The selection of a company or an individual to provide interim management leadership is one that requires the utmost care and consideration. The effect on a company of even a short term appointment can be long lasting but unfortunately the need often arises suddenly and invariably, unexpectedly.
Often the particular demands of interim management can only be met by appointing an interim manager who is unknown to the appointee. Decisions have to be taken quickly without the time to get to know someone who will be required to make critical decisions. Someone with discretion who will often have to be the recipient of confidential information. In which case, assessment of the correct personality for the position will be as important a judgement as technical ability.
McMillan Associates breadth of supervisory experience at various levels and range of managerial activities in different industries, places it in an ideal position to provide executives with the correct technical and managerial leadership skills to fill a senior position in response to a client’s urgent needs.
Experience of taking over construction sites populated by strong willed operatives with skill and greater knowledge of the specific requirements of their own role than a new manager.
Experience of being jetted into overseas offices staffed by people with greater knowledge of local customs and ways of doing things than any outsider.
Experience of heading departments at short notice to supervise technically expert specialists, often with each believing he or she should have been handed the role.
Situations such as these provide us with the confidence to accept the demands and responsibilities inherent with the role. The ability to become a team leader at short notice, to adopt a leadership style that meets the demands of the situation, to display the managerial skills are the basic essentials of an interim executive.
The need to appoint an interim manager can come from a variety of different causes; sudden loss of key staff, maternity/paternity leave, the acquisition of new contracts or the need to drive new business objectives.
The Skill Set
The range of abilities necessary to be successful as an interim manager, whether it be long term, short term, full time or part time include being able to:
- Assimilate information rapidly
- Integrate seamlessly into a new environment
- Provide leadership and focus
- Accept responsibility
- Exude an air of authority
- Make essential and if necessary unpopular decisions
- Provide encouragement and confidence
Interim management is so much more than having the ability to organise a workforce.
Depending upon the role, the all round interim manager should have full Business Management ability, incorporating risk awareness and assurance skills in addition to being well versed on Corporate Governance requirements as it applies to the role being undertaken.
The role we undertake in examining contracts and assessing their impacts for a great variety of construction projects covering many disciplines and values gives us the ability to absorb the impact of having to negotiate the plethora of contractual matters awaiting the arrival of any new Interim Executive.
The Benefits of Interim Management
Notwithstanding the special managerial demands of the role, the appointment of an interim manager can also bring many advantages. Uncluttered by the concerns or ambitions of a long term employment, he will be able to ‘tell it as he sees it’, which may not be what the client expects or wants to hear. He will have no emotional attachments and will therefore have the drive and energy to execute necessary changes. He should bring fresh thinking but also bring ideas from previous roles that can be adapted to his new task.
Interim management can be extremely cost effective. Interim managers do not incur any of the additional costs, such as holiday pay, pension provisions, company cars or other overheads associated with full time employed executives. Their cost finishes when the programme is completed or the contract period ends.
At McMillan Associates we appreciate the responsibility entrusted to us and the effect it can have on our client’s business. We pride ourselves in being able to successfully fulfil the role whether it is for local councils, public bodies, SMEs or major companies.
If we do not have a suitable interim manager for a given situation we reluctantly decline the opportunity.