Interim management as a management sourcing concept has grown significantly over the past decade and is, arguably, making inroads into the consultancy market as business leaders realise they may get less advice but more delivery by taking a contracted manager directly into their management structure. Sometimes firms find it hard to define the difference between a consultant and an interim manager and exchange the words as if the difference does not matter.
The difference is huge and is represented by the individuals’ approach to work, and by how the role is defined at the outset. During the 1990s many businesses went through a change focusing on building teamwork and local accountability amongst its managers. It meant that consultancy sold to the company leader did not always receive a favourable response from a manager who now asked to work with the consultants, but had no say in their appointment.
An interim manager who would come in to solve the managers’ local problem rather than the perceived problem from above could be controlled better, would work within the local managers management team, and ultimately deliver more. It did not mean the big strategic consultancy assignments would cease to exist, but that the ownership of the local manager would be enhanced with ensuing benefits to the company.