Temporary management – Interim Management – allows for flexibility in times of corona

In a time where corona virus makes many people sick and puts a suffering on the society, the need for flexible solutions to keep the wheels turning is immense. In many businesses, this is exactly what you may need.

The demand for flexibility and managerial power in businesses is greater than ever. When the world turns upside down as we know it, then the terms and conditions on how we do business also change.But luckily, there is still a need for production. Moreover, businesses in Denmark are lucky that they are not required to close production and send all of their employees home as seen in many other countries. The views here at home is that the wheels should keep turning and businesses have responded to this by adapting to the circumstances

”But leadership in a situation like the one we are in right now is not leadership as we know it. Therefore, many companies can stand where they have to recognize that certain managerial positions require different skills than they have available or that they need extra management power. And other companies may be in a situation where a manager has resigned and they have neither the time nor the resources to find the permanent solution. In both cases, interim managers – temporary managers – can be a really good solution,” says Christian Hvashøj, partner and director of Nextt Management.

Other than being flexible and quick to change, is the core competencies for an interim manager that they are used to navigate in chaos- or especially in situations where big changes are required and there is maybe need for a turnaround. It will therefore be undescriabable with the challenges..

No one has been in this situation before

In recent days, Nextt Management has been in contact with a number of companies to hear how they experience the world under the influence of coronavirus. They talk about major challenges that greatly change the management task. Among other things, they have largely had to send employees home and work from there, making the usual visible management impossible. Decisions are increasingly being made locally, without the presence of the immediate leader. Communication must find new ways, as well as alternative solutions in terms of how to ensure the safety of employees and how to work with external partners. And the question of how to maintain the culture and values ​​of companies is also given new relevance.
So the situation is new in every way. Therefore, many companies currently experience. some management needs that their current leaders are not necessarily the right ones to meet, as the challenges are quite different from those of a month ago.
From several sides, it is thus also expected that in the coming months there will be a need to procure temporary external assistance to solve a wide range of corporate management functions – i.a. in relation to finance, financing, procurement / supply chain, production, upscaling, downscaling, relocation / closure of production and deliveries around the world etc.


Communication og parallel management

According to CEO and Partner Christian Hvashøj, it is completely fair to buy additional managerial resources. It is worth remembering that many interim managers are used to act under changing terms. He emphasizes that there is no need to get rid of the current manager, but instead one can look at it like the interim manager makes the current interim manager better. This allows the interim to take on the special projects that need to be executed to get through the acute crisis caused by the corona crisis. This can for example  be a project that in a short time needs to a clear picture in regards to the incoming supplier contracts, which have to be re-negogiated and the ones that have terminated. Or it could be a project that has to be delivered quickly to get an overview of the financial situation and give a new forecast.

Another good reason for why a company should in these times add additional managerial resources, is because interim mangers are used to communicate in times of crisis. This ability is particularly in demand now, as one of the biggest challenges that workforces experience is the employees worry for their own safety and the way the company is taking precautions to ensure that workers are not in a risk zone. Last but mot least, one big worry is whether they are at risk of losing their jobs. This creates an extraordinary demand for communication between the management and employees to explain  to them the situation that the business is in, how one should act and navigate in it.


A temporary manager is a quick solution


In a time where no one knows what will happen today, in a week or in a month, it can be particularly challenging to work with a leadership vacuum, because a manager has quit. The decision to initiate a search after a new permanent manager can be difficult to take when the company’s future is unsure. Because both time and money are scarce resources.

“In normal circumstances, businesses are usually able to wait a couple of months to find the permanent solution but in times of corona, the demand for closing the gap quickly is increasing as well as building a sense of flexibility in the company. So instead of using a lot of time and resources on a longdrawn and costly recruiting process, will it be most natural to go after a temporary solution in the form of an interim manager. In other words someone who can quickly make decisions and is able to keep the calm and communicate effectively under atypical circumstances”, Christian Hvashøj says.

He emphasizes that in Nextt Management today, it is clear that we need to provide an increasing flexibility when going into a contract for interim managers. Meaning that, they can enter a contract for a shorter time than normal, or have the ability to prolong the time the company wants to have the interim manager on board. It is also possible to have an interim manager on board for half time instead of full time.

“The most important thing is that we all demonstrate a sense of flexibility and do what we can to help one another. We are of course ready to do so,” Christian Hvashøj states.