Interim Management adapts a global company to turbulent times

Case

Global company experiences both challenges and potential in multicultural collaboration. That is what the Engineering and production company Howden’s HR Manager Tom Schougaard experienced.

“Howden is a global engineering company, which is a product of a row of acquisitions. That is why Howden is a crucible of different cultures, brands and technologies. This results in a high frequency of change, which is why adjustments are often needed in the organization.” Derfor valgte Tom Schougaard at kontakte Nextt Management, da en afdeling krævede integration af medarbejdere fra tre forskellige landed.

“In turbulent times with many adjustments, it is relevant to consider, whether you instead of going to hire a leader, can find an interim manager to fill out the position.”

Turbulent times required adjustments

With its 6000 employees, Howden is a large global corporation within air treatment and ventilation. And after a row of acquisitions, the company was going to be rebranded to a trusted advisor within its industry. According to Tom Schougaard, both small and big adjustments had to be made:

“In turbulent times with many adjustments, it is relevant to consider, whether you instead of hiring a manager, can find an interim manager to fill out the position.” This type of adjustment was what arose when the three engineering units were to be integrated into a Howden branch:“In connection with the integration of the three units from Denmark, Germany and Sweden, a candidate was needed to focus on the engineering integration and the fusion of processes, tools and language, Tom says and continues “The original idea was that the engineering unit was going to be apart of our operation setup. However, the candidate, whom we had chosen for the project did not have the right engineering profile we needed. Hence, we did not dare to risk that the engineering part would get under prioritized.

Execution prior to integration

Tom Schougaard reached out to Nextt Management once they had a clear defined challenge and knew the results and actions they were looking for.“I have a past in recruiting, which is why it was evident to me to reach out to Nextt Management.“We quickly reached a new level and got another sight on the concrete assignment. And there were some things we had not seen or looked at in relation to the integration of the engineering part. There were some definite aha experiences.” The big difference between interim and traditional recruitment lies in the clearly defined goals and the defined period in which the interim manager is hired. Therefore, it is in the interest of both the company and the candidate that the project quickly becomes successful-without side projects or disruptive elements:“With interim the focus lies on the execution, whereas a permanent candidate must often become an integrated part of the culture, employees and management. At the same time, you get some sharp considerations that are free of political disturbances because the interim manager does not run into the same political risk.

A clear definition of what the assignment entails

For Tom Schougaard, it is obvious to make the interim an integrated part of the strategic consideration when discussing the structural changes in Howden. But there is a big difference between recruiting an interim manager and a permanent manager:As the recruiting party, you have to approach the recruitment process a little differently than if it were a traditional candidate. There are other qualities to look for. Also, to be able to relate properly to the candidates and profiles you get. Because it is different to get a new member of the management team this way.”Tom Schougaard means, that you have to keep in mind, that the interim is a temporary solution. You need to have an exit strategy ready and be prepared as to how the success will look like for the candidate and for the business. It is therefore also important for Nextt Management to have a pragmatic access to interim process.Therefore, it is also important that Nextt Management had a pragmatic approach to the interim process:There is no complex process and Nextt had a pragmatic access to bring Howdens needs and the prequalified candidates together as quickly as possible. Of course, there are always challenges in making line management with leaders who are only on  in the organization, “says Tom Schougaard, but concludes:” But the solution to the task was very good. “

With interim the focus lies on the execution, whereas a permanent candidate must often become an integrated part of the culture, employees and management. At the same time, you get some sharp considerations that are free of political disturbances because the interim manager does not run into the same political risk.”

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