For many, interim leadership (or management for hire) is synonymous with urgency and crisis. Like sick leaves, demise, unexpected manager exit, managerial crises etc.
However, far less dramatic situations may also occur
Planned absence/gap: Long-term leave (e.g. parental), secondments, planned exits, garden leaves etc.
Long recruitment processes: Some management vacancies may take a long time to fill (e.g. long notice periods or quarantines).
Start-ups: “First manager on-site” in start-up companies or for a new area of expertise
Business transitions: leadership change, crisis management, up-/downsizing, organisational transformation, restructuring processes, owner transition, incorporating acquired business, implementing a new strategy, new products and services, start-ups etc.
Projects: projects may need experienced interim leadership, implementation of tools, lack of internal competency or managerial experience etc.
Irrespective of the situation and severity, a leaver or absentee creates a competency gap, which is the variance between the required skills and competencies in a business, and the current level.
Any competency gap may cause a shortfall in client delivery. Failing to meet client expectations may put your reputation in harm's way and business at risk.
To mitigate risk, and sustain client delivery, the gap must be closed. Planned or urgently. In both instances, an interim leader effectively closes a crucial competency gap and sustains your business until a new permanent solution is implemented.
An effective way out of your dire straits and to sustain your business.
(AND WHAT NOT)
An interim leader is not a consultant. A consultant may deliver professional or expert advice or tangibles, but has no managerial authority to implement changes.
Unlike a consultant – broad strategic, operational and managerial experience enables an interim leader to go directly into a leadership role. Strategic, operational, general or a department role.
For a defined time window, to undertake the daily responsibility and accountability for the client and service delivery, performance, results, and people leadership.
Effectively and efficiently execute the strategy, business plans and objectives. Someone who easily understands when and what measures need to be put in place.
With an independent and objective approach, with unbending integrity and the client’s best interests at heart.
An interim leader only serves one master – the client.
There are a number of benefits with interim leadership:
Predictability, time and flexibility for the business to consider a way forward
Available, flexible, dedicated, accountable, result oriented
Customer-centric focus to safeguard client expectations
Focus on your business and generating value
Advice is given with objectivity and integrity
Not incentivised to sell additional services
No recruitment cost, lead time or redundancy cost