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Introduction to Executive Interim Management & Interim Managers

Introduction to Executive Interim Management

In the last decade the world of business has been changing at a very fast pace and companies had to find new ways of advancing their operations to remain successful. An important question has arisen – what type of options are opening up for companies to gain access to untapped talent sources, seasonsed forward-looking professionals who can competently lead the change process?

The more complex the economic and technical environment is, the more crucial is the professional for the business and the more demanding and profound proves to be also the task of identifying and engaging the right executive.

Even though many companies still chose to solve new challenges through existing employees, there is a growing trend of engaging senior interim executives. They present a vital resource for organisations seeking to change direction or tackle unforseen situations as they bring with them significant expertise and a specific set of skills to deliver quick and lasting results.

We believe that in a business that is changing rapidly – People Make the Difference. They are the ones who find the opportunities to adapt to the changing environment. They are the ones who Drive Innovation. They are the ones who Realise the Transition.


Interim Management is a temporary provision of management resources and skills of a proven heavyweight, overqualified and overexperienced interim manager to lead the company through a transition, crisis or a change to unlock performance potential.

The Institute of Interim Management defines Interim Management and Interim Managers as:

Interim management is the provision of effective business solutions by an independent, board or near-board level manager or executive, over a finite time span. Such complex solutions may include change, transformation and turnaround management, business improvement, crisis management, and strategy development. Interim managers are often experienced in multiple sectors and disciplines.

Interim managers bring well-qualified skills and expertise to bear at short notice, without the overheads and shackles associated with employment. They consult, plan, advise, implement, and embed the lessons, then exit, handling a range of key strategic and tactical interventions. As businesses in their own right, they offer independent expertise, free of company politics, and take responsibility for delivering results, not just offering advice.


Interim Management is a temporary provision of management resources and skills of a proven heavyweight, overqualified and overexperienced interim manager to lead the company through a transition, crisis or a change to unlock performance potential.

Flexible, independent versatile and overqualified

Interim Managers provide stability to a business following an exceptional situation or a sudden departure of a senior management and / or provide highly specialised skills required to generate the necessary change momentum and deliver strategic initiatives. In such situations, a permanent role may be unnecessary or impossible to find on short notice. Additionally, there may be nobody internally who is suitable for, or available to take up the position in question.

Highly qualified executive interim managers help you develop and execute practical strategies to navigate successfully through the change process. They all have a solid track record of driving change through complexity in a positive direction.

Executive Interim manager usually brings to the table:

  • broad operational experience
  • knowledge of a specific industry, market or country
  • particular skills in a functional area
  • proven expertise in delivering results for similar types of assignments
  • immediate availability

Interim Manager vs Permanent Employee vs Management Consultant

There is an important difference between a management consultant, permanent employee and an interim manager. Consultants, strictly speaking, are only giving advice, writing up recommendations and putting them down on paper. The costs of a management consultant attacks hundreds of Eur per hour. Management consultants bring specific knowledge from a specific sector, however, they do not have the field experience and hands-on approach. Often, management consultant are very junior people gathering professional experience.

On the contrary, executive interim managers are strategists, analysts, planners and implementers who are aligned with your business objectives. They are on your team, focused on your long-term profitability and growth. They are practical problem solvers and their deployment is more cost-effective. Many organisations who initially think they need a consultant ultimately decide to engage an interim manager.

Hiring a permanent employee for a specific mission could be cost ineffective and entails a lengthy process including

  • Executive Search Fee. Often to be paid upfront.
  • Lengthy selection process of 3-6 months with interviews and reference checks
  • 3 – 6 months termination period at his current employer with a significant risk of permanent employee to be attracted by another position during his termination period
  • On-boarding. With permanent employee you go for a long term cultural fit, not immediate problem solving
  • Training. Often, you hire a candidate who fits the role for 70-80%, because there are other factors influencing your decision
  • Trial period.
  • Termination period, labour law, lawsuits etc.

An Executive Interim Manager

  • has a proven and verified track record
  • is overqualified for the project
  • is immediately available
  • does not enter into company’s politics
  • is not building his “future position” within the company
  • is not selling or offering you additional related services



A complete solution to your business model

Companies today recognize the many advantages that the engagement of executive interim managers brings them. On their journey to competitive advantage and profitable growth they are moving more and more in the direction of flexible deployment of brain power. They increasingly prefer interim managers to consultants as they provide a complete solution for their business.

