DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: THE RISE OF THE INTERIM ROLE
Companies, nonprofits, public and private entities are increasingly exploring the idea of interim CIOs (or VP Technologies) and turning to Eficio for guidance and candidates.
« In the past, the interim role was simply a line position until the permanent person was hired or helping clients close a critical gap in their infrastructure, now it’s more about enabling transformation . »
Executive search and leadership firms are seeing growing interest in interim executive leadership from their clients and candidates.
Why are interim managers brought into an organization? “It varies greatly. One of the most common requests we receive at Eficio is when a company is going through massive changes, and they require the experience of a senior agile CIO who has already executed this type of transformation. »
EXAMPLE OF USE OF AN INTERIM CIO
1 . External view: Obtain an audit of the IT function to obtain a neutral opinion on internal ways of doing things compared to best practices in IT governance, including an inventory of information assets and the level of technological debt.
2 . New legislation: New legislation or regulatory requirements may require a specific strategic action.
3 . Succession: A need is identified to coach more junior people who have demonstrated potential for future IT management roles.
4 . Mergers and Acquisitions: Companies may need to undergo a major technological transformation to merge the two companies’ systems.
5 . Organizational Disruption: If there is a huge disorder in the organization, bringing in an external interim makes a lot of sense as they can have some tough conversations inside the organization. And if there’s a big culture change needed, for example caused by a critical event in the organization’s ecosystem, it might make sense to have an on-demand CIO start that process and then hand it over to a newly recruited CIO.
THE PROFILE OF AN INTERIM MANAGER
What is the ideal profile of an interim executive – what type of background, experience and personality makes for the most successful and satisfied interim?
While each assignment is unique, the typical interim manager should possess the following soft skills:
• Be agile: Many on-demand CIOs love change projects. They like to enter and transform the organization, are multidisciplinary and have an excellent knowledge of the issues that management can experience.
• Emotional Intelligence (EQ): In any leadership role there is a component of hard skills, but what makes them effective is emotional intelligence, stakeholder relations.
• Positive and patient leader: Another characteristic of an interim manager is someone who is first and foremost a very positive but also patient leader, someone who also has a strong background in management, soft skills that are essential in an interim role. Full transparency is also an absolute requirement, sharing openly with executives and staff.
• Experience is essential. They must be flexible enough to navigate different situations with enough political sense to read the situation and assess the situation quickly. Years of experience translate into the ability to be holistically solution oriented. The most important thing with experience is to have experienced several cases and to propose adapted solutions giving results.
• Humility: Another characteristic that interims must have is a level of humility. This allows you to come in and deal with a situation, inform management, maybe even fix some issues without having to get the credit back, because they are not part of the organization.
One of the very important benefits for the CIO on demand is to have a very strong impact on an organization, leaving it stronger than he found it and having a strong impact on customers, members of the staff.
A CIO on-demand simply rolls from project to another. “It’s great work, and it’s an agile way to bring a lifetime of skills and experience to bear”, says Pierre Farley, Senior Partner at Eficio.
Our CIOs on-demand are also serious. “The legacy and reputation we leave in interim mode are so important to us” says Alain Marchildon. “We manage our own brand, so it is imperative that we protect that brand and constantly find ways to elevate it, as our next role is likely to stem from our previous good work that we have done.”