Do you aim to build your interim career in Latin America? Here are eight of the specific attributes that interims in Latin America will need to develop in order to be successful. 

  1. Experience

Above all, interims must be able to demonstrate their professional track record of delivery. Demand for interims in Latin America focuses around professionalising structures and operations in growing organisations. This can either be locally owned businesses recently acquired by an international company or companies that have recently expanded beyond one LatAm state and become regional.

  1. Stakeholder management

An interim’s ability to deal with the key stakeholders and senior management effectively is crucial, especially during a period of change or improvement. Emotions, expectations and time all have to be managed with the upmost professionalism.   Understandably, key stakeholders, internal or external, want to make things happen - that is why they hire an interim. However, what an interim needs to be prepared for is that in some assignments, not everyone will be ready for the changes or improvements being made. Bringing the team along with you (and out of their comfort zone) on your interim journey is essential.

  1. Plan – Do – Check – Adjust (PDCA)

Expertise in the PDCA methodology as the basis for developing critical thinking and leading  innovation within organisations is central to being a successful interim manager

  1. Independent

To keep an independent and helicopter view of the area or business unit in which you are working is important, as well as a focus on the task in hand and the overall organisation. You should avoid becoming “enchanted” by the corporate structure, which has a natural resistance to change.

  1. Perseverance

Resistance can be a common theme that interims in Latin America (and around the world) encounter when they first begin a role. However, having the capability and capacity to deal with short term frustrations for long term gain and showing true perseverance, is the mark of a strong interim manager.

  1. Support

By quickly identifying team members who embrace improvements, you can build a support network in key interrelated areas internally. When the scope of work is considerably larger, you should propose hiring additional interims externally to seed evenly in the organisation. Interim teams are becoming more commonplace and are an effective way to deliver on large scale projects.

  1. Culture

Interim solutions that you may have implemented in other regions (e.g. Europe/USA) will not always be the answer in LatAm – even if the problem is the same! Interims in Latin America must take into account the culture of the company and the culture of the country so that  they can succeed.

  1. Language

Related to this cultural element, the ability to speak either Spanish or Portuguese, the two leading languages of the region, is a clear advantage and will help you build relationships quickly.


These are a few of the most important skills that interims in Latin America will require. What have been your experiences working as an interim in this part of the world?

photo credit: Victor1558 via photopin cc

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