Interim: a solution to crisis management

interim management additive manufacturing

“Never let a good crisis go to waste”

Winston Churchill

While this quote may sound cynical, it could be the turning point for a business. The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis, and while many companies are downsizing, this may be a great opportunity to implement a low risk, low cost form of hiring, and hiring for skills critical in a time of crisis.

In times of crisis, what were previously ‘non-issues’ or ‘minor weaknesses’ suddenly become clearer and more threatening than ever. In times of crisis, businesses must review strategies, client terms, essential tasks, and so on. In times of crisis, leadership requires different skills than leadership in good times. Skills that may not be found in current management.

This is where the interim management solution comes into play. Interim employees are professionals working in a company on a temporary basis, often to fill a skills gap or to tackle a specific project or task.

Interim managers with a different skill set

In challenging times, interim managers can be ‘injected’ into a business to deal with with controversial and sensitive problems, and take an (often much needed) objective review of the business – a review which is necessary for a business to come out of the crisis in the best possible way. Interim managers are often characterized by a high level of independence, problem-solving competences and a strong will to succeed. Companies benefit from the flexibility and specialized knowledge of the interim manager, as well as being able to temporarily hire to bridge a skills-gap that fits that situation.

Janina Kugel, former Chief HR Officer at Siemens, says in an open video at Forbes, “Usually topics like empathy, agility, resilience and network are dismissed as ‘nice to have’. But exactly these skills are vital in a crisis”. If these skills are not found in current management, hiring an interim manager to help deal with the crisis could be a vital turning point for the business.

Flexibility and uncertainty drive the need for interim solutions

The interim employee solution to help deal with crisis, does not only apply to management, but could reach much further. For the additive manufacturing industry, the current coronavirus pandemic has prompted temporary and permanent layoffs. Moreover, the crisis creates uncertainty about the stability of future economies, making it difficult for companies to predict future revenue and therefore future hiring needs. Uncertainty and a need for flexibility is a driving factor for interim amongst businesses, where they may have permanent hiring freezes in place. The layoffs in the AM industry has created a pool of experienced additive manufacturing professionals, who may be available for interim assignments. This is a unique opportunity for businesses to ‘not let the crisis go to waste’ and hire talented professionals on an interim basis.

Examples of interim

Examples of what interim projects are focused on are

  • Change Management
  • Process Optimization
  • Project Management
  • Cost Reduction
  • Business Management.

According to the ddim.de (Dachgesellschaft Deutsches Interim Management e.V.), 77% of organisations taking on interim employees say that the project could not have been solved internally, underlining the importance of a fresh perspective. In Germany, the average daily fee for an interim manager is €1200 and interim contracts last on average 160 days (ddim.de).

Besides the immediate benefits of interim hiring, there are also long-term benefits of the interim hiring for organisation. Particularly, knowledge transfer. The knowledge and expertise the interim hire comes in with will be transferred to your team and remain long after the interim has left.

Tell us your experiences 

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are working on interim projects in the AM industry, and they would like to invite AM businesses to share their approach, thoughts or questions regarding working with interim talent. As a thank you for completing this 2-5 min survey, you will receive a free version of our Additive Manufacturing Talent Market Whitepaper.

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