What is Interim Management?
An Interim Manager is an experienced leader with focus on results. When an organization lacks a resource or the right competence during a project, change, a specific critical challenge, or vacancy, Interim Management is a secure, quick, and cost-effective solution. An Interim Manager is engaged for a limited period of time and enters your organization on a very short notice. In this way you get access to a very experienced and hands-on leader or functional specialist.
The focus is on creating improvement and driving change.
An Interim Manager drives change or fills a vacancy
An Interim Manager has a long experience of leadership and of driving change in a complex environment. With a background from private or public sector, he/she has chosen to step down from a permanent role to take on time-limited assignments to share their experiences and create long-term results.
Change is key for almost all interim assignments. Going into an assignment with a clear goal is what triggers an interim. A common factor is that they are driven by leading and developing their team/teams, and are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hands-on, as most assignments require you to work both strategically and operationally.
Interim Management is the best of two worlds
In today’s accelerating development you need to have a flexible organisation which is able to react quickly and efficiently to change, threats and possibilities. Competition is global. Digitalization requires transformation, change and reallocation. But what do you do when there is no time to recruit or space for a traditional management consultant? The solution for an ever-increasing number – both in the private and public sector – is Executive Interim Management. With short notice, a qualified Interim Manager or specialist enters the organisation. An experienced leader, with a senior profile, who takes operating responsibility and fully focuses on a predetermined assignment. It gives the client optimal flexibility, power to execute and cost-efficiency.
8 examples of typical assignments within Interim Management
1. The company is in an existential crisis.
Companies can slip into a crisis due to various factors: Loss of important sales markets, aggressive competitors, product- or market-changing innovations or simple mismanagement.
The focus in crises is often on the search for new business areas or the expansion of the product portfolio; often these expansions are outside the core competencies of the company and do not bring the desired financial success. This strategic crisis is often followed by an operational crisis, which in turn is followed by a financial crisis.
Financial crises pose an acute threat to the continued existence of a company or group of companies. Only resolute, immediate action can avert insolvency.
In the event of a crisis, the interim CRO is available to the company as a “corporate reorganizer” and thus manages the restructuring concerns of the company.
2. The CFO has left the company and there is no replacement in place.
The decision to hire an interim CFO to bridge the gap during the permanent recruitment is made. As the interim is overqualified, he/she can also review processes and structures during his/her assignment and hand over a well-functioning business to the new CFO.
3. A subsidiary performs poorly and shows red numbers.
It is not known where the problem lies. The current CEO is not functioning, and an interim CEO is engaged to analyse the business and provide clear and transparent information to the management and the board. A turnaround is performed by the Interim Manager.
4. A complex infrastructure project is to be implemented, and the right project manager competence is lacking.
A person who has previously run large, complex construction projects is needed. The assignment means working with many stakeholders, a strict budget and schedule, while the traffic should flow without major disruptions. An interim PMO who has done this before and has very good knowledge in the industry, leadership and operational work is engaged.
5. A factory is to be moved from Austria to the Czech Republic
An interim Factory Manager/Operations Manager is engaged to close the operations in Austria in the best possible way, while production continues to the last day. Premises are bought or rented, machinery is moved, and staff are hired. The interim ensures that the production in the Czech Republic is set up according to the time- and budget plan.
6. A family business is acquired by a PE-company with strong growth ambitions.
The current management does not have the ability to drive this growth and an interim CEO with a sales background is being appointed by the new owners. The interim will quickly lead the expansion. When the goals according to the set business plan are reached, a new, possibly more junior, CEO can take over a well-functioning company.
7. A company lacks leadership, and the staff is ineffective and unmotivated.
The staff has been in the company for a long time and opposes new, more efficient ways of working. To increase the production, efficiency and improve leadership, and corporate culture, an interim HR Manager is engaged to review the existing competences, analyze the need of new skills, and to support the management in working with values, leadership development and new processes.
8. The company’s Group Business Controller is on sick leave for at least six months.
The role is business-critical and an Interim Business Controller is engaged to operate the function until the regular role holder is in place.
As an Interim Manager, you shift to a higher gear to quickly find solutions, create results and deliver value. You can rest after completion of the assignment!
What is the difference between Interim Management and Management Consulting?
The answer is simple: a management consultant analyzes, gives advice, and recommends what needs to be done. An Interim Manager also does this, but he/she also implements the recommended actions as a full member of the team and the organization.
Quality, power, and commitment
Since 2001 Management Factory has established qualified and global interim operations with a focus on quality, skills, and implementation. We offer Executive Interim Management solutions to critical and complex business challenges.
In addition to a global network of Executive Interim Professionals we can, with our own experience from industry and commerce, contribute with advice and knowledge throughout the entire process, from analysis and strategy to execution, evaluation, and follow-up.
FAQ about Interim Management
What is Interim Management?
An Interim Manager is a person with long experience of leadership and of driving change in a complex environment. The interim has a background in leading line roles within commercial businesses or government-controlled businesses. The interim has chosen to step down from a permanent role to take on time-limited assignments instead. Interim Management gives the business access to a very experienced leader when their own resources are not sufficient in the event of a challenge, crisis, or vacancy.
