There’s a variation of the maxim: “if you want something done … find a busy person” except it’s “if they’ve done lots of different things before … they can work out how to do this”.
Like most interims, I’ve been working for a long time. So I’ve done a huge variety of things. It’s got to the stage where, frankly, I’m drawing on a large array of skills, but mix them differently each time.
So what’s the value a seasoned interim brings? In my most flippant moments I have been known to quote a chap called Woodrow: that we have “the capacity to attain capacity”. This does not go down well with some recruiters; so I have stopped saying it. Although that does not stop me from thinking it.
What it means is that if a client throws a problem at someone like me … we will work out what to do with it. Then I will roll-up my sleeves and get it done. I don’t need to demonstrate that I have resolved that particular problem before, but I can show that I have successfully sorted-out a wide variety of problems.
A while back I had dinner with a potential client and her Mr Fix-it. After the starter they outlined their problem. Frankly they were both woolly when explaining this problem. The underlying question was how to stop a business partner making noise about something which was distracting everybody.
What she and Mr Fix-it had spotted was that I had the capacity to sort it out. Which I did. She knew that if I thought about it, and talked it through with her people, that I’d come-up with a solution and a plan. I also had the confidence to roll my sleeves up and sell-in and run the plan.
That is what I mean by the capacity to attain capacity. That’s the value good interim managers bring. In fact, the value that anybody brings who is any use.
So what is it that enables a hiring manager to identify that you have the capacity to attain the capacity? A referral? Your CV? Penetrating interview questions? What? I’d like to know please.