Experienced management is one of the most important factors behind the success of any business. Many managers have ample enthusiasm and energy, but often lack the knowledge and experience needed to sidestep easily avoided mistakes. As a result, far too many companies get into trouble and can die before ever reaching their potential market value.
If you have an extraordinary innovation, opportunity, or even a unique situation an interim executive can help launch, grow, or turnaround your venture by temporarily filling one or more key management roles in your company. Whether they serve as your interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Selling Officer (CSO), Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO), Chief Whichever Officer (CXO), General Counsel, or in some other senior executive role, they can stand by your side as an experienced executive with a vested interest in your long-term success.
Interim C-level executives are experienced managers who have launched and grown successful ventures. As your partner, they roll up their sleeves and work towards laying the groundwork for a successful venture. They work hard, because they succeed only if you succeed.
In a typical engagement, the Interim Executive will form an executive management team (often using some existing resources) and take over much of the managerial control of the situation, allowing you to focus on what you’re best at: investing in other companies, managing other ventures, product innovation, etcetera.
Interim Executives are typically hired by private equity investors, board of director members, corporate council, and sometimes the management team or CEO. Headhunters are often used to locate these Interim Execs for special situations. Hiring a new Interim CEO will take board and/or investor action to make the change.
What is Interim Management?
Interim Management is the providing of senior C-level management resources on a temporary basis to organizations that require an immediate, short-term need. There are a number of factors that appeal to companies when considering Interim Management services, including responsiveness, experience, objectivity, project duration, and the list goes on.
Interim Managers have become a powerful resourcing option in today’s fast paced business environment. The key benefits that an Interim Manager brings on assignment to a company can be summarized as [chart]:
Benefits of Interim Management Summary:
Action/Skill à Benefit
Speedy Deployment à Talent on scene in days, Flexible Term
Experience Means Results à Highly qualified and experienced resources
Objectivity à Fresh perspective
Accountability à Delivery of objectives
Effectiveness à Board-level reporting gives authority to effect change
Commitment à Get control, put plans in place, find their replacement, and leave when the project ends
Speedy, Responsive, Flexible Deployment of Resource
Interim Manager talent can be in place within days as opposed to weeks or months, which is essential when time constraints are critical. Interim Management is a quick solution to bring resources on-board, deploying those who are fully and properly skilled to deliver the service required.
The very nature of Interim Management means the greatest flexibility from a client perspective including the extension, expansion, or termination of the services. There is no impact to succession planning because Interim Managers are not permanent resources within the organisation, therefore their position does not pose any threat to internal resources and associated succession planning processes. There is also no impact to permanent headcount because Interim Management provides a solution when clients are constrained on permanent headcount, but still must deliver business objectives.
Experience Means Rapid Results
Interim Managers are highly qualified, experienced, and able to produce as soon as they arrive on scene. Due to their skill level and expertise, these resources will be fully productive in a matter of days. This over-qualified tendancy is well suited for project work because it focuses on achieving results and gives clear definition of key milestones, regular progress reports, and measurement of performance.
An Interim Manager is more than qualified for the position they are taking on and therefore are often stepping down in responsibility. The Interim Manager has past experience of similar challenges to the ones that they are about to face. In addition to enabling them to have an immediate effect and be productive from the outset, this experience ensures success. They will transfer their skill and experience to your team.
Interim Managers provide a fresh perspective and are free to concentrate on what is best for the business. Interim Mangers are free from any previous involvement in company processes, staff relationships, office politics, or career advancement goals. An Interim Manager identifies problems and implements new solutions that may not be visible to company insiders because they are too close to the issue.
Interim Managers will take full, direct, and primary accountability for the assignment including delivery of objectives, budget control, resource management, ontime delivery, etcetera, in accordance with the scope of the assignment.
Rather than adopting a purely advisory role, as would a management consultant, an Interim Manager becomes the responsible and accountable line manager who will take ownership and manage a business or implement a project to success.