Interim managers will oversee current operations, develop strategies for improvement and implement them. Executive interim managers will have a professional approach, out of the box view and a verifiable track record of delivering several similar projects. They provide the right solution to critical challenges in business. They are committed to their role as short- or mid-term staff members and their varied experience in critical situations gives them a strategic advantage when handling new problems and challenges.

Interim managers are usually appointed to:

  • manage a turnaround
  • reinvigorate an underperforming company, business unit or production plant
  • plan and implement a significant redesign of an operational function (supply chain, production planning, sales, marketing, finance, etc.)
  • reduce operational costs, working capital and improve efficiency and quality
  • reduce personal costs
  • secure profitable growth
  • lead on business expansion abroad

Based on surveys of businesses utilizing interim managers carried out by respective European associations, the main value-adding aspects of interim managers have been leadership competencies, delivery of rapid results and working on a strategic level.





For more than 30 years, EIM has proven the effectiveness of its project management process, working in close collaboration with the client and supporting the interim manager to resolve the transition challenges facing the business. Worldwide and confidentially. Our success is heavily dependent on our reputation. Hence, it’s in our own interest to always be a trustworthy partner to our clients and build long and lasting business relationships. Based on our achievements, we’ve accomplished this


Alongside the quality of our work, trust is one of our most important principles. Our clients share their most difficult, sensitive , and confidential issues with us. EIM meets this level of trust with a high degree of professionalism and acts according to clear, ethical principles. We are a trustworthy partner to our clients and build long and lasting business relationships.


With our Nurtured Knowledge Community of 30,000 managers, we have been able to successfully accomplish more than 10,000 missions. Worldwide. The Community consists of senior-level professionals with a proven track record in handling complex business situations across all industry sectors, business disciplines and organisational functions:

EIM can thus optimize its performance for every project and, if necessary, put the expertise of it’s entire partnership organisation at the client’s disposal. Our partners have worked as board members and executive interim managers themselves before.


We don’t only offer interim management as a reaction to emergencies or vacancies. Instead, we offer a modern management tool to proactively optimise your company for growth, efficiency or digital transformation.

Our clients rely on us to provide a solution with outperforming results in:



Crisis Management

This is an emergency situation and we must act with speed and focus, combined with the ability to redefine normal corporate hierarchies and responsibilities. Tasks and roles not previously experienced must be assigned and decision-making processes must be reconfigured on agendas with common extraordinary objectives. Our experienced interim crisis managers have solved difficult crisis situations over the recent 30 years on an international level. They were dealing with the uncertainity and “point of no return” concept several  times with proven results.

Turnaround and Restructuring

Financial distress, declining profitability, low business performance. In all these areas time and speed of implementation play a crucial role, there is no time for trial and error, and no learning process. It’s about survival or failure. With more than 4,000 turnaround missions we have gained a solid track records and built the EIM Project Methodology to lead your company through changes.

Family business owner thinks how to choose an interim manager



Performance Improvement

Many companies do not have the courage to reach and utilize their full potential. To achieve this a fundamental change that will have an influence on both, the management and the employees is required. Responsibilities will be redefined and both parties will have to give up their false feeling of security caused by hiding behind old procedures. Our interim managers know how to generate the necessary change momentum to relocate plants, implement ERP, rework functional areas of supply chain, production, sales and boost the operational excellence.

Top-line Growth

For sure you probably already dealt with the challenge of either expanding into a new market or collaborating with people in a different country. Globalisation offers huge opportunities to fuel innovation, cut costs on production, and enter new markets with solutions that already proved successful under similar conditions in another region. However, there are many risks and false assumptions. Our interim managers are already based there where you need them and know the local markets best.


Digital Transformation

Depending on your individual goals, requirements, markets and company situation, we guide you through the jungle of digital possibilities with a structured and goal-oriented approach. The most important thing first: there are no standard solutions. Digital transformation is a complex topic that requires many structural changes in order to be “a transformation”, not just a new layout of an e-shop.


