Opinion: I’m an Interim Executive not a Management Consultant

Angela HickmoreBy Angela Hickmore, Managing Director, Norman Broadbent Interim Management.

I’m often amused and somewhat puzzled by the number of Interim firms who want to pretend to be a Consultancy. The very attempt devalues the interim offering and actually confuses what Interim is about.

Interim Management began in The Netherlands in the 1970’s as a result of restrictive Dutch employment legislation which made it very difficult to exit permanent employees. As a solution to this, companies began to employ Senior managers and executives on an interim basis to help them achieve business objectives without the hidden costs of employment.

Adopted in the 1980’s in the U.K. it became a new and cost effective option, working alongside Management Consultancies and Executive Search. It gave corporate agility through speed of hire and injection of suitably overqualified expertise. Above all it was a Management Resource with a focus on delivery – its main purpose to get things done. There maybe elements of diagnostics but Interims are not hired because of the frameworks and methodologies they bring. That’s what a Consultancy does.

Clients see Interims as an extension of their management teams, reporting results and findings to them as opposed to a Partner. Equally, whilst Consulting firms will guard their IP, Interims will proactively share their knowledge and mentor individuals or teams and proactively transfer knowledge. An interim or an interim team are accountable – they have no protection of a Consultancy and are as good as their last assignment

The UK Interim market in 2013 was valued at £15Bn and although there is no current valuation, we know that it is growing . Good Interim Executives have always existed and always delivered.

What has been of some debate is the quality of the provider. There are three things that are important

  • Does the provider understand the business, the business problem to be solved and ask sensible questions about the outcomes required?
  • Does the provider have the networks to identify the best talent and the Interim Executive that will make the difference?
  • Does the Provider act like a Partner throughout the assignment and do you trust them to deliver the best people solution?

At Norman Broadbent Interim the answers to the above are all YES. We are a provider of Senior Interim Executives, individuals and teams . We introduce those who have been there before, who have sat as part of Boards and Management teams and dealt with very similar issues and problems. We introduce Professionals whose next assignment depends on exceeding our Clients expectations.

At Norman Broadbent Interim we operate a very clear framework which includes deliverables, monthly reporting and knowledge transfer. We know our Interims deliver and this transparency reflects that.

We are proud to be a true Interim Management Business – we’re not a Consultancy or an up market temp agency.