Wednesday, 6 November 2019

IR35 - What you need to know


What is IR35?
IR35 is a complicated set of tax laws that form part of the Finance Act and impacts contractors, freelancers and interims operating via their limited companies. The first piece of legislation came into force in April 2000 and is otherwise known as the Intermediaries Legislation.

IR35 is designed to reduce tax avoidance by contractors who HMRC believe to be “disguised employees”.  People who work in a similar way to full-time employees but bill for their services via their limited companies to make their business as tax efficient as possible but whose relationship with their client is such that had they been paid directly they would be employees of the client are considered to be ‘disguised employees’.

IR35 aims to address the group of contractors who;

(a) operate through an intermediary company, typically a personal service company (PSC) which is a limited company that they own, and

(b) would otherwise be classed as employees in the absence of the intermediary. For example, working permanently and full-time for a single client (that resembles an employer).

The majority of these transactional relationships are genuine, and there are plenty of sole trader limited companies operating in the UK. However, it’s not uncommon for some organisations to pay people in this way so that they can avoid paying employers’ National Insurance contributions or providing employment benefits.

When is this happening?
In April 2017 the Government introduced the "Off-Payroll Reforms", which is a separate piece of new tax legislation that applies to the public sector, but which is also referred to as "IR35". The Government is replacing the original IR35 legislation with the new Off-Payroll Tax, which was initially introduced into the public sector in April 2017, and will be extended to the private sector from April 2020.

What is the new Off-Payroll Tax?
The new Off-Payroll tax came into force by HMRC as it became apparent that the original rules were unenforceable. Whilst they both contain the common theme of "deemed employment", the newer rules introduce a different set of tax treatment, meaning that organisations  will now have to assess the contractor’s status, but, more importantly, pay employment taxes on top of the fees paid to the contractor.

Why did the government introduce IR35?
IR35 legislation ensures that contractors pay the same tax and National Insurance contributions as an equivalent employee would. The new changes to be implemented in April 2020 for private sector contractors will transfer responsibility from contractors to large and medium companies to assess IR35.

Since 2000, contractors have been responsible for self-assessing their IR35 status and National Insurance Contributions. This arrangement has been ineffective and HMRC estimates that, under current rules, the cost of non-compliance in the private sector would escalate to £1.3bn by 2023/24.

Another problem that has contributed to the changes is the scenario where an employee ceases their employment with their employer on Friday only to return on Monday to do the same role in the same location.  The difference of course is that they return as a contractor or consultant trading through a personal services company and pay less tax. 

This can also save the engaging organisation a significant amount of cash, as they no longer have to pay employers’ NICs of 13.8% or the Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5%.  It also means they do not have to offer any employment rights or benefits.

Who will IR35 affect?
IR35 is not only determined by the contents of a written contract, but also looks at the actual working practices. When the working practices do not reflect the contractual terms, the working practices will take precedence over the terms of the contract. There are many aspects to consider when determining whether a contract is subject to IR35, but the two most important factors are;

Control (right of): what degree of control does the client have over what, how, when and where the worker completes the work.

Substitution: is personal service by the worker required, or can the worker send a substitute in their place?

If the client has no right of control over the manner in which you carry out your work and you have the right to either send a substitute worker in your place or sub-contract some of the work or engage other workers to assist you, then it is likely that your contract will fall outside of IR35.

Other factors are then taken into account to determine whether you are caught by IR35 include the contract type, provision of equipment etc. HMRC will apply an employment test to each case that is based on the actual working practices rather than the contract.

All of this evidence is taken into account, and if the balance of probabilities is that the worker is an employee then IR35 applies.

Where the client or end-user is a small business, the PSC will continue to be responsible for assessing if IR35 applies.  Small business, for the purposes of IR35 are;

·         Businesses with a £10m or less
·         Balance sheet of £5m or less
·         50 employees or less.    

If the client or end user is larger than this, they have to make the decision on IR35.  