Examples of typical assignments:
A CFO has left the company and there is no replacement in place. An interim CFO was hired to bridge the gap while recruiting a permanent CFO. As the interim was overqualified, he immediately reviewed processes and structures and handed over a well-functioning business to the new CFO.
A subsidiary performed poorly and showed red numbers. It was not known where the problem lay. The CEO was let go the same day. An interim CEO was engaged to analyse the company and provided clear and transparent information to the board. A turnaround was conducted.
Do you want to know more about what interim means, or are you interested in becoming an Interim Manager, or if it can be a solution for your company?
What is the difference between an Interim Manager and a Management Consultant?
Executive Interim Management has one foot in the headhunting industry and the other foot in management consulting. We have listed the main differences below:
|Interim Manager||Management Consultant|
|To execute and drive change to achieve operating results||Analysis, advice, transfer of best practice, solution design, and/or driving programme/project management|
|Basing execution primarily upon long-standing operating experience, leadership and industry/functional experience. In certain cases with some years of prior work as a consultant||Basing execution primarily upon methods, processes and analysis combined with industrial/functional best practices collected from the consulting company|
|Acts as a part of your organisation, often with budget and/or responsibility for P/L||Acts outside the organisational framework (often in programme/ project form)|
|40+ depending on the industry and functional background||Often 25-35 years old|
|Completely loyal to you as a client and to your goals. Reports to you like an employee. No incentive to sell you more Interim Managers||Loyal to you as a client but also to his/her consulting company|
When is Interim Management a good solution?
When you urgently need an experienced manager or specialist within a specific area. When a recruitment process takes too long and/or when classic Management Consulting does not give you the hands-on implementation you need. It can be anything from filling a critical gap, reorganising a business, leading a digital transformation, expansion, establishing a foreign company, to divesting companies. The basic need that you want to solve is to get help from one or more active leaders who operationally make things happen.
Read more about the benefits of hiring an Interim Manager here.
What services can an Interim Manager perform?
Examples of services that an Interim Manager can perform are turnarounds, IPOs, build an HR organisation, set structures and processes, lead one or several business-critical projects, set the strategy for, and implement a company’s CSR program, lead a digitalization project for a function, a company or a group, lead an M&A project, or move production to another country including the closing of the old site and building the new production organisation.
Read about our services here.
What roles can Interim Management fill?
Our main focus is to solve challenges in company management positions or major initiatives/projects governed by the company management. Over the years, we have also developed networks in certain specialist branches, as well as with people with Management Consultant background and who have extensive experience of running larger complex programs/projects. Examples of roles are: CEO, CFO, Head of Business Control, Project Manager, or Supply Chain Manager. See more examples of roles here.
Read more about Interim Managers here.
Does Management Factory’s processes differ from other suppliers’ processes?
Yes. We know that our clients need to find a solution quickly, and – perhaps more importantly – they do not want to have endless interviews or evaluate CVs themselves to find the right skills and person. We are not content with merely matching suitable and available candidates, we work intensively for about 1-2 weeks to hand-pick people in our networks in Austria and internationally. In this way, after a very short time, we can propose 2-3 people with exactly the right relevant background for the assignment.
How long does a recruitment process take?
The process takes 2-4 weeks and includes interviews with us and with the client and references.
Read more about how we work here.
How do you handle sensitive information?
Confidentiality is a matter of honour, both towards our clients and Interim Managers. At the beginning of each collaboration, we agree with the customer on the desired level of confidentiality, and we often use an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before talking to the candidates. In our experience, this benefits all parties.
Do I have any guarantees if I engage you?
If an assignment should not develop as expected (which happens extremely rarely), we have termination clauses. These are assignment-specific, but the majority have one month’s notice. Of course, we help our client to find a replacement with equally strong qualifications. Management Factory has liability insurance for all our consultants, and all our interims at a leading level must take out a debit register certificate. We can also have a complete background check done.
Can I hire the interim after a completed interim assignment?
In our agreements, transitional fees for direct employment of an Interim Manager are regulated. We have a great understanding that this can be a win-win situation for our customers and Interim Professionals.
How long is an assignment?
Most of our assignments are directly linked to a major initiative, and often the assignment extends over 6–12 months, in some cases significantly longer. It is common for the assignments to be extended.
Do I need to pay a start-up fee?
Yes, we charge a small fee at the start-up of an assignment.
What does an interim solution cost?
The cost of hiring an Interim Professional depends entirely on the role, situation and length and scope of the assignment. Briefly, it is considerably cheaper than hiring a Management Consultant. Together, we go through the challenges and the assignment, and calculate an approximate range of the fee level to be able to attract and engage the right person with the right calibre.
The focus is on creating improvement and promoting change.
An interim manager drives change or fills a vacancy
An interim manager has many years of experience in leading and driving change in a complex environment. He/she comes from the private or public sector and has chosen to step out of a permanent position and take on temporary assignments to share their experience and achieve long-term results.
Change is the key to almost all interim assignments. The trigger for an interim assignment is that they go into an assignment with a clear goal. A common factor is that they want to lead and develop their team(s) and are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hands-on, as most assignments require both strategic and operational work.