PM: It sounds interesting and certainly something that’s relevant to us here at Eton Bridge Partners. How did you approach the research?
JM: One of the things that struck me was that very little is formally known about why people become interim managers, let alone what makes them successful. A considerable proportion of the academic research that has been done on interim management looks at it from an organisation’s perspective, rather than the individual’s.
From my own experience, I had some thoughts about what makes people successful as interims, but I wanted to validate this with others in a similar position. I interviewed 14 established interim managers across business transformation, technology, HR and finance to ask them about why they had become interims, what motivated them to remain working in this way and what they thought that successful interims have in common. We also talked about career success more generally and what this means to interim managers, who don’t progress through ‘traditional’ careers in the same way as permanent employees. To ensure that the research took other viewpoints into account, I also spoke to Steve Deverill, head of Eton Bridge’s Business Transformation and Digital & Technology practices, and Tony Evans, co-chair of the Institute of Interim Management (IIM), to seek their views.