Stop Ignoring the Supertemp
The Case for Interim Management
André van Regenmortel — Asturias Consulting Ltd


Picture the following scenario. Your most critical management team member goes on maternity leave, and you worry how key projects can remain on track. Or your list with strategic priorities stays evergreen, as everyone is just too busy with day to day tasks. An irrevocable fact of business life? Not necessarily.

Harvard Business Review called it The Rise of the Supertemp, referring to executives who after a multi-decade successful track record happily leave the C-suite, and manage temporary projects for external clients as an independent contractor. The term Interim Manager is even broader, describing any top level independent executive who is hired on a project basis to fill a gap or solve a strategic problem (derived from the Interim Management Association).

To date, Interim Management enjoys substantial and growing popularity in Europe, the US and Eastern Canada, but hasn't made much inroad west of Calgary as a key catalyst for change. This is unjustified, as the advantages for businesses are manifold:

  1. No disruption to the organization, as critical temporary vacancies are filled immediately, and projects are taken on while others can continue to concentrate on their day to day jobs
  2. Interim Managers hit the ground running, often being available within 5 days, being experts in their field, and possessing strong project management skills and business empathy
  3. Unlike consultants, Interim Managers work as part of - not apart from - the organization, either as a temporary addition to the management team, or as a project manager with clear reporting lines
  4. Interim Managers analyze and implement, not stopping at recommendations but actually realizing the change, another difference with consultants
  5. Interim Managers are a-political and neutral, and can make difficult decisions as they have no stake in the endgame organization

So next time when you are faced with a critical vacancy which cannot take months to be filled - or when you are unable to find a project manager internally for a key strategic initiative - reach out - there is high quality help available at very short notice.

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The author André van Regenmortel has a successful 20 year track record in Strategy Consulting and Industry Marketing in Consumer Products, Business Services and Retail. He draws from extensive experience at among others Philips Electronics, McKinsey & Company, Danone, and METRO Group. For the latter two companies, he occupied Board positions in Vietnam and China, being P&L responsible for businesses of up to $2 billion.

André founded Asturias Consulting Ltd in 2012. Asturias Consulting Ltd is a global strategy and marketing consultancy which helps manufacturing, services and retail companies to grow sales and profit through smarter serving consumer and retailer needs, by jointly developing factual and implementable strategies and marketing plans.

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