Solutions for Private Equity Firms

EIM enhances value by providing the best management solution at every phase of a private equity transaction: whether deal sourcing, evaluating, merging, building or selling a portfolio company.
30,000 interim managers, consultants, industry experts ready to start within days as managers, NEDs or to share their view on the sector your fund is interested in.




EIM Partners remain in charge of the assignments. They continually assess progress, voice an unbiased point of view and, when necessary, bring additional skills and/or knowledge into play from our global network. This collaborative approach with regular reviews ensures that we remain flexible enough to react quickly to any change of course imposed by developing needs or new requirements. Any additional resources necessary can then be called up from our Nurtured Knowledge Community.

 Lasting results

Towards the end of the assignment, the EIM Partner develops, in collaboration with the client and the interim manager, a handover plan for the permanent management team, to ensure a lasting continuation of the successful result achieved. Our clients can also benefit from our accelerated executive search service to find suitable permanent executives.

is the average number of days within EIM presents suitable profiles


of interim mandate projects are filled


of goals set are achieved - on time and within budget


of permanent mandate projects are filled

  • Fast delivery of lasting positive results, whilst maintaining the passion for excellence
  • Rapid access to expertise or change management skills not immediately available in your company
  • Competence in delivering business transformations
  • Nurtured Knowledge Community of more than 30,000 international executives
  • Global reach, combined with the effective integration of our national organisations, enables us to find the right solution to your company’s management requirements
  • Transparent costs calculated on a daily basis
  • Strict confidentiality



Before engaging an interim manager

Interim managers are independent business leaders or project managers who work in a range of disciplines and sectors. Some of them advertise their services individually, but mostly they are associated in national bodies and/or work through interim providers.

To find the best possible professional for their challenge most companies chose a reputable interim provider. Well-established providers have access to a community of experienced and approved senior executives who follow a rigorous code of practice and standards.

Define the problem you want to solve and/or transformation you want to achieve. Then identify the areas where your business needs assistance, the skills required of the candidate and the targets/ outcomes the interim manager will be contracted to achieve.

Also, decide on the positioning of the interim manager within your organisation.

Brief reputable interim management providers, so that they can approach, select and present the best candidates for your specific needs. Avoid the temptation of appointing a recruiting company focused on permanent placements to recruit one of their “unemployed” candidates for your interim mission. For an interim mission you want an independent interim professional with a proven track record of achieving outstanding results in their previous missions. They need to be overqualified, with a proven (international) experience from various assignments.

Experienced interim provider will prepare with you a detailed mission brief to ensure you are presented only with the most suitable candidates. He knows what to ask and what to look for, and most importantly, what could go wrong during transformation project.

In the course of the mission

Once you appointed the right candidate, agree on objectives, desired outcomes and milestones of the mission. Assign them responsibility to carry out their role without encumbrance, allow them freedom to implement the steps needed to achieve the set goals. The interim manager always hits the ground running, generating the momentum and introducing change rapidly. Lines of communication need to be kept open with regular steering meetings, particularly around set milestones. This way everyone has an opportunity to provide feedback on results, or on the areas which need of improvement.

Inform your employees of the temporary nature of the interim manager’s role within the company so everyone is on board and ready to move forward from day one. It is important to stress the importance of their support to the interim manager and the temporary character of the mission. An Interim Manager is not looking for a permanent job, he has no intentions to replace anybody in the company.

Approaching the end of the mission

In conclusion of the interim manager’s assignment, it is vital to coordinate the exit process as precisely as possible to ensure a smooth transition to existing internal or new permanent management. This ensures the newly implemented solutions and innovations will present lasting benefits and positive impact to your business in the future.


What is interim management?

Another term for it would be temporary management.

It means that after the managers have successfully completed the precisely predefined tasks, they’ll leave again. No feelings hurt, no lawsuits filed, no notice period. But why would you want someone successful to leave again? Well, someone who was exactly right for a specific challenge might not be the right person for the next challenge, which hasn’t yet come up. Imagine being able to constantly draw from the best of both worldsfresh minds, ideas and the outside-in view on one hand; expertise, experience and know-how from other industries or companies on the other.

What’s the difference to the classic executive search?

In contrast to the executive search that might take a couple of months, interim managers are deployable within 1-3 weeks and will need a shorter settling-in period of only a couple of days, because of their great experience.

