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What is Interim Management?

Interim Management is the temporary provision/deployment of one or more experienced, highly qualified individuals for projects or line management positions.

What differentiates an Interim Manager from a Management Consultant?

Interim Management puts the main focus on the implementation of tasks. Conceptional work, recommendation and maybe supervision is the focus of consulting.

The interim manager undertakes the full operational responsibility until the goal is reached. This is a fundamental difference to a consultant who advises “only”, proposes actions and accompanies or supervises the implementation.

The business model of a classic management consulting firm is a pyramid model. It optimizes the utilization of its junior consultants for the actual work for the clients and supervises this activity with a senior partner. In contrast, the business model of BRAINFORCE is to deploy the best qualified and experienced senior expert from its M.A.S.T.E.R.-Pool, consisting of more than 4,500 members, at attractive rates and terms and conditions. There is no pressure to optimize the internal utilization rate of the experts. The match of skills with the client-specific requirements have the absolute priority. This fact leads to better implementation results in a shorter period of time compared with traditional consulting.

The interim manager is carefully selected for the specific mandate. Critical factors are the practical work experience, know-how, and the interpersonal skills relevant to the specific mandate. All these factors has the interim manager obtained experience through previous mandates and many years of professional career prior to that. Furthermore, the match of personality for the specific environment is the key to success for a mandate.

A member of the M.A.S.T.E.R.-Pool can be put in place for very specific, time-limited special tasks (Expert Solutions).

Too often, valuable concepts and recommendations developed by management consultants will finally be left in the drawer because the daily business dominates. Interim Manager ensure the actual realization and therefore moving organizations successfully forward.

What differentiates an Interim Manager from an Executive Searcher?

The role of an Executive Searcher is to identify the right candidate currently employed somewhere and to inspire for a specific management position in another company, usually leading to a career move upward. The client allows usually 2-3 months for this process. Once the right candidate has been identified and selected, it will take usually another 3-6 months (notice period). Last but not least, any new employee, even a top manager is entitled to several weeks or months of “warm-up” period or “training period”.

The Interim Manager is ready to start his/her position within 1-3 weeks. Due to his/her large experience, and a certain over-qualification, the Interim Manager is immediately operative and is in a position to make decisions. There is only a minimum warm-up period required, usually a few days.

As soon as the task is fulfilled, the Interim Manager is withdrawn without any further financial obligations as compared with an employed manager.

How does the client protect its business secrets during an interim management assignment?

The secondment contract which is the basis for any Interim Manager deployed through BRAINFORCE rules this topic extensively.

There is rarely a reluctance by a client regarding the deployment of an Interim Manager into sensitive functions or assignment to confidential matters, like for example in research and development, in sales and marketing, in finance and controlling, or in merger and acquisiton. The confidentiality imposed to the Interim Manager is comparable to what other renowned firms in product and innovation technology development, strategy consulting or auditing apply.

What is the cost for the deployment of an Interim Manager?

An Interim Manager costs depending on the hierarchic level, scope of responsibility, duration of the mandate, etc. per day 0.6% to 1.0% of the annual gross salary of the corresponding permanent position.

The deployment of an experienced, competent leader on an interim basis is in most cases worth a multiple of his/her cost, due to his/her above average performance, experiences, and know-how.

In what situations is the deployment of an Interim Manager particularly beneficial?

Typically these are situations such as

crisis management, sudden departure, illness, death.

managing change or transition, sabbaticals,

MBOs and IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and

project management.

In addition to the definition of Wikipedia the following situations have been particularly suitable for interim management:

§ Timely implementation of critical, novel projects (e.g. in the supply chain, in sales and marketing, in finance and controlling, in IT, etc.). 

§ Neutral, unbiased implementation of projects or management tasks affected by internal politics.

§ Increasing management capacity during urgent internal or external issues (e.g. reorganization, mergers & acquisitions, expansion, etc.).

§ Innovation projects where „time-to-market“ is critical for the company.

§ Overseas business activities where local competence is essential to successfully build up, expand or reorganize an operation (e.g. in Russia, India, south East Asia, China, etc.)

§ Successions in ownership and management of SMEs where a lot of diplomacy is required during the transition phase from the previous company owner to the new one.

§ Independent advisory to the Board of Directors.