Opinion: Grant Speed
It has only been a matter of weeks since the closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and commentators are already picking apart the legacy of the games. That said, the critics have been circling long before any athlete touched down in Brazil.
Equally strong questions have been raised over London’s legacy as an Olympic city. Whatever your view, it is clear that the debate and analysis helps put into perspective the hype around the world’s showcase sporting event and focus on return on the billions spent on infrastructure and the impact on the nation’s sporting health.
And so, when making an investment in our own organisations, such as taking on an interim manager to deliver a project or lead a key strategic initiative, we should also be open to such rigorous evaluation.
For some, however, their analysis is simply not deep enough to full consider the impact that interims have on a business.
Of course, on the surface, interims do have an important role and value to play as a gap management solution. Any quality interim, will have the experience to jump straight into a position and provide immediate support for daily functions while a replacement or new hire can be found.
Yet, with the evolution of interims, the benefits of external, short-term talent have grown exponentially and become much more apparent. Now, there is far greater recognition for the skills that an interim can bring to an organisation.
Central to our proposition is our commitment to delivering candidates that will leave a business, after their placement, in a much better position than when they joined. And, if you look a little deeper, it is evident that they will also leave a legacy of operational improvement and best practice, honed after years of experience across multiple appointments in industry.
The value of the guidance and insight from a seasoned professional is difficult to quantify the value, but from our own discussions with clients, it can be transformational long after the end of the contract.
There is also a case for the objectivity that an interim can bring. The candour of an external party can be refreshing for management teams, which often don’t get an opportunity to consult a different point of view. For us, this is all part of the legacy that can be created by an interim and ‘invisible benefits’ they offer.
If interims were an Olympic Games, I’d compare them to London 2012 – a significant investment, backed by experience and skill that delivered a remarkable outcome and established the infrastructure for future success and a long-lasting legacy.
Grant Speed is Managing Director at Odgers Interim