In the windturbine industry, business goes where the wind blows. Like the wind, it can be busy, following a period of no wind.
The windturbine industry is politically regulated. Hence, demands are changing, depending on the government’s policies in the countries where the customers are located. For this reason Fritz Schur Energy has been working with a flexible workforce over the years. There was no exception, when the company had to find a COO.
”We have our core business, and flexibility is added to that- both within production and inventory. This means that we hire people for short time periods to solve tasks, which is an economic benefit for us. However, we always consider whether we can see these people becoming familiar with our core business and have experience and knowledge that we can benefit of in the long term.”
”We essentially have to do what we are best at to stay competitive. Our foundation lies in production and delivery and we therefore cannot use interim managers or temporary workers for this type of job. However, there are plenty of places, where we benefit by using this type of workforce.”
Mads-Ole Astrupgaard, CEO of Fritz Schur Energy
Fritz Schur Energy has previously used interim managers within production, finance, business, quality control and engineering, and now for the vice president position.“When referring to the latest interim manager-the COO- it was about finding a fast way to move the management and split it up. Hence, I contacted Nextt Management, in order for them to find a solution.” Says Mads- Ole Astrupgaard.
”Specifically, we got a number of candidates for interviews, where I brought both colleagues and external partners. Additionally, the candidates had to go through an external assessment. I don’t believe in the fact that you can just hire an interim manager and then test them in the role. I need security and peace of mind from the start, knowing that although he or she must be with us for a short time, he or she has to be the right match. This is because of the fact that there can be consequences for an organization, if you are not the right match for the company.”
Mads-Ole Astrupgaard knew that the new COO would end up in the eye of the hurricane. “The personality test was used to find out how he reacted under pressure – because here there was great headwinds and it would only get worse from that point. And since I am an old consultant myself, I know that you can’t just look at people to see what they can and can’t do, it has to be tested in order to be safe in your case. In short, I want to know who I am investing in.”
Eye on the target
Mads-Ole Astrupgaard was actually interested in hiring a COO for a permanent job, but instead of going to a headhunter agency, he went to Nextt Management because it had to go fast.
“We have had interims in the company that were so free as birds that they would not be hired for anything in the world, so I also knew that it might not be possible to find a COO who wanted it. Therefore, the starting point was that we had to find one that could produce results quickly. I make quite high demands on interim managers because I give them a mandate to execute and those who are new are not greasy in politics and therefore have free fun. Because I hate political grease, so when Fritz Schur Energy has to make changes, I want the person to make those changes to go after the ball,”explains Mads-Ole Astrupgaard and continues:
”The candidate that Nextt Management found could do just that, and so he wanted to be hired. That way, the process ended up being a success all around.”
The goal is the most important
It is much more about experience and knowledge than professionalism when Mads-Ole Astrupgaard is in search of an interim manager. For execution, this is the most important thing.
”If you are with us for a shorter period and you can live with people not necessarily joining you in their evening prayer, you can better get from A to B quickly, and that can be important. In short, an interim manager can respond faster because they do not need to focus on becoming tightly immersed in the comradeship, but rigidly can focus their eyes on the balls.”
Maybe there will be free kicks and penalties, but he or she can ultimately score more goals, and that is important because the goal is the sacred – not always the process,” Mads-Ole Astrupgaard concludes.
”Companies need to be able to respond and act quickly, and everything that is not your core business should therefore be variable costs. And thus, I also believe that interim managers, consultants and self-employed people are facing an exciting future. The labor market is only changing from here, so this is just the beginning.”