This article provides a practical explanation of Interim Management. After reading, you will understand the basics of this powerful management discipline.
What is Interim Management?
Interim Management refers to the temporary roles of people with management knowledge within an organisation. These people are referred to as interim managers and are usually experienced leaders who can run and manage an organisation during times of change or transformation. The Interim Management Association defines it as the ‘the quick supply of senior executives to manage change or transition’.
Interim managers are generally hired for a period of three to nine months to help an organisation with change management. They help to implement a crucial strategy, close a management gap, or facilitate change.
Interim managers are used because a permanent role isn't necessary or because no person in the company is suitable or available for the job in question. An interim manager can offer stability to a company after an experienced leader has stepped down, for instance.
Modern Interim Management started in about the 1970s. Employees in the Netherlands are protected by long notice periods and high costs for ending employment contracts. This made hiring temporary managers an obvious solution.
After that the concept made numerous appearances in studies into different forms of contractual relationships, for instance by Atkinson.
Interim Management in practice
Interim managers are mainly used when organisations are undergoing changes. They are either self-employed, or work for an interim management agency.
Sometimes a new role is created specifically for them to make the target company more efficient. This role didn't exist before they joined the company, but will usually become a permanent position.
When they first start the job, interim managers set a precedent about how their role should look. Companies will place their trust in the interim manager's expertise to determine how the change is to be implemented.
Example of an Interim Management position
A family business that sells electronics is in a serious crisis after having lost significant market share in recent years, all resulting from an internal conflict. The CEO has stepped down, and the board can't find a suitable leader with enough experience.
The board is faced with two options. The first is to try and recruit a senior executive from another company. This is an expensive option, and might exacerbat...
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