What are the three types of Interim Management assignment? – Best Blogs Series

According to Andrew Turner, a seasoned Interim Chief Executive, specializing in change management, business strategy and performance improvement, there are broadly three types of interim assignment:

* Resource-Driven

* Project-Driven

*Change/Solution – Driven

Andrew believes that the characteristics of each type of assignment are typically as follows:

* Resource-Driven: Need for temporary staff – low risk to client and sponsor – high price sensitivity

* Project-Driven: Management and skills for a defined contract – low/medium risk – high/medium price sensitivity

* Need for Change: Need for fresh ideas and solutions. – What the client buys – Solutions. Scarce and specialized expertise; someone to help resolve complex problems. Risk to decision maker – High. Risk to company – High. Price sensitivity – Low.

Andrew argues that both Resource and Project Driven assignments should NOT strictly fall under the banner of Interim Management. He believes that the first should be in the world of temporary staffing, and the second in the contracting arena. He reasons that neither have the decision-making independence of the true Interim Manager (at least at CEO/COO level), nor the ability to bring about change, other than in a far more circumscribed manner, ultimately controlled by the client, rather than the “interim”.

Traditionally, the professional interim has been seriously over-sized and could demonstrate that they had truly earned their T-shirt! In recent years, the boundaries between the professional interim, contractors and consultants have all become a little blurred. Top-end professionals and intermediaries have introduced terms like Executive Interim Manager, Interim Executive and Professional Interim Executive to provide necessary differentiation.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, as a Member of the Association of Professional Interims(MAPI), I am going to deploy some basic definitions agreed by the API.

1) What is an Interim Manager?

A Professional Interim Executive is a high impact external resource, usually operating at or near board level on a short-term basis, who utilises extensive proven experience to solve complex problems or deliver solutions to business critical issues fast. Professional Interims diagnose, design, deliver, embed the learning, and then disengage.

2) What do professional interim executives do?

a. Professional Interim Executives are usually deployed as a flexible strategic resourcing tool in organisations from large multinationals to small owner-managed companies.

b. They have a previous proven track record of success usually across a range of organisations or have been seconded across several areas of a large organisation. They are used in all sectors.

c. They are focused and hardworking and deliver results extremely quickly, usually far exceeding client expectations.

d. Almost every successful interim executive has previously been a successful permanent executive. They typically report directly to the senior management, the Board or shareholders.

f. They bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise – and no political baggage – ensuring they are exceptionally focused on delivering the agreed business goals.

g. They thrive on new challenges and immersing themselves in new situations and have a remarkable ability to adapt to different organisational cultures and win the trust and respect of their teams and colleagues.

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In separate article, we shall focus on the difference between professional interims and consultants.

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Finally, I would like to thank the Institute of Interim Management (IIM) for supporting an open debate which prompted Andrew to share the above conclusions. These conclusions are entirely Andrew’s and were neither provided nor necessarily supported by the IIM, nor other members of the debate.

In December 2009, I asked the question on the IIM LinkedIn forum: “How can we help the client and the professional interim match more effectively?”. Apart from myself, participants in the debate included: Ad van der Rest, Tony Evans, Katrina Shepherd, Les Ormonde, Martin Eley, Colin Mclean, Nigel Cole and Tom Pickering.

The Death of the Interim Management Industry – Part 3 – Additional Responses

Looking back, this is worth a read. It’s one of our most popular blogs

Dr Alf's Blog

English: A map of Continental Europe. English: A map of Continental Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is my third blog entitled The Death of the Interim Management Industry. The second blog shares John Gelmini’s viewpoint. In this blog, I introduce additional feedback. Again, I shall post a few words at the end.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSES

Rodney Willett

Thank you for this, Alf. it really does highlight an important issue. I know we do not agree on all matters and I am not sure you would go along with this but – – – the smaller the scales of buying the less likelihood there is of monumental errors and so one prong of the fork should be to rethink the size and scale of projects wherever possible. The other is to remember that buying is a skill which should be utilised BUT there must be adequate communication between the buyer and those for whom he/she is acting. It…

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