Meet Björn Ulfberg, Partner and Managing Director of WIL Group member firm Michaël Berglund Interim Effect

In 2021, Björn Ulfberg assumed the role of Managing Director at Michaël Berglund Interim Effect, where he not only leads the firm’s interim operations but also contributes as a Partner in the WIL-Group—a global consortium dedicated to delivering top-tier interim solutions across various industries.

With a robust career spanning over three decades, Björn has held pivotal roles such as President, Group Manager, Sales Director, and Business Area Manager at the European and global levels. His extensive experience covers a range of sectors including consumer goods, telecom, and construction, with a particular focus on working with private equity-owned companies. Björn also brings firsthand insights from his tenure as an interim consultant and board member.

We interviewed Björn and asked him three questions about the interim industry, to share his expertise and get an insight into the trends he sees in the market.

How do you see Michaël Berglund Interim Effect on the market right now? Do you have any indications that we will see a change in the demand for temporary expertise soon?

There are clear indications that, after a long period of uncertainty, the Swedish market is currently undergoing significant changes. In several places, we see signs that business dynamics are changing. Take the real estate sector as an example. It is an industry that historically tends to be one of the first to show signs of recovery after crises. There, the activity level is very high right now, a positive signal indicating that the market is slowly but surely on its way to turning around and recovering.

No matter who you talk to in our industry, whether it’s colleagues who work with the recruitment of permanent managers or interim solutions, we notice that a lot is bubbling right now. The activity is there thanks to the fact that capital is now available again and business has started to move again in some sectors. Due to the focus on risk mitigation that many companies have had in the last 18 – 24 months, there is a pent-up need for change. Something an interim solution can effectively help lead.

At the same time, we are aware that the effects of the recession have not abated at all in some industries. Many companies are still struggling, which is not least evident in the media reporting about people who are let go from both large and small companies. We hope that this uncertainty can soon be overcome and that brighter times are on the way. When we reach that point, many companies will probably realise the need to regroup and bring in new energy and skills to drive the organisation forward.

What are the advantages of using an interim solution?

Regardless of whether it is temporary competence to replace staff, establish operations abroad, manage crises, add strategic or expert competence, support growth, or start new functions, these needs can be met with the help of an interim solution. The experience of previously having done exactly what the business needs ensures exceptional impact on the execution of the assignment, when using an interim consultant. There is, therefore, built-in security for the entire organisation with an interim leader.

There are many other positive aspects to consider when it comes to hiring an interim consultant. The consultant comes in with a clear mission and contributes with their expertise for a limited period. An assignment that for a regular employee could potentially have dragged on or gotten side tracked, considering that as a permanent manager you often have a broader responsibility and thus need to run several parallel parts within the business at the same time. As an interim consultant, it is easier to refuse tasks that are outside the primary assignment, which focuses the delivery on the specific parameters agreed upon by the consultant and the company.

A further positive aspect of hiring an interim consultant is that you get someone who can look at the business, its processes, and its structures with objective eyes. An external consultant is not as effect by behaviours stemming from already manifested corporate cultural aspects. This often leads to insights into areas of improvement that can increase the effectiveness of the entire organisation. Forms of cooperation, communication, and prioritisation of what creates the greatest value for the business are examples of effects we see in our assignments.

What does the future look like for interim services?

When we look back and reflect on the last few years, it is not surprising that we find ourselves in the situation we do. We still see a strong need to add new initiatives to solve problems at many companies. But we also see that many employees are tired. Sometimes even exhausted after the period that we are starting to get out of, but still find ourselves in. A turbulent period edged first by a pandemic and then an economic crisis and war in several countries. We must not forget that sky-high inflation is something that has affected not only companies but also employees on a personal level.

The percentage of sick leave in Sweden is higher than ever. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in such a situation that has such a drastic impact on people's well-being. But the positive thing is that from a business perspective, there is temporary help available to create a short-term solution that can lead to long-term sustainable results. Something that benefits both employers and employees.

Björn Ulfberg




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