team-of-interimsWhichever sector, function or industry an interim operates in today, it is clear that the role of an interim manager (IM) is focussed much more on bringing about effective change and delivering solutions, rather than steadying the ship. Following this trend towards change and transformation is the demand for hiring a team of interims to work on a project or programme.

Research conducted by Alium last year has shown that interims are increasingly being asked to work together in teams, rather than on an individual basis. This collaborative approach has many benefits to the client and the interim and is, I believe, a positive development in the industry. Hiring a team of interims to deliver this form of major programme change has a number of advantages:

The Benefits of Hiring a Team of Interims

1. Complementary collaboration

Working in a team of interims allows complementary skills to come together and provide the solution needed. Each member of the team can bring their unique experience and expertise to the project, finding new and innovative ways to meet the client’s needs.

2. Firm focus

Hiring a team of interims helps to keep the delivery of change separate from the business as usual side, ensuring the organisation does not lose focus on the day to day, and the interims can get on with the job in hand.

3. Supporting success

Having a specific temporary team of interims to help with business transformation can support the business, rather than creating internal competition. Interims are not a threat to the existing workforce. They bring the necessary skills that are often not present. When complete the team can depart, leaving a clear difference behind.

4. Embedding change

Using interims, the intellectual property of the delivery is transferred into the business, up skilling the workforce whom are to be mentored and supported. Unlike a management consultancy that is keen to protect its IP and not give this away, interims embed and become part of the business, making this a more coherent and transferable delivery of change.

5. No agenda

Interims will not do a hard sell when inside a business. By nature, interims enjoy the challenge of change and so will readily step away for another assignment. The business can then take the credit for success, not an external organisation. This is really positive for the brand of the business that shows it is not reliant on external consultancy for change.

Although hiring a team of interims may be a relatively new concept to some, companies should not fear it. The collective knowledge and skills that a team of interims can bring to a business will ensure a sound return on investment and a real sense of lasting organisational change.

(As a side note, is there a collective noun for a group or team of interims? Suggestions in the comments field below please!)

photo credit: apparena  cc

  • Alan Greenwood

    I have just completed an assignment which had three interims and two employees as the senior management team on a business turn-around. It worked very well which was more due to luck than judgement as we had been hired individually rather than a team. It could have been very painful if we had not gelled.