Interims are the answer

Rob Willock has highlighted exactly the problem facing the interim management industry – and those who most need it (Personnel Today, 19 April).

Few genuinely understand what interim management can achieve for an organisation, especially in the self-confessedly prevaricating public sector.

The general public and the government want change now. They would once have accepted ‘eventually’ or ‘soon’ – but ‘now’ is the modern expectation. But let us look at the difference between how an interim will respond to a situation compared to a permanent employee.

The first challenge is finding a full-time employee to fill a role focusing on change. Three to six months for a senior permanent is a benchmark – by which time there is a good chance it is too late.

Using someone already employed creates its own problems: they are all too busy, and they are going to be busier. Then there is politics and the danger they may not want the extra responsibility.

The answer is an interim. Their raison d’tre is change delivery. They are available at short notice, will be completely conversant with the type of department or challenge involved, and will be aware of, but immune to, both politics and Politics.

Just because some people don’t understand this does not mean it is not true.

Interims deliver change, then permanent employees do what they are best at: sail their public sector body steadily along its new-found course.

Interims will deliver at a pace that means they are actually less expensive per unit of achievement than a permanent officer.

Nick Robeson
Interim Management Association

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