Can IR35 be avoided?
IR35 can’t be circumvented by organisations, other than to make the choice to engage all contractors on fixed term contracts (FTC).  This would be an expensive, albeit less complicated way of dealing with IR35.  Larger organisations would then have to negotiate with all the contractors they are currently engaged with to take a significant cut in rates in order to cover the additional costs although could be a solution for smaller businesses that don’t use interims that often.

However, for organisations engaging self-employed contractors, IR35 will not apply. That does not prevent HMRC from launching an investigation at a later date.  For those who wish to engage interims outside IR35, and mitigating any IR35 risk they can use IR35 tests to determine if this is correct.

What are the main changes to IR35?
The new IR35 legislation to be introduced in April 2020 shifts responsibility for assessing IR35 obligations from the contractor or PSC to the end-user, which is the company that is the end client.

Where the client concludes that IR35 applies, the ‘fee payer’ (which may be the end-user themselves, a recruitment company, or other third party paying the intermediary) will be responsible for accounting for and paying the related tax and NIC to HMRC, including the additional cost of Employer’s NIC.

Under the proposed changes, the new rules aim to reduce the cost of non-compliance and make it easier for HMRC to monitor and enforce compliance in the future.

However, determining whether you are caught by IR35 is complex, and ideally you should seek expert IR35 advice.

Further Reading and IR35 Resources

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The argument in favour of mentoring

The concept of mentoring is well known in business – but what precisely is it?
Mentoring is often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentoree) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the mentoree’s professional and personal growth.

Therefore – by default – a mentor is a more experienced individual willing to share knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of mutual trust. Or, perhaps, a mentor is a trusted advisor or guide or a person who has a sincere desire to enhance the success of others. So, it’s worth understanding a bit more about the benefits of mentoring……

Mentoring enables an individual at any level in an organisation to increase their network through the introduction to people and areas that they might not previously have had access to. Furthermore, mentoring can help individuals cope with periods of major transition and the mentor can help to navigate people through difficult challenges such as influencing key stakeholders, challenging existing mindsets – the status quo - and getting colleagues on board with change.

A mentor can also assist with identifying skills gaps which may be hampering career progression. At some stage in their career, most people will find themselves at a career crossroads which may manifest itself in them being overlooked for promotion or opportunities or unable to understand why the business saw the need to recruit externally. In these situations, mentoring can offer an open and independent perspective as well as objective feedback. Sometimes, we have to hear things we don’t like or want to hear…..

Managing people can often be an area where people can benefit from mentoring. Good people and inter personal skills are critical to career progression and a mentor can discuss management and leadership styles, ways to effectively engage with the team, improving cross functional working as well as looking at the people agenda through transition and change programmes.

It is important to state that too often people say that if you want to scale the corporate ladder, you need a mentor. Mentoring will not work where it is non-neogotiable – the person must genuinely want it and furthermore, if mentoring is only being undertaken for the purposes of paying lip service, it places an unfair and unrealistic dependency on the mentor.

Mentoring is highly dependent on the personal chemistry between the parties, who must both be committed to the process. A chemistry mismatch can occur for all sorts of reasons but, it must be a professional relationship and the process will lose sight of its goal if it becomes too comfortable where there is familiarity and a lack of challenge.

We all complain that time is our greatest challenge and too many people complain that there are insufficient hours in a day. Mentoring is an investment in time and blocking out time for sessions is essential – technology, particularly Skype, can assist where the parties are geographically miles apart, but nothing replaces real face to face engagement for a mentoring session.

We all like to focus on the positive and whilst mentoring is a process for moving forward, the process gives an opportunity to reflect on the past and sometimes, the mentor can share experiences from their career and the mistakes they may have made because the value in making a mistake is to understand what lessons can be learnt to prevent it recurring.

