Thought Piece: Consulting interim teams

By Peter Charles

While Interim Managers fulfil a pre-determined task and Management Consultants provide hands-off advice, Consulting Interim Teams work alongside your team and implement their own advice.

For many years now, Management Consultants have come under a barrage of criticism. They're accused of over-reliance on buzzwords and the latest management fads. They are also charged with presenting generic or pre-packaged solutions that are irrelevant to the client's unique circumstances or that they fail to produce action plans that can actually be executed by their client businesses. Much of this criticism is unfair but what is true is that generally, Management Consultants provide recommendations for the client to implement: they deliver hands-off advice.

For well-over half a decade I had been trying to work out a name or a label for the work that we do.

In contrast, an Interim Manager is an executive level person who takes up a role or implements a project that the business has already designed, the interim goes and fulfils that pre-determined task. Hands-on, and with years of sound experience but without the advice. We do neither of the above; or we do both. We provide Consulting Interim Teams.

Think of the Millennium Bridge, the footbridge that crosses the River Thames at St Paul's Cathedral. When it first opened, it looked beautiful, and due to the magnificent view, it was breathtaking to cross — unless you were accompanied by hundreds of other people — then it was breathtaking for the wrong reasons. It wobbled uncontrollably. It had to be closed shortly after it opened and (it occurred to me) that the construction engineers called in specialist Consulting Engineers to design and construct a solution. The idea of the existence of specialist engineers that engineers could call, was inspiring.

Consulting Interims are financial professionals that deliver advice to other professionals: advice and implementation within a collaborative framework.

For well-over half a decade I had been trying to work out a name or a label for the work that we do. When people asked the standard dinner party question, "Peter, what business are you in?" I would either say that we deliver rapid results in difficult business situations, or that we mend broken finance functions. Now I say that we provide Consulting Interim Teams for businesses and organisations.

Consulting Interims are financial professionals that deliver advice to other professionals: advice and implementation within a collaborative framework. The Consulting Engineers didn't sell a replacement Millennium bridge, they found a way to fix the wobble.

Consulting Interim Teams work without a notice period. The logic is, the easier it is to fire them, the more attractive they are to hire.

Since we invented the term, we also feel at liberty to define it. Consulting Interim Teams work without a notice period. The logic is, the easier it is to fire them, the more attractive they are to hire. Plus, Consulting Interim Teams are non-stick. They're not intent on finding ways to embed their service into the customer. A quick path in and a quick path out aims to ensure, not only that their services are recommended but that they're invited to stay if there's more useful work to be done.

Moving in and out of a broad variety of large and medium-sized businesses, Consulting Interims often see business situations that don't happen very often and for that reason they are well-equipped to deliver rapid results in difficult business situations.

Also by Peter Charles