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Being an Interim Manager

Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Sophie Mitchell


Interim Management in Argentina

Head of General Management Practice Sophie Mitchell recently spent some time with Alium’s Latin American team based in Buenos Aires and reveals her thoughts on opportunities for interim management in Argentina and the highlights for business and pleasure!
I recently spent a week with our Latin American colleagues in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, during which I have experienced the rich culture and warmth of the Argentine people, and gained an insight into how business is conducted here compared to Europe.
This exciting experience has enlightened me as to how the concept of interim management is perceived here, what some of the challenges facing businesses are, and how the mood is becoming increasingly positive in a country which has faced a number of economic and political challenges in recent times.

Interim Management in Argentina Observations

Interim management is a new concept for Argentina. During the last decade there has been  a lack of appreciation for, and investment in, training and up-skilling of employees. Therefore there remains both a significant opportunity for and challenge to the interim management model.
Whereas businesses in Europe appreciate the value of utilising a highly experienced individual/team to transform or move a business forward, Argentina has a more traditional view point when it comes to business and leadership - and the transition will therefore be slower, but no doubt of equal value.
The success our Latin America team has experienced, having now worked with a number of businesses across multiple sectors to support transformation, makes it clear that things are starting to change. Businesses are beginning to appreciate that by bringing in a highly qualified professional to execute a specific agenda within a defined period, results are delivered quickly and without the cost of redundancy when said person/team moves on.

A More Optimistic Mood

Following a period of national frustration with the nationalisation of companies such as YPF (the largest oil and gas producer in Argentina) for example, combined with a lack of international trade, a sense of positivity now appears to exist. With parts of the commercial sector, such as oil and gas and it’s recent discoveries of shale gas reserves, it is only a matter of time before the international market begins to invest once more in Argentina. Even from the short time I spent in the country, it was evident that optimism for the future exists and people are beginning to predict a time of positive change ahead.
To summarise, there remains a number of challenges, but more importantly, opportunities, for the region and it is imperative that businesses invest now in building strong teams to become more agile and well positioned for the future.

The Highlights of My Trip

  • Meeting Anabelle Perrone at YPF - she is pushing forward an agenda to attract young people to the industry to ensure businesses are positioned to meet the demands of the market as it moves forward.
  • A tour of the Buenos Aires Metalsa automotive plant, where we have provided a Health and Safety Manager, Omar Loccione, to support the business in creating a more consistent approach to health and safety practice and to increase levels of employee accountability
  • An evening at the Colon Theatre where I watched a beautiful production of Swan Lake. This breath taking building was refurbished in 2010, and is a must-see when visiting the city.
  • An evening at the Faena Hotel is another highly recommendable experience. Situated in the city’s sophisticated Puerto Madero district, the area, which has been subject to significant investment and regeneration, is a fine example of Buenos Aires’ hotel bar culture.
So whether you are in Argentina for work or holiday, there are some fantastic opportunities for you to take advantage of.
What are your thoughts on interim management in Argentina? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

photo credit:tifonimages cc

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About the Author

As Head of the General Management practice, Sophie works closely with a variety of clients across the private and public sector, delivering innovative interim management solutions to their organisations. Typical requirements include change and transformation, business improvement, mergers and acquisitions and growth and leadership. She works with have a range of interim managers including Managing Directors, CEOs, Board Members and high level General Managers, all who have a proven track record of delivery.

  • Paul

    Very interesting Sophie! Many thanks for sharing your fascinating time in Argentina and welcome back to soggy UK! Look forward to speaking soon.
    Kind regards
    Paul Kincell

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