So in summary, whilst we understand the benefits of mentoring, what are the “absolutes?”
  1. Don’t do it for the sake of it – be committed to the process
  2. Invest time both in preparing for a session and follow up actions
  3. Personal chemistry – it must be right
  4. Be clear what the purpose is
  5. Mutual respect
Article written by Adrian Berwick


Macallam offer a Personal Career Transition service which is a hybrid of coaching and mentoring and assists individuals with the challenges of transition in their professional life.
For more information please call 01423 900804

Cognitive Bias



One of the earlier interim industry benefits (>10 years ago, before the 2008 financial crisis), was an independent interim’s ability to challenge client ‘cognitive bias’, for example, by suggesting betters solutions to ‘the way things are done around here’.

The interim’s ability to tactfully challenge came from experience across many clients and, especially, many sectors.
Client Challenge Example

I recently challenged cognitive bias at a Contracting industry client. Long-standing family and industry mind-sets and practices were tested to create new solutions collaboratively.
Example solutions included technologically advanced (for a ‘basics’ industry), end-to-end digital transformation of core processes and clean data sources for better decision making, having endured paper-based processes and dirty data for many years.

Imagine, if you will, basically educated road workers using mobile devices to capture risk assessment evidence (photos), to track job workflows and to reschedule work priorities; quite a transformation!
The client also turned around from loss-making to profitable in nine months on the back of this, and other cognitive bias challenges.

Commodity Driven Candidate Selection

The Interim Service Provider (ISP) challenge to clients’ mind-sets via their selected candidates appears to have taken a back seat in recent years. It has been replaced by narrowly specified candidate sector experience and CV brokerage introduced from contractor/commodity recruitment practices.
Interims now tend to meet with clients via ISPs selected for client sector fit rather than the ability to champion change and transformation based on broad skillsets and agnostic sector experience.

I think this practice does not well serve UK Plc and the client-ISP-interim industry.
As one respected interim recruiter put it recently: “'More of the same' only results in 'more of the same'.”

IR35 Likely Effects
An evaluation of the proposed 2020 IR35 changes is a likely dramatic impact on the current interim and contractor industries.

There will be a confirmation of independent interims outside IR35; and contractors becoming ‘part and parcel’ of the client and inside IR35, effectively employees.
The New (former) Interim Approach

The commodity-based marketing practices which entered the interim space ten plus years ago will be replaced, if not already, by consultative approaches to client solutions, above, say, £700 per day interim rates.
Multiple CVs emailed to clients will become passĂ©, and ‘chats over coffee’ will make a comeback for both ISPs and interims to more fully explore solutions to critical client problems.

One recently visited IIM Platinum recruiter said he does not send CVs to clients, preferring to book coffee slots for clients to see three interims he knows can do the job.
I encourage clients and interims (when in an assignment, as clients) to take up this approach and ask ISPs to send interims they trust and know can do the job, rather than wade through copious CVs to select people, to then see as well.

Why should clients do all the work?
Perhaps this new approach could also serve clients in contractor selection?

Client Education
Key to a transition away from CV brokerage to chats over coffee with interims known to be able to do the job is client education.

Interims (per the IIM Surveys) find 60% of their assignments themselves, and ISPs the remaining 40%.
In my view, both interims and ISPs must educate clients in new ways of getting the best ideas, talents and capabilities for critical client change and transformation needs.

All three parties in the interim industry will win by preferring a consultative interim industry approach over client CV filtering.
ISPs will need to let go, though, of their fear of losing business by not sending many CVs to clients just in case they might send the right one.

ISP Branding
Another interim recruitment group I recently met has for quite some time separately branded their interim and contractor businesses not to confuse clients, and to focus consultants with the right skills on the right approach that fits the required client solution (interim or contractor).

Risks to Avoid
A risk I see (and two other ISPs recently visited), is the commoditised approach to interim engagement lacks sustainability.

Larger consulting houses (to whom commoditised CV brokering is anathema to their business models), will gain further market share in value-adding change and transformation work; and perhaps the interims too.

