As 1st Executive matures into a global relationship with IXPA, we are increasingly able to see the trends that are emerging on a global basis. As interim management grows in popularity the delineation between disciplines such as executive coaching and consulting becomes even clearer to the organisations that we work with. Interim Management continues to provide highly qualified, experienced and wise executives to tackle specific business problems in organisations where their focus is on achieving specific outcomes.
Increased Demand for Interim Managers
The simplest of these trends is that there is an increased demand. With IXPA we are currently compiling international estimates on the value of the Interim Management market in a variety of countries along with the approximate number of senior executives working in this way. Surprisingly, one of the early trends is that across many markets, rates/prices for Interim Managers are very close together.
This demand is being driven by competition, disruption, external change and technology but economic uncertainty is also playing a part as organisations look for fast progress on projects that have just been ticking over.
Flexibility is a big issue for organisations that engage with interim managers. While day rates may be at a slight premium to executive salaries, there is greater appreciation for the flexibility, speed of delivery, focus and the ability to make change quickly to stay ahead of the market competitively.
As the Covid 19 pandemic started to take hold the world was talking about Digital Transformation. The broader societal changes that Covid 19 brought on which affected the way people worked, their mobility and their subsequent re-evaluation of their value systems saw digital transformation accelerate out of necessity.
One consequence of that is that digital transformation has simply been absorbed into more transformative issues around the way in which people work, how things get done in organisations and how leaders lead teams of people that they do not see every day. Interim managers have quickly developed the skills to deal with this transformation but also have long-standing experience in change generally.
A simple and recent example would be that it is probably significantly easier to source an interim manager as a “Director of AI Ethics” that it would be to source a permanent hire.
Interim Managers are also making inroads into fields of work typically completed by executive coaches. This has been impacted by how digital transformation affects the way that people learn, the need for executives to develop skills “just-in-time” to solve real business problems and the desire of organisations to see “coaching“ quickly impact both the bottom line and the delivery of strategy.
There are also some specific disciplines where interim managers are providing strong guidance to C suite executives and these include digital transformation, systemic change, innovation, strategy and human resources.
a very high proportion of our Interim Managers have international experience. Increasingly, companies either want to know what has been best practice overseas or they are part of organisations in which international head offices are driving the agenda. The international experience of working across cultures, international boundaries and different points in the business life-cycle has been highly sought after among interim managers in a variety of disciplines.
In addition, as Australian companies look to grow overseas, the ability to hire an interim manager on a fixed term contract who has direct experience not just in their industry but also in the geographic markets into which the company is seeking to expand is highly beneficial.
Sustainability and ESG
Globally, major corporations are increasingly focused on sustainability, circularity, and ESG. Indeed, compared to Australia many national economies and their governments are significantly more advanced in the development of legislation and regulation in this area. With local regulation moving at a slower pace, experienced interim managers can help those companies dealing with customers who are already exposed to such regulation overseas navigate a more successful pathway.
In our next Insights piece on interim management. We’ll take a look at the key action points for organisations to develop when considering how to realise the potential of successful interim managers.