What’s so great about an interim manager

What’s so great about an interim manager …

Desperate to maintain momentum in an area of your fundraising when staff resign or there is a prolonged absence such as maternity leave?  Or trying to get new initiatives off the ground when team members are already working to maximum capacity or lack the skills or confidence to make it happen?  Increasingly such perennial dilemmas are being addressed by the use of interim managers.

So what’s so great about an interim manager you might ask?  Well they are generally very different animals from temporary or contract staff with whom they are often confused.  An interim manager comes into an organisation on a time limited basis (often c 3 – 5 months) and is tasked with delivering clearly defined and agreed objectives.  They often work part time and always bring a high level of practitioner experience and expertise, coupled with an ability to really “hit the ground” running.  It’s an old maxim but cutting quickly to the chase is a key skill for interim managers – there is no honeymoon period, from day one they deliver against the brief, with no time to be too concerned about where the fire extinguishers are!

Interim managers are able to be extremely focused on the objectives they are tasked with delivering in the allotted time and therefore can avoid the background noise, and which pervades nearly all teams.  Interim managers will often be the people who say what everyone else is thinking  – they can because they have no fear of creating long term problems for themselves.  This doesn’t mean they are insensitive or hard to get along with, far from it, an interim manager has to win respect and support from colleagues at lightning speed and so strong interpersonal skills are also a key part of their armoury.  They will bring interesting insights and often that breath of fresh air that all teams crave, coupled with an energy which can be infectious.  Interim managers really are people on a mission.

THINK has been supplying interim managers into fundraising teams for over three years.  Born in response to client demand, our interim service delivers the highest calibre of fundraising practitioners to cover staff gaps and deliver on specific projects.  And uniquely they are supported through their assignment by skills and expertise of the entire THINK consulting team, who can be called on for advice and support.

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet too loudly, however these quotes from our clients say it all for us:

“Using a THINK Interim manager provided the Museum with additional capacity and expertise during a period of intense activity. The interim manager was able to hit the ground running and deliver tangible outcomes within agreed time frames.”

Rosemary Gilbert, Head of Development, National Maritime Museum

“THINK Interim were able to provide valuable resource at a critical time for CPRE. They understood our business and were able to match our needs with the right people at the right time. All of the interim managers were high quality and hit the ground running from the start. All of them added value to the organisation and the programme at a vitally important time.”

Linda Allen, Director of Fundraising, CPRE

So next time you’re faced with a staffing issue, THINK interim as one of your potential solutions – and give me a shout.

Michelle Chambers

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