Another risk is interims forming interim practices with marketing capabilities to build on their 60% self-sourced engagements.
ISP Recommended Changes

A question for ISPs: how are you discerning, separately branding, marketing, and appropriately resourcing with skilled consultant’s client offerings?
For example:
  • Do you make a distinction between interim and commodity approaches in your recruitment processes – are they clearly defined, or confused – to best serve the client base?
  • Should your interim and contractor/commodity offerings have separate brands?
  • Are your consultants then working with the right approaches and client connections?
Summary

It is difficult to challenge client cognitive bias (a major client benefit) in a CV. However, half-hour chats with clients about their challenges and discussing, among other things, ways other industries solve similar problems is where enhanced interim industry value-add will be gained.
All three parties (client-ISP-interim) will then be served better, and the reputation of the interim industry will grow in response because of the progression to a consultative approach.

Addendum
Of course, consultants do challenge cognitive bias. However, they lack the hands-on and in-depth leadership engagement that interims are renowned, to see what is happening deep inside clients’ businesses.

 
Article by Simon C Jones, Interim Finance Director/IIM Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 25 January 2019

The Interim market, Brexit and beyond…


Time to reflect on 2018 and look forward to the year ahead. We are faced with an even more uncertain world with the continuing twists and turns on the political front, the now bumpy economic climate and the demise of a number of large businesses.   We are used to dealing with change and challenges; from economics to politics and clients to candidates but this is uncharted territory.

The fiasco that is Brexit with its various connotations of remainers / remoaners, hard exit / soft exit, good deal / bad deal, etc. has divided the country.  When you consider the complexities that include Trade, Customs Union, Legislation, Northern Ireland, Security, Education, Science, Energy, Farming, Environment, Healthcare, Transport and so on, it’s no surprise there are divided opinions.  With no one knowing how this will play out and what the ramifications are likely to be, it makes planning extremely difficult especially when the view of stakeholders is likely to be split.

In 2018 there have been casualties, not all Brexit related but a reflection of a tough climate.  The liquidation of construction giant Carillion early in 2018 with the accolade of becoming the UK's biggest corporate failure in a decade has put the construction sector under further strain.  Interserve is hanging on by its fingernails having once been a £3.3B revenue business now worth c£15m.  The high street is on its knees with a number of high profile collapses such as Maplin, Toys R Us, Poundworld and House of Fraser to name a few and many others struggling. Some of these businesses are being bought either wholly or in part from the Administrators which in turn is creating opportunities. Some businesses are embracing this through expansion of facilities and looking for bargain acquisitions.  Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct business is now a multi-billion £ business and I don’t think this has been achieved from being averse to risk.  It’s about seizing the moment but also ensuring that when these opportunities do come along you are in a position to act.  

The rhetoric is a similar scenario of the last recession with worries of another but somehow this feels different.  Brexit is fueling uncertainty and indecision.   How do you plan if you don’t know what you’re planning for?   Managing short-term requirements with longer term business objectives is proving very difficult as you can’t plan for the medium to long term with all these major changes afoot.

This is the very climate that fuels demand for Interim Executives.  Organisations that don’t want to commit long term with a permanent appointment find a short term solution is often the answer.   Many organisations need help with supplier management / rationalisation, customer service, cost control, planning, risk management and talent.

The interim market has additional complexities but paradoxically there are many opportunities.  Changes in IR35 legislation continues to ‘frustrate’ the market and having been already implemented to some degree in the public sector, I’m not so sure how things will transpire should the same happen in the private sector.  Public sector interims have been able to change tack and move to the private sector but if it hits the private sector, it leaves nowhere else to go. 

I believe many organisations are taking a holistic approach to talent acquisition. In the short term, they require immediately available Interims to deliver short term objectives whilst focusing on a longer-term approach by taking a deep dive into business imperatives to create a total strategic plan that has clearly defined goals, but one that can be amended as needs change.  Executing strategic objectives now requires an agile, responsive and flexible approach to meet the changing tide and businesses don’t necessarily have the internal capability or capacity to deliver hence the external help. 