Operating at or near board-level gives an Interim Manager the authority to effect significant change or transition within a company; unlike a temp, they’re not just there to manage the status quo. Interim Managers are hired as agents of change to make things happen quickly and because they bring skill-sets that probably are not available within the company.
An Interim Manager is committed to an Interim career and each assignment is never just a stop gap until a suitable permanent position is found. Good interims embrace the challenges of different and difficult assignments, take great pride in maintaining the highest standards, and realize that the next job is dependent on the success of the current assignment.
Good interims will get control of the situation, put plans and resources in place to run the company, find their replacement if necessary, and leave when the project ends or the company is turned around.
There is value to the Interim Manager Process: bring expert management, get results quickly, operate in a flexible environment, all while allowing you to go about the business that you do well. Interim engagements are by definition for a period of time and staffed by a non-employee, therefore avoiding labor laws that apply to employees. This is an advantage in many parts of the world where labor laws are very strict regarding benefits and burdensome severence policies, in contrast to the at-will nature of the United States.
Hire that Interim CxO.
John is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP), and a Certified International Turnaround Manager (CITM), who brings 35 years senior operating leadership, $85M asset and investment recovery, 40+ transactions worth $780M+, and $80M fund management expertise to run troubled companies, run troubled portfolios and recovery funds, and advise company boards, litigators, institutional and private equity investors. John has on many occasions parachuted in as the Interim CEO or senior executive to turn around a trouble entity. John was inducted into the Turnaround Management, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame, honoring those individuals whose outstanding contributions have increased the stature and respect of our industry. John is Past Chairman of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). John is among the Regional Manufacturing Institute’s Constellation of Stars 2010, honoring those individuals whose outstanding contributions have advanced the Maryland Manufacturing industry, and saved jobs in Maryland. John is the 2010 Business Leader of the Year, awarded by Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce.
Strategic Management Partners, Inc. (www.StrategicMgtPartners.com 410-263-9100) is a turnaround management firm specializing in interim management and executive CEO leadership, asset and investment recovery, corporate renewal governance, private equity advisory, and investing in underperforming distressed troubled companies. SMP helps clients restore value to troubled companies, prepare entities for ‘cash out’ at maximum value, recover assets for fund investors, support litigation, and invest private equity into distressed opportunities. The firm has been advisor to Presidents Bush (41 & 43), Clinton, Reagan, and Yeltsin, World Bank, EBRD, Company Boards, and Equity Capital Investors on leadership, governance, turnaround management and equity investing. SMP is celebrating 20+ years of service to its clients. SMP was named Maryland’s Small Business of the Year, and received the Governor’s Citation, Governor Martin J. O’Malley, The State of Maryland as a special tribute to honor work in the areas of turning around troubled companies and saving jobs in Maryland. Turnarounds & Workouts Magazine has twice named SMP among the ‘Top Outstanding Turnaround Management Firms’. American Business Journals named SMP among the Most Active Turnaround Management and Consulting Firms in Baltimore, Washington, and the Mid-Atlantic Region. Global M&A Network Turnaround Atlas Awards named SMP as Boutique Turnaround Consulting Firm of the Year.
Strategic Management Partners, Inc.: turnaround managers ready to run troubled companies, recover assets from investments gone bad, advise boards of directors and investors on company viability in distressed situations. We provide strong interim and operational leadership, strategic planning, financial, defense conversion, sales and marketing acumen developed building organizations in large and small companies, including President of public & private middle-market companies providing solutions to Commercial, Federal, International markets. Enterprises range from start-up to $100+mil. Industry expertise: Manufacturing; Job Shop; Engineering Services; Computer Processing/Services/Software/Integration; Communications; Defense Electronics; Aerospace; Federal Government Contracting; Systems Integration; High-Tech; Finance; Marine Services; Real Estate Development; Construction; Fabrication; and Printing.
John M. Collard, CTP, CITM – Level D, Chairman
Strategic Management Partners, Inc.
522 Horn Point Drive
Annapolis, MD 21403
Telephone 410-263-9100 Facsimile 410-263-6094
E-Mail: John@StrategicMgtPartners.com or Strategist@aol.com