Interim management remains a mystery to many businesses but those that have discovered, understood and applied the skills and expertise of an interim manager to their organisation are pioneering a management solution that is enormously effective and can even, at times, appear too good to be true.
It is the shock of impact. An interim - correctly assessed, assigned, deployed and supported - will deliver with a speed and purpose that will surprise, especially when the benchmark pace of a new permanent arrival might more often be described as "measured".
There are three factors to consider when deciding whether to employ an interim manager. First, if you are running a business, where can you find your interim manager? How do you deploy one and is there a right time to bring an interim into play?
If you are considering going into interim management as a career, do you really understand what you are about to walk into or are you expecting an easy, temporary, part-time working life fuelled by the income derived from simply advising would-be employers?
If you are an interim service provider, are you genuinely expert, experienced and capable of marrying client, assignment, brief and interim?
Then you must consider the overall business environment: barely a day goes by without an organisation announcing change - takeover, disposal, closure, growth, axe-wielding or brand re-positioning. Sectors rise and fall, everyone is in a race - some do not know why, they have simply been drawn in. But there is no option but to compete.
A strong economy, a skills shortage, an undoubtedly active merger and acquisition programme - and the new-ish ethic of "work-life balance" have encouraged experienced and expert people to forage for themselves, instead of relying on the corporate trough.
So, there are many businesses involved in a great deal of change, and rafts of senior adventurer business people ready, willing and able to sail to the rescue of businesses that want to stem their decline or uprate their advance. It sounds simple. Cue reality.
Let's start with a definition. I am always intrigued to hear other people's early definitions of an interim. Interims are usually seen as "temps". That is unhelpful. In your mind's eye you see a picture of someone who awkwardly enters the office under curious stares, is plonked at a desk, given a cup of tea and waits for someone half-senior to wander over with a pile of end-of-financial-year p