Interim Executives provide a service to organisations in all stages of their development and plans.  It seems to me that now more than ever is the time for ensuring the mechanism remains in place for this to continue. This help is crucial to ensure survival and at other times growth.  It is usually driven by the need for change, transformation, restructuring, turnaround, projects etc. requiring a professional to implement and deliver.   

Organisations should continually be looking to improve and be more efficient.   Ways of growing either organically or through acquisition, improving efficiencies, improving customer services, acting on opportunities and kick-starting change projects could all be helped along through the utilisation of Interims. 

It’s interesting times and is making politics and business quite fascinating.  There’s a lesson here in resilience, persistence and integrity.   Businesses can learn from Theresa May’s approach which should be a lesson to us all regardless of your political affiliation.  Sometime you have to dig deep, be resilient and stick to what you believe. 

With an Interim population consisting of some very experienced, high calibre individuals, there is now more choice than ever with an increasingly diverse and committed professional possessing the tool kit to drive organisations forward.  Now is the very time we all need to dig deep, push the button and take steps forward or run the risk of standing still or even worse, going backwards.  

Steven Wynne
Managing Director
Macallam Interim

TEL: 01423 900804

 

 
 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Does the engagement of an interim manager ensure project success?

Bringing in additional project management resources can not only save a failing project but also help define what constitutes project success at an early stage

Projects fail all the time. What constitutes a project’s success and how it is defined will differ from organisation to organisation.

The standard expectation for a successful project is that it’s delivered on time, on budget and is of the right quality. This is often the case if the project has been competently managed and led.

It is, however, much more important that the business case and the benefits are made clear at the beginning of a project and readjusted along the journey, because this is the real measure of a project’s success.

Projects fail because the latter point hasn’t been realistically set out, the requirement has changed due to market or economic forces, or there has been a lack of communication at all levels.

If a project’s success is determined by its delivery in line with expectations, then the person who has set the guidelines will have a determining factor as to the success or failure of the project. This is usually the project sponsor, the person who “owns” it.

Project governance is the key to success, and business managers should be involved along the way to ensure the project is delivered in line with expectations.

Formal project governance is the big change we have seen over the past few years, and this was a response to the lack of ownership and control by the very people who require and fund the outcome of projects – the business managers.

A project running behind budget and time would usually be seen as a failure, but in fact a project’s success is determined by the benefit it delivers to the business, and if that means the cost and completion date have to be moved with the agreement of the stakeholders, then so be it.

Interim managers are often bought in to rescue “failing” projects. This can make perfect sense, because having a fresh set of eyes on the situation and making the necessary changes to drive the project forward can get the project team and its sponsors realigned.

There are real benefits to doing this, not least because once the project is underway and costs have been incurred, it can be difficult for the project team to pull it back on track. An interim manager can ensure that stakeholders become realigned to the outcomes and that people are ready for the change the project was intended to deliver.

Finding and retaining the right resource is challenging but critical. Once the right skill set has been defined, engaging externally can sometimes be the only option.

A more fruitful solution is sometimes to resource externally to lead the project from the outset, with someone whose only focus is to enable change and who won’t be drawn in to business as usual.
One of the key ingredients is to spot the warning signs and act immediately.  Planning is paramount to the success of a project, and it is important to define what constitutes success at the early stage of the process. It is often the case that the project manager will be held to account if the project is deemed to be a failure, but actually the project sponsor is the person truly responsible for the project’s success. If the expectations have not been realistic, if communication has been poor, if the original business need has changed, and if adequate training has not been provided, then this all points to the project sponsor.

Taking this back to grassroots, there could be a cultural problem if the business is not one that is used to embracing change: the people won’t have the motivation to make it work and hence it’s another pointer towards project failure.

The adoption of a strong, centralised project management office (PMO) allows for the transfer of knowledge and sharing. Knowledge-sharing and best practice will help ensure the future success of projects.