They’ve already done it all before.

As soon as the clearly predefined tasks are completed, they’ll leave the company again, without causing any further costs.

What sets EIM apart from its competitors?

EIM is not in the business of trading CVs.

Instead, we solve business challenges by providing individual solutions with the right industry experts.

EIM has accumulated a vast experience in its 30 years of existence and 10.000 projects, and has developed a well proven Methodology of how transformation is led successfully. Furthermore, we don’t only offer interim management as a reaction to emergencies or vacancies. Instead, we offer a modern management tool to proactively optimise your company for growth, efficiency or digital transformation.

This means we’ll help you analyse who’s going to bring your company the greatest value in your current situation. Otherwise, what good is the best matching process or algorithm if your search profile doesn’t fully cover your needs to begin with? Most of our competitors skip this step.

Additionally, we’ll make sure that our interim manager starts with a set of clearly predefined goals, tasks and an explicitly communicated strategy. This is very important, as otherwise time will be wasted, and turf battles might occur. On top of that, throughout the whole project, a leading EIM Partner will always be available if needed to guarantee smooth and transparent communication between you and the interim manager.

What’s the role of EIM during a project?

The EIM counsellor is responsible for the coaching of the interim manager and is a trustworthy, capable point of contact both for you and the EIM Interim Manager.

EIM counsellors utilise their broad industry experience resulting from many years of working in management and consulting roles, and the EIM Methodology. This gives you real added value which is complemented by an ever-expanding wealth of experience in the project management of interim mandates.

How does EIM ensure the quality of its interim managers?

EIM is extremely thorough and honest in its selection of an interim manager. All EIM Interim Managers have exceptionally extensive management experience, think and act within operational and pragmatic parameters and, from their very first day on the job, work in full collaboration with the client. We ensure this by performing a background check on all members in our community, including checking their references – which is never outsourced or delegated, but instead done by leading EIM Partners themselves.

Why should I trust EIM and its managers with my most sensitive and confidential issues?

EIM meets this level of trust with a high degree of professionalism and acts according to clear, ethical principles.

Our success is heavily dependent on our reputation. Hence, it’s in our own interest to always be a trustworthy partner to our clients and build long and lasting business relationships. Based on our achievements, we’ve accomplished this.

What’s your process, what’s going to happen when I give you a try?

Firstly, we’ll gain an understanding of the existing situation and your reason for looking for an interim management solution.

Only then can we give expert advice on how to reach the desired target. This will also help to define the profile of the ideal interim manager. The outcome of this analysis is put in writing.

Secondly, we’ll approach and select suitable managers based on their career, training, expert knowledge and performance in face-to-face interviews. This is followed by a presentation of the profiles in written form – individually addressing your current situation and target definition. The managers who are the best match will then be presented in person.

The interim manager will be able to start working a few days after the decision has been made. In the beginning of the deployment, you, the interim manager and EIM work out a basic task specification to clearly establish the extent and type of tasks to be carried out.

End-goals and milestones are established together with the interim manager during the first steering meeting resulting in the presentation of a project plan. Its implementation is safeguarded by a qualified EIM Partner who takes on a steering role throughout the whole life span of the project to guarantee a smooth, transparent communication and quick troubleshooting in the event of divergence.

Alongside the project’s progress, regular review meetings will determine whether additional obstacles may need to be removed to achieve the desired project outcome, or whether general changes in the market may require an adjustment to the project’s course. If necessary, active support can be called up in the form of expert opinions from within the EIM network. A debriefing will follow the end of the mandate. For more information, see how we add value.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our offices near you.

Thank you for reading our Introduction to Executive Interim Management & Interim Managers. Let’s talk about it together

Bohuslav Lipovsky, Managing Partner
EIM Executive Interim Management CEE
Together we can find the solution you are looking for

About Bohuslav

Bohuslav leads companies and their managers through complex changes resulting from crisis, restructuring or post-merger integration. He focuses on working with private equity firms and international corporations. His strength lies in developing a transformation strategy and leading of multi-cultural teams.

Bohuslav has international experience, he has been active in interim management for several years, speaks several languages, and has extensive experience from numerous projects.

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