By David Smith, Managing Partner For The B2Bax Consortium
The common definition of Interim Management is the temporary provision of resources and skills.
An Interim Manager can be called upon in a number of situations. A business may be in a period of transition, and requires change management skills. It may be experiencing rapid growth, or can be in a period of crisis brought about by financial and cash flow pressures. There could be a specific one off project that is required for which a company does not have the skill set or resource to undertake internally. It could simply be that a key member of staff is going to be absent for an extended period.
The engagement of Interim Managers is more typically to be found in larger organisations, both private and public.
What of the use of Interim Manager’s in The SME sector? The issues described above are not confined to larger companies, and more often or not the situations are more pronounced. In which case, would a company be in a position to invest in a full time Interim Manager? If the answer is no or not sure, then there may be an alternative, and that is to engage an Interim manager on a part time basis.
A significant number of potential assignments could be carried out on a part time basis. This would be both cost effective and flexible. There may for example be a requirement for an intensive input at the beginning of the assignment, which may be scaled back over time.
There is one further situation when the engagement of a part time Interim Manager can provide a vital service to a company, and that is to provide a bridge to the ultimate appointment of a full time role. This can be particularly important when considering the appointment of a full time Finance Director, or Financial Controller. Such an appointment may be desirable but may be seen as being a year or two further on down the road. A part time Finance Director can provide an immensely valuable contribution until the time is right for a full time appointment.
Interim Managers can provide a very valuable resource to a company, and naturally enough there are situations where a full time appointment is the only real option. For a business owner or board considering an appointment, there may be more options open to you than you may previously have considered.
David Smith is a freelance Finance Director/Financial Controller/Project Accountant working within the B2Bax Consortium (www.b2bax.co.uk), which he co-founded. David has worked on many interim assignments over the past fifteen years, mostly within the SME sector. The vast majority of these assignments have been undertaken on a part time basis. Prior to forming the consortium, David worked for a leading management consultancy in the South East, EMC Management Consultants Limited, for eleven years. Before then David had a successful career working for large corporates.
Please be advised that all views expressed in these posts are those of the author and not of James Rosa Associates ltd.