If this is led with a good PMO director and appropriate, experienced project managers, not just certified project managers (as this only shows they understand a method), then at least the risk of failure is minimised. Again, interim managers can be engaged to set this up.

Ensuring project success is not easy. If it was, there would be far fewer failed projects. There are, however, good practices to adopt in order to minimise the risk of failure. If the proper planning, communication and governance is adhered to, stakeholders’ expectations are properly managed and the right business requirements have been set, then you stand a fighting chance.

After all, nobody sets out to fail or to do a poor job, but one of the key ingredients is to spot the warning signs and act immediately. If that means bringing in an additional resource, then it could be money well spent.



Follow the link below to read the article in Executive Grapevine as featured in The Guide to Interim Management

https://www.executivegrapevine.com/content/article/magazine-2018-02-06-does-the-engagement-of-an-interim-manager-ensure-project-success

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Restrictive covenants – careful wording or a waste of time…….

Most contracts of employment have clauses which are collectively referred to as Restrictive covenants and these cover non-compete, non-solicitation and non-poaching.

Whilst these clauses take various forms, their purpose is to protect and safeguard the legitimate commercial interest of the business with a significant emphasis on the client base and preventing former employees from doing untold damage to a business by poaching customers, setting up in competition and recruiting former work colleagues.

Non-compete clauses prevent a former employee from competing with their previous employer, non-poaching clauses restrain a former employee from hiring former colleagues and non-solicitation clauses stop former employees from taking steps to encourage clients away from their former employer.

Whilst that all sounds quite straight forward, most such clauses then go into further detail in terms of the distance or radius in which you are prevented from setting up in competition or time scales within which you can’t approach clients or former colleagues.

At this point, the issue becomes less clear cut because whilst you can make the clauses so onerous that the person can’t do anything, the possibility is that in doing so, the clauses become so unreasonable that they become unenforceable.

 It is common practice when a person leaves a business and the Company acknowledges receipt of the resignation that they will be politely reminded about their restrictive covenants and of the possible consequences if they should step out of line…..and often CEOs and MDs will say – at least that will send a “warning shot across the bows”.

Whilst, the Courts are not averse to enforcing well-drafted and reasonable restrictive covenant clauses against former employees, the emphasis is on the careful wording and the interpretation of the word “reasonable”. On the one hand this destroys the myth that such clauses are not worth the paper they are written on but the legal costs of bringing such actions can be prohibitive – begging the question – what price do you put on protecting your business?
 
Some say that by making such clauses as robust and restrictive as possible, this will act as a deterrent. Dare I suggest that it is not uncommon for employees to have such clauses in their contracts and because of their legal speak wording, they don’t actually understand what they are prevented from doing. Sales people tend to focus more on the commission clause than their restrictive covenants! Maybe that’s because sales people are not renowned for doing detail?

The business should be clear about what it is trying to protect – client listings, technical expertise, system or process design……Business is about relationship building – we build relationships with our clients because if we don’ they won’t do business with us and we build relationships with work colleagues. Such relationships may stray outside work and you can’t prevent a former employee meeting with an ex-client for a coffee. However, when that former employee tries to entice the client away from one Company and transfer their business to another Company, the restrictive covenants will cut in.

The employment contract should be drafted to include clauses which include restrictive covenants designed to protect legitimate business interests and, therefore, should be reasonable in all senses of the word.

It is not uncommon in some situations, often related to signing a settlement agreement, where the business will agree to release the employee from restrictive covenants. I recall a situation many years ago when drafting a settlement agreement, I asked the CEO if he was happy to release the employee from his restrictive covenants to which he replied “Adrian…..the guy was so ***** useless, the competitors are welcome to him”.

