When I set up my own business 16 years ago I was told to watch out for the silver foxes. My friend was fondly referring to the corporate chiefs who took a package and then went on tour. Then I heard the well known definition of a consultant 'They ask people for a lend of their watch and then they tell you the time.'
The other definition that was swirling around at that time was, 'They don't necessarily need to have a solution, but good money can be made by prolonging the problem.'
I should say that I have nothing against consultants as I have successfully used this service myself in the past therefore I knew these to be tongue in cheek references. However, I do know we are all only ever as good as our last job.
For me, I wanted to differentiate myself from the outset. I understood the value of consultancy and the place it clearly plays in the business world today, but I wanted to offer something more, something different.
It's one thing going into an organisation and identifying issues and feeding back by way of report. It's a different challenge altogether doing something about it. Most people in businesses know what their specific problems are, but they often feel powerless to make the change that's required.
This is where I believe a gap still exists today. Even the best managed companies operate so lean these days that it can be difficult to address people change effectively in the midst of busyness and growth.
I've spent the best part of my career in this space, joining senior management teams for an agreed period of time (Interim) and helping make the change happen on the ground. I find I am most effective when I position myself in a low key supportive capacity where I can work on the key issues without disrupting day-to-day proceedings.
The key skill that has enabled me to be successful is connection. Being able to connect quickly with a wide range of people and win respect is vital to the success of any assignment.
I still believe that Interim Management provides real, cost effective and tangible solutions to many business problems on the basis that experience is a valuable commodity. Most of my assignments have centred around people change, family business succession, restructure, special projects and obviously performance improvement as a result.
If you haven't considered Interim Management in your business and you want to find out more about how it can help - why not get in touch for a chat.