Fire Brigade for the Executive Floor

When companies have to reorient themselves or are looking for solutions in a crisis, "interim managers" are booked.

Source: "WELT am Sonntag", August 2

Christian Scheel is an entrepreneur who can talk about some of the heights of his professional life and who has drawn the conclusion that he should react to crises as early as possible. When, in mid-March, exit restrictions, closed borders and businesses plunged the economy into crisis, the head of Ing. Grimm SchweiƟtechnik in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg summarily hired two helpers: Frank-Ulrich Leitloff, an expert in production, logistics and quality management, and Robert Lebherz, an expert in business management, restructuring and lean production structures.

The two experienced managers helped Scheel to keep customers and suppliers in line during the Corona period, motivate employees, obtain loans and remain financially liquid. "Without them, I would not have been able to solve the many problems that arose simultaneously," admits Scheel candidly. But he won't be employing Leitloff and Lebherz for long, because they are "interim managers". These temporary managers usually only stay in one company for four, six or ten months before they leave again to take up their next job elsewhere.

The largest and only provider of executive interims representing the entire German-speaking region is the Hamburg-based company Management Angels (a member of the WIL Group). Founded 20 years ago, the company now has 30 employees and has carried out around 2000 interim mandates since then, and currently has a good 7000 managers on call.

"Many companies have used the CORONA-19 time to get their IT up to speed," says Kai Reddig, Senior Consultant at Management Angels. He expects a wave of consolidation in the coming months: "When the corona subsidies run out, the last straw will fall away for many companies. They will need interim managers as crisis helpers for restructuring projects".

Management Angels consultant Reddig has also brought together Leitloff, Lebherz and Scheel. "Our work begins with the analysis and definition of the company's problems and possible solutions, then we develop a manager profile and present the client with the two or three most suitable managers," explains the consultant.

Companies that want to employ an interim manager for the first time should definitely pay attention to the "chemistry". Does the external fit in with the team and company philosophy? Does he or she have the necessary tact and sensitivity?

Interims bring their experience from many, often very different projects: "That benefits clients and they profit a lot from that.

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