Article by Adrian Berwick 

Adrian Berwick provides HR support for business and if you want any support on issues relating to restrictive covenants, contact Adrian on 07885 714771 or e-mail info@abcommercialhrsolutions.com

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Brexit, Trump, Leicester winning the Premier league, the passing of musical geniuses – the list goes on.  Let’s face it, we have had everything thrown at us in 2016 but there’s one thing that remains certain and that’s change.    We are living in uncertain times and this will inevitably affect the decisions of organisations and their appetite to forge ahead with plans.  This uncertainty is creating the need for change on the one hand but paradoxically is leading to inaction on the other due to an over cautious approach.   It would be a huge mistake for organisations to do nothing with the risk of  market share loss, acquisition targets slipping through the net and losing key talent to name but a few.   

Leaving the EU is a mammoth task.   The globalisation of the UK is firmly on the agenda and although it will take years to go through this messy divorce, hopefully the UK will be stronger for it.  But what happens in the meantime?   It’s the uncertainty that will create problems as ‘projects’ are put on hold.  Clearly for businesses in crisis, something has to be done urgently but the need for an interim isn’t always for reasons of crisis management.   

Organisations in need of transformation, restructuring, project / programme management, business improvement or anything that results in change continue to need people to help drive them forward without distraction.  What has become prevalent  is the need to put a compelling case forward firstly as to why interim is the right/best solution and then it’s down to the interim to provide reassurance and a convincing pitch as to why they should be selected with some quantification around the return on investment (ROI). 

It matters now more than ever to make a difference but how can an interim executive ensure they make a ‘real’ difference and deliver in a way that meets with expectations? There are a number of skills, competencies and personality traits needed to succeed as an interim.  Here are a few;

Honesty – providing an open and honest account of the findings.  Interims are able to do this (on the proviso it’s delivered in a professional way) without fear of job security, weakening promotion prospects etc.  The value to management, shareholders, stakeholders and employees is immeasurable. Quite often the day to day gets in the way and organisations can’t see the wood for the trees.

Delivery – hugely important and ultimately will be the basis of measurement of how successful the assignment has been.

Speed – expect to be parachuted in to new environments, grasp what the business does, build relationships often with customers, suppliers, and subcontractors and address the issues causing the challenges.  The problem should be solved and solution implemented as quickly as possible.
Objectivity – an impartial view of analysis undertaken provides the leadership team with a balanced, honest opinion without the person delivering the message having another agenda. 

Coaching / Mentoring - this is always part of the brief whether or not it’s been clearly defined.  This can be for members of the leadership team, management team or just generally a style that should be adopted when leading people for the short term.

Engaging with stakeholders – interims often find themselves in quite complex scenarios with multiple stakeholders that have to be taken on the journey.  Building relationships is part of the remit.

Communication – can’t be emphasised enough.  Any change programme’s success is dependant on how engaged the people are. 

Don’t get drawn in to BAU issues – the reason the client has engaged an interim in the first place is because they don’t have the internal capacity or capability to solve the problem.   If the interim finds themselves in a firefighting situation, they are likely to take their eye off the ball from the original set of objectives.

Confidence and gravitas – the fact that someone has embarked on a career as an interim is borne from having achieved and delivered during a corporate career at board, functional or in a business leadership capacity.  This knowledge and experience should enable the interim to tackle challenges with the necessary agility and be chameleon like in approach.  

Managing the exit – once the agreed objectives have been delivered it’s important to manage an exit at the appropriate time.  The interim should avoid hanging around unnecessarily as this will quickly diminish the value created from the good work undertaken. 

Leaving a legacy – be remembered for the right reasons.

This is all underpinned by the raison d'ĂȘtre of adding value, making a difference and ensuring a return on investment.   It’s the little wins that can make the biggest difference and mopping up the unexpected problems where the interim can go the extra mile.

In order to ensure a successful assignment for all parties it’s important to be honest and how this is delivered will determine the added value in the long term.  After all, the results of this assignment will determine the reference received and how quickly the next one is secured.


For further information or a confidential discussion about how we can help please contact Steven Wynne on 01423 704153 or email steven.wynne@macallaminterim.com