How Executive Interims drive successful Digital Transformation

Our 2019 International Survey explores the latest trends in the executive interim market. The most striking development is the speed at which companies are embracing digital transformation. Last year, just 4% of interims had been involved in a digital change programme in the previous 12 months. Now, this figure has rocketed to 28% - almost one in three people.

This indicates two important things – first, that companies are prioritising digital transformation and second, that they are turning to interims to help deliver that change.

The survey also finds that 84% of interims’ digital transformation assignments are successful – so it’s clearly an approach that works. But what advantages do interims bring to digital transformation and why do businesses seek to use executive interims?

Here are five ways in which executive interims drive successful digital transformation:

  1. 1. Independence

A key advantage in bringing in external resource is that they have no personal agenda within the company. They won’t be distracted by internal politics or have any fear about voicing concerns or risks to senior leaders. They are able to provide constructive independent criticism and feedback on the company’s strategy or approach to change, in order to make it as effective as possible.

  1. 2. Expertise at every level

Our network of interims span a wide range of key roles, from C-suite leadership to programme management, technical expertise and professional services. In this way they can both complement an existing team in-house or combine to form a new one to drive transformation. Our survey found that 34% of interims provided strategic advice on their last project, 32% acted as programme managers, 11% were specialists and 4% were appointed for their HR expertise.

  1. 3. Dedication

Delivering successful change can be challenging when there are other pressing business priorities. Interim executives can be tasked with developing and delivering the change programme while existing leaders manage business as usual. The interim will not be distracted by business challenges, and current directors will not end up spread too thinly across too many initiatives.

  1. 4. Experience

More than a fifth of the interims surveyed have completed over 10 assignments. This is clearly an experienced group of people. Plus, when a company approaches a WIL Group member for interim support, they will be presented with a number of individuals with experience in the relevant sector, the right part of the globe and in the specific project at hand. With an interim, companies gain instant access to highly relevant expertise.

  1. 5. Results focus

Every interim is closely focused on achieving their project’s objectives. This is partly driven by personal satisfaction in doing a good job, and partly the need to have a strong and positive track record as a professional. Our clients are always impressed with interims’ commitment to delivering a successful project – and so it’s a wise approach to take in digital transformation.

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