Interim managers take responsibility for the results of their work in a line position or in projects. You leave the company or the occupied position as soon as the problem has been resolved, for example a stable new company or division management has been established, or after the project in which you were active has been completed.
Management on time is an occasionally used German translation for interim management.
Origin and development
Interim management emerged in the Netherlands in the 1970s and made the regional labor market more flexible. Notice periods for employees were very long, and in many cases it was not possible to react to market changes without considerable costs. In the 1980s this model was adapted in Great Britain.
In Germany, the concept of temporary placement of executives in companies slowly spread in the 1980s. The trigger for stronger growth was the merging of East and West Germany from 1990 onwards, with a high demand for personnel capacities, including for managers. The current comparison with countries such as the Netherlands, Great Britain or the USA shows that the German labor market is currently catching up and making it more flexible. In Great Britain, 20% of all managers are already employed as temporary managers. In the USA the "gig economy" is growing rapidly.
Until a few years ago, interim management was strongly associated with the subject of restructuring; this is where the origins lie. However, the range of interim functions has now expanded significantly. Almost all functional areas in companies are now occupied by interim managers. In addition to some "royal branches" (automotive, telecommunications, information, media, entertainment), other sectors have also opened up significantly in Germany. B. the health industry, mechanical and plant engineering or the energy industry. A size restriction to corporations cannot be observed; An increasing number of interim managers are also active in the environment of owner-managed medium-sized companies.
Interim managers are often used in crisis management or to reorganize a part of the company . Other areas of application include bridging staff shortfalls or other types of vacancies. Interim managers in crisis management are also often seen as the "fire brigade" of operational management who take on an often unpleasant restructuring or the closure and liquidation of a company (so-called dirty jobs ). More recently, interim managers have been increasingly used in the context of project work if the company's own capacities or project management know-how are insufficient. The same applies to special topics for which a company does not have to maintain capacity over the long term.
In different phases of company development as well as for problems and tasks in which specialist knowledge is needed longer than just a few days of consultancy, or if the existing management cannot or does not want to solve the tasks at hand, interim management represents a supplement in the respective company areas. Interim management offers management support, especially in the area of company transfer and succession, when buying or selling part of a company or the entire company.
Due to the increasing lack of qualified workers, which also affects top management, managers are increasingly being used as buffers until suitable staff can be found for the positions.
The interim management in Germany is still predominantly in the area of larger medium-sized and industrial companies.
The umbrella company Deutsches Interim Management (DDIM) represents the interests of interim managers and providers in Germany, and the Interim Management Provider (AIMP) working group for providers. Both organizations hold information events such as the DDIM International Interim Management Meeting or the AIMP annual forum. Another platform in Germany is the Federal Association for Repositioning, Restructuring and Interim Management (BRSI) for experts and interim managers involved in the process of company restructuring and reorganization.
In Switzerland, the umbrella association of Swiss Interim Managers (DSIM) brings together the interim management sector; Members are interim managers and interim providers. In Austria, the DÖIM umbrella organization Austrian Interim Management is a platform by and for professionals in the field of interim management.
As interim management becomes more widespread, the number of companies that use interim managers repeatedly is increasing. Furthermore, those companies that have already gained experience with interim managers abroad are more willing to choose this form of cooperation.
What are the advantages of using interim managers?
- The company can react very quickly, flexibly and as needed to internal and / or external bottleneck situations.
- Depending on the experience of the interim manager, for example when adapting to market changes or striving for new market positions or simply when overcoming acute bottlenecks, there is a high probability of target achievement.
- Simple contractual relationships due to short-term availability and contract termination periods.
- No competition for internal managers.
- Personnel development effects.
What should be considered when using an interim manager?
- The results of the interim management are largely person-dependent, so that a highly structured selection process is necessary.
- The integration into the company provides insights into confidential internals. Depending on the competitive situation in the industry, this requires sustainable regulations for behavior after the end of the activity, in analogy to executives with permanent contracts.
- In order to avoid interruptions in continuity after completion of the activity, firstly, the working time should be sufficiently measured, secondly, attention should be paid to congruence with the strategic company goals and thirdly, the subsequent manager responsible should be informed sustainably on the basis of documentation in several meetings
Problems with interim management are those that can arise with every newly hired specialist and manager:
- The manager takes longer than planned to get used to it.
- The existing management team does not accept the manager.
- Jörg Buschbaum, Daniel Klösel: Interim Management from the point of view of labor law contractual practice. In: New legal weekly. No. 21, 2012, pp. 1482–1485.
- Holger Groß, Robert Bohnert: Interim Management: Successfully shaping corporate change - with temporary managers . Verlag Vahlen, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-8006-3312-8 .
- Rüdiger Kabst, Wolfgang Thost, Isidor Rodrigo: Interim Management . Handelsblatt publishing group, Düsseldorf 2010, ISBN 978-3-942543-02-6 .
- Victor A. Tiberius (Ed.): Interim Management: Management on time - in practice . Haupt Verlag, Bern / Stuttgart / Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-258-06718-X .
- Federal Association for Restructuring, Reorganization and Interim Management
- Interim Management Provider working group
- DDIM e. V. - umbrella company German Interim Management
- Umbrella association of Swiss interim managers
- DÖIM - umbrella organization Austrian Interim Management