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Interim management — how companies benefit from it

Interim management means that companies temporarily entrust an external interim manager with management tasks. In most cases, these experts assume responsibility at the first or second management level. Due to the high level of responsibility, experience, leadership skills and technical expertise belong to the core competencies of these independent experts.

The support provided by an interim manager is designed from the outset for a limited period of time, predominantly for a few months. However, the duration depends heavily on the goals that the respective company is aiming for with interim management.

In the following, we present typical deployment options and benefits for companies and provide tips for the successful integration of interim managers.

Examples for the use of interim management

An interim manager traditionally takes over management tasks when a permanent manager is absent at short notice. But in the meantime, the tasks go far beyond this. Companies also benefit from their many years of experience and specialist expertise in other situations.

These can be tasks in the area of project management, for example, or the specific implementation of new strategic directions in certain areas of the company. The assignment is also suitable for difficult tasks such as reorganizations or restructurings, which require special leadership qualities and a certain distance from internal processes.

In recent years, interim managers have therefore frequently taken on change management tasks. This is precisely where competence and experience are needed to implement urgently needed but often lengthy processes, even in the face of resistance within the company.

Benefits for companies

An interim manager brings many years of experience, new perspectives and the proverbial breath of fresh air to the company. In addition, he is not so closely intertwined with the corporate structure and can therefore work in a more targeted and effective manner.

He or she can also step in flexibly and at short notice if a manager is absent. As a company, you are not forced to immediately hire and train a new manager. Thanks to an interim manager, processes continue to run and there are no breakdowns or delays.

In addition, flexible specialists adapt to the needs of the company. Especially in the current situation, this is an enormous advantage that also makes itself felt financially. Because as a company, you can use the external competence and expertise for as long as you need it.

Interim Management in Germany

According to a survey by DDIM, it is estimated that around 12000 highly specialized interim managers will be providing their expertise in Germany in 2022. The utilization rate was 81 percent in 2021 and is estimated to exceed 90 percent in 2022. Above all, companies in the automotive sector and in mechanical and plant engineering value the flexibly deployable managers. Mostly, large and medium-sized companies use interim managers.

Tips for a successful cooperation

To ensure that the assignment runs smoothly, you should consider the following in advance:

  • Select a suitable interim manager who has the desired expertise and fits with the corporate culture.
  • Prepare all the documents needed for a smooth handover.
  • Set concrete goals and tasks.
  • Communicate the situation frankly to your employees.
  • Ensure clear communication at all management levels right from the start. This includes regular feedback from both sides.
  • Prepare yourself and the workforce for any upcoming changes.
  • Make sure that everyone supports the interim manager's decisions - both the top management and the workforce.

This is how a company benefits most from interim management, which today is much more than an emergency solution when a manager is absent. Rather, these experts use their skills to create new opportunities for the future and for growth. Especially in industries that are heavily affected by change, interim management can help develop a resilient strategy for the future.

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