Keeping Your Business Flexible and Scalable with Interim Management
Interim management is not a new concept, but its use was not common two to three decades ago. Back then not many companies were aware of interim executives, and how beneficial they can be to management in crisis or transition.
But that’s all changed. Now interim managers are one of the most sought after professionals in the business world. An organization can leverage the best of both worlds. They are able to bring highly skilled expertise into the company for only the duration it is need.
Why companies need interim management firms
Everything and everyone around us is changing at such a rapid pace that companies find it difficult to meet consumer demands. Political conflict arises within businesses and miscommunication develops with the outside world; long-term plans become invalid after a year, and executive teams struggle to adjust to new changes. Today, to keep up with the market, companies have found an effective solution in the form of interim executives.
Interim executives are a sweet spot for enterprises. Anytime the permanent staff is having trouble with an issue they can call in a well-experienced and efficient executive, who’s done it all before, to immediately handle the problem and support the team through the process. That same individual has likely worked in at least two other companies in the past year and brings a variance of recent experience and perspective to the situation. It provides the same flexibility that temporary staffing agencies have provided for decades but now at the highest levels of leadership in an organization.
Interim management trends in Europe
Interim management is sweeping across the western world, particularly in America and Europe. A European alliance of some major corporations called Transition Management Group (TMG) did a survey at the end of 2015 on current management trends in the continent to find unsurprisingly that interim executives are becoming a big favorite among companies. They interviewed 400 CEOs and found that 72% support and are at ease with an interim management model while 55% of executives have already used it.
The reasons for using interim management differed from company-to-company, but some of the most common reasons were project transformation, international development, and duress. An interesting finding in the survey was that 80% of French CEOs interviewed believed they would increase the use of interim management. The above average number is likely fuelled by another of internal and external factors which include the recent economic condition of the country or their overburdening labor laws.
Interim management in Switzerland
Switzerland is home to some of the biggest corporations in the world including Nestlé, Rolex, Logitech, Novartis and more, making it one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Staying close to their roots, Swiss companies are headquartered in their homeland and have executive teams mostly composed of their local countrymen and women.
The same TMG survey found that 78% of Swiss CEOs are aware of interim management while 63% use them regularly. However, their reasons for hiring interim executives vastly differs from their European counterparts. Twenty percent above the European average, 54% of Swiss CEOs use interim managers for project management. Swiss companies are known for making money, not saving them. They place more emphasis on driving value by transformation projects.
Other statistics from the survey revealed that interim assignments in Switzerland are shorter than the average in Europe. Eighty percent are below 12 months while the average is 6-8 months. For half of their cases, Swiss companies go to interim firms for help, while the other half use recommendations and their professional network to find interim executives.
The practice of using short term or temporary executive support in organizations is worldwide. As noted, the reasons vary greatly. In the United States, we see it used most often to fill a gap between two full time executives, strategic initiatives or on a part-time basis when a full time executive’s time isn’t needed or the cost can’t be justified. At Cerius, we have seen it transform companies, teams and families since some of the times they are all one in the same. Being able to quickly and flexibly expand (or initiate) an executive leadership team has never been so easy as it is now. There are a number of resources available from social media sites like LinkedIn, to boutique interim firms around the country and certainly Cerius, the leader in Interim Executives.
About Cerius Executives
As one of the largest North American providers of contract executives for part-time, temporary, interim and consulting assignments, Cerius has a network of thousands of executives from Operations, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, IT, Engineering and Human Resources. These executives are available to step into companies on short notice to fill a sudden gap in leadership, to run a key initiative, or to provide specialized skills and knowledge for a temporary period of time. Cerius serves clients of all sizes from virtually every industry. Cerius is headquartered in Irvine, California.