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Interim Manager: transitional management for times of business transformation 

The figure of Interim Manager allows the company to temporarily have the knowledge, experience and specific skills necessary to overcome an unstable or crisis period.

There is no doubt that organisations are changing organisms that are not only transformed by what happens inside them or the goals they set and the actions they take to achieve them, but also by the evolution of the environment in which they operate and changes in the sector and in society. In this highly volatile context, especially in recent years, it is very common for specific problems to arise that the organisation is not prepared for or does not have sufficiently specialised human resources on staff to face the new challenge. This is why the figure of the Interim Manager, still unknown only a few years ago, has gained an increasingly relevant role for company management. 

In fact, this temporary nature means that Interim Management is often also known as "transitional management", and it is very useful to incorporate a person with the necessary skills and knowledge to overcome a crisis or significant change in the company during the period of time needed to overcome it successfully. Due to the great diversity of areas in which the "obstacle" that the company detects in its path of evolution can be found, this role is usually carried out by external consultants due to the impossibility of locating a qualified person in such a short period of time and within the company's own staff. 

What does an Interim Manager look like and why can he or she solve the challenge more easily?   

In order to be able to successfully carry out their function and save the dreaded crisis or transition that can "scare" the company's management, an Interim Manager must be very clear about their area of specialisation. That is to say, to establish what kind of cases he/she is prepared to face based on his/her previous knowledge and experience and what tools he/she has to achieve it. Only in this way will he or she be able to provide the value that is not found in the organisation's workforce

But, in addition to their experience and expertise, this "transition manager" must have flexibility among their pillars. Even if he or she is an expert in a particular area, the nature of the problems that arise within a specific area can be very varied. It is essential that he or she be a professional capable of adapting all of his or her background to the specific characteristics of the challenge so that he or she can contribute as much as possible with each of the tools he or she has mastered.   

Thus, not only will they be a highly decisive and efficient profile, but also have great communication skills to provide all the value they have for the moment of change without being seen as a danger by the professionals in the organisation's workforce, and with planning skills to meet goals in specific time frames. 

No emotional baggage: objectivity for success   

One of the advantages of incorporating an Interim Manager is the objectivity that he or she can bring. As an external professional, he or she does not have the organisation's "backpack" of experiences, its tendencies in the way of solving problems and does not have a previous connection. Thanks to this "lack of a more emotional and historical connection", he or she is not conditioned by the company's policies or culture, and is able to find perspectives that would be very difficult with such a connection.

In other words, hiring an Interim Manager in a crisis or transition situation is particularly appropriate because it brings new visions, perspectives and solutions that have never been explored by the organisation and that can be the key to success by tackling problems in a completely different way. It is true that the company must never lose its values, its vision of the business and what defines it in its way of proceeding. But this professional can "see beyond" and explore paths hitherto unknown to the company: a freshness that can not be found among employees who have already been in contact with the organisation for a long time, with an added strategic vision


It's not all about crises: an Interim Manager is the professional for personnel changes 

But, besides the crises and significant changes that can happen in a corporation, the Interim Manager may have another task to fulfil: to cover a position or management position while the perfect candidate is found to fill the position left by the previous professional. This function is usually assumed when it comes to senior positions in the company, such as a marketing or finance director, for example.

With such responsible positions, it is essential to bring in a suitably skilled professional to maintain a good level of management while the successor is being trained to take on the job successfully from day one or, in the case of unexpected departures, in the process of finding the ideal candidate. 

Borja Lanáquera

Associate Director Servitalent