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Contract interim managers - tips for success
Posted Aug 14, 2012
Last year, Dr Jaap Schaveling, a professor at Nyenrode Business School in the Netherlands outlined the 8 key factors for successful interim management.
The study used information provided by hundreds of interim managers, including 159 contractors.
Amongst his recommendations, Schaveling says that interim managers must have a balanced personality and approach their assignments with the needs of the whole company in mind.
8 key factors identified in the study
1. Interim managers need to be 'balanced', and should not be easily put off by demands for their attention, or by resistance to change.
2. Interims should have the right experience and knowledge for the specific assignment. Have they dealt with a similar situation or scenario in the past?
3. Interims should be able to deal with senior people in an organisation ('power play'), but also be able to act with sensitivity. The key is in realising where the power lies in a situation and act accordingly. Play power games by all means, but listen to what others say.
4. When working on an assignment, Schaveling says that interim managers need to delineate the project, and view their role in the context of trying to improve the organisation as a whole.
5. An intangible, but essential attribute of a successful interim is to be a 'good fit' in an organisation. To put it simply, they need to get on well with the client, understand the client's wishes, and discuss their mutual expectations about the assignment.
6. Interims need to be able to thoroughly diagnose a problem, and pinpoint the fundamental problems they have been hired to address.
7. Interims need to be able to work on a structured basis, setting realistic goals, and reporting back to the client on a regular basis.
8. The assignment must be completed in an orderly manner, allowing plenty of time to evaluate its success with the end client. Handover to a successor should be managed carefully, to ensure that any improvements and changes are safeguarded.
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