#Interims in Action

In this series, Jason Atkinson, Managing Director of Russam, engages in conversations with leading interims. He delves into their strategies for quickly making an impact, explores their perspectives on the latest innovations and cutting-edge thinking, and investigates how they contribute remarkable value, deliver return on investment (ROI), and establish a lasting legacy.

First up Jason speaks with Charlotte Kramer, Senior Human Resources Leader, INTERIM, placed at Blevins Franks, a leading financial services firm. #GreatHires

How do you move seamlessly between Interim and Perm roles?

In my experience the seamless transition between Interim and Perm is achieved through pivoting operating style.  Technical and functional expertise are pre-requisite – the meaningful differentiator for overall triumph is around the cognizance to shift one’s technique for delivery (together with the building of professional relationships) such that success can be measured.  Furthermore, it is crucial now more than ever to align objectives with the overall business strategy and to deliver quantifiable value.  

What’s the single most important thing to do when you enter a company as an Interim Manager?

An Interim Manager is usually parachuted into a company during a period of challenge or struggle, to plug deficiencies or to effect change. The single most important thing to do when entering a company at such a time and on an interim basis is to really know the purpose of assignment, comprehend the vision, and understand the path to success.  Once clear and a plan agreed, one can demonstrate the confidence to challenge and display the empathy to gather support for the new vision.

In any interim role, measuring return on investment together with ongoing effective communication of the progress made will enhance overall impact.  Towards the end of an interim assignment, it is vital gather a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of your performance and to present the return on investment.  Specific measurements within this evaluation may include – responsiveness and deadline management, on and off-balance sheet improvements, overall effectiveness.

Is the future bright or uncertain for Interim Management going forward?

Restrictive contractual covenants and lengthy notice periods contribute to the ongoing demand for interim managers with specialised expertise and proven leadership skills.   The UK has a well-established, robust pool of practiced interim managers bolstered by “returners” to the workforce who are enticed by flexible working arrangements and stimulating short term assignments.  During uncertain times, an experienced interim manager can draw on seasoned expertise, bring a fresh perspective, and provide independence resulting in positive outcomes for the company.  

What’s the biggest trend in HR thinking?  

Along with AI, a key priority for the HR community will be managing the expectations of culture and working life held by younger members of the workforce soon to be in managerial positions. . This generation of workforce “loudly” challenge more traditional ways of working prioritizing enhanced work-life balance, continuous learning for change, and an prominence on measurable diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability. Balancing these demands with the war for talent will require robust HR thinking and meaningful organisation change.

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