to be created (e.g., system integration, business cases, customer loyalty, differentiation, or economy). A strategic development Manager can create and integrate new business scenarios into an existing context and integrate with existing products/services. Actions are not primarily aimed at improving efficiency, but to foresee trends, develop new products/services or markets, and maximize the value for customers.
- Transformational Assignments, where the manager will be most successful where the current market offering has the risk of becoming a commodity. Transformational managers utilize the company’s existing competencies to create new business models that are even closer to the client’s desire. It is not about managing a context, but about creating one. In doing so, new activities and growth potential become visible.
What are your 3 best pieces of advice to a person who wants to become an Interim Manager?
- Be an authentic leader
- Stay sharp in all circumstances
- Deliver results