Jumpstart Your Change Management Plans with Interim Leaders  

According to a survey by Glassdoor, January is the most popular month for job changes. Employees and organizations alike often view the end of the year as an opportunity to evaluate the past year’s performance. If that performance has been less than satisfactory, or if key metrics have been missed for too long, it may be time to make some changes at the top. 

If your organization is considering a key leadership change, you have several options. First, you could leave the incumbent in place while you conduct a confidential search for a replacement. However, for top roles, your search for the right person could take anywhere from three to six months. That’s a lot of time to leave an ineffective leader in place and see your culture and profits continue to suffer as a result. 

Alternatively, you could ask other leaders in your organization to step in and take over the role while you look for a permanent replacement. This solution has drawbacks, too. Asking other managers or executives to take on additional major responsibilities in addition to their own roles could stretch them too thin. The area you’re looking to improve probably won’t receive the attention it deserves. And drawing other executives away from their own departments could have negative consequences for those areas as well. 

So, what’s a company to do?

An Interim Leader Can Help You Start the Year Fresh 

Interim leaders provide companies with a powerful resource for effectively implementing leadership changes. If the time is right for change, onboarding an interim leader can help you execute your decision without delay. Typically, you can have boots on the ground within a couple of weeks. 

One of the key benefits of an interim leader is that they are already vetted for technical and behavioral skills. So, once you choose to go this route, it’s a quick process to find someone with the specific skills and capabilities to fit into your organization’s culture and take the reins right away. In other words, with interim talent, you can start the rebuilding process immediately, and get back on the path to higher performance levels sooner rather than later. 

Interim Leaders Can Enact Your Improvement Plans Immediately 

If you’re making a change at the top, it’s likely because you need a new and better way of doing things in that department. Interim leaders are experts at change management. They know how to implement new processes or procedures in short order, and they are not encumbered or biased by internal issues or politics. Often, interim leaders are in place for periods of 30 to 180 days. So, they move quickly to begin generating real results in that timeframe.  

Interim leaders are especially effective at change management when your organization can: 

  • Provide specific goals or targets you’d like to hit in 30, 60, 90, 120, or 180 days. 
  • Give your interim leader the room he or she needs to not only enact changes on the technical side, but to play a role in coaching and developing your team. 
  • Be open to the leader’s ideas and suggestions. Interim leaders often have extensive experience dealing with the same types of situations your organization is trying to resolve. You can get the most from their experience when you keep an open mind about how the leader will go about implementing change.  

Interim Leaders Can Onboard Your Permanent Hire 

When your organization does find a permanent replacement, your interim leader can help make the transition go as smoothly as possible. Interim leaders know they will be handing over control at some point, and they have a vested interest in ensuring the new leader can successfully continue building upon the changes they have made. Your permanent hire will benefit from full knowledge transfer from his or her predecessor and will often receive hands-on, dedicated assistance and insight to get up to speed fast and step in where the interim leader leaves off. 

Consider Interim Talent for Your Operational Leadership Needs

Read our recent Interim Talent: Your Solution for Operational Leadership Gaps to find out more about the interim leadership trend and why it’s growing in the manufacturing sector.