Archive for May, 2008

The Interim Manager as Coach

Posted on May 18, 2008. Filed under: interim management | Tags: , , , , |

There is an ancillary benefit to the use of interim managers in marketing and sales functions. The on-demand executive is often in a position to provide coaching to less experienced managers in the company.  So, while the interim conducts his/her specific duties formal or informal advice and mentoring can occur.

Small and mid-market companies that have a philosophy of hiring and developing managers for the long term are well-suited to leverage the “seasoned” nature of interims.  Larg companies, the Fortune 500-type, have large enough management hierarchies to support internal mentoring programs, but smaller companies don’t. The experience and depth of the organization chart doesn’t support such programs.

The coaching can be up or down the management food chain. For instance, an interim that is engaged to be CMO for a season is frequently on a peer level–in terms of experience– with the CEO of a small or mid-market company. The intermim CMO can provide invaluable advice and coaching to the CEO.  And the CEO can listen knowing that the advice is untainted by internal politics and bias.

In most cases the coaching is down stream. An interim VP of Sales with 20 years of enterprise sales experience can be an extremely valuable coach to the less experienced sales managers in a company trying to sell into the enterprise market. While the interim VP of Sales is implementing processes, realigning the sales organization and its commission structure, she can also be  coaching key sales managers that the company has identified as having long-term potential with the organization.

Many executives pay big bucks for coaches. How sweet it is when an on-demand executive can provide that service and fill a leadership gap at the company, too.

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Management in an On-Demand World

Posted on May 5, 2008. Filed under: alternative staffing, Executive staffing, fractional management, interim executive, interim management, marketing resource management, On demand executives, temporary executive | Tags: , , |

The cover story of the March issue of Inc Magazine was about Zipcar, an innovative company that specializes in renting cars by the hour to its members. It’s a very attractive concept for city dwellers and students who don’t need a car every day and may not have a safe and affordable place to park a car even if they had one.

When you need a car to run errands or for a day-trip to the country just reserve a Zipcar. Pay for what you use. Transportation on demand.

In the same week that I read this article I spoke with a company, eVapt, that has developed a better way to meter software as a service (SaaS). The growth curve of Saas applications is impressive. No wonder. The technology allows companies to pay for how much they use of a particular software application. Use a lot, pay more; use infrequently, pay less. Makes sense. Software on demand.

So, when a company looks at its marketing and sales resources and sees that there are a few gaps why aren’t those gaps being immediately filled with managers on demand?

Too often I see companies let a vacancy in a key position go unfilled for months while the recruiting process grinds along. The smart move is to put an interim executive in the position and keep the momentum going until the perm hire can step in.

Then there’s the case of the gap in critical skills or bandwidth for a mission-critical initiative. Why aren’t more companies being honest with themselves about what their current staff can and can’t do during the time period? And we wonder why product launch dates are missed or compromised. Evaluate where special skills and experience are needed and add a seasoned interim manager to the team.

Using interim management resources today seldom is an indication that a company is in trouble. It means companies are being really smart about resource allocation. Alas, old perceptions are slow to change.

We look at customers who use Zipcar and say, “Good thinking. Use a car whenever you need it, but only pay for what you use.” We see companies that save millions of dollars a year by adopting SaaS instead of traditional software licensing. We think, “Wow, those guys are really using their cash wisely.”

What do you think when a company, perhaps your own, considers an interim management solution?

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    A Discussion of Interim Management for Marketing and Sales Functions by Charles Besondy

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  • About this Blog

    This blog is devoted to the topic of interim management for marketing functions within large and small corporations. Interim management as a staffing concept is well-understood and widely utilized in Europe. However, here in the colonies we are just beginning to open our eyes to the business benefits of being flexible and nimble when it comes to staffing senior-level marketers. (c) 2006 - 2012 Charles Besondy
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