Based on our experience in assuming hundreds of Interim Management assignments, the Arrowstone Partners follows precise guidelines to guarantee optimal success to our customers.
Step 1: Permanent search of new talent
Every day, we search and meet new potential Interim Managers.
Structured interviews lead to a careful selection. The evaluation takes into account the technical and managerial skills, the emotional capabilities and the potential to adapt.
The signature of a strict “Confidentiality agreement” is required to become candidate, as we most often than not discuss confidential corporate information in the assignment interview.
Step 2 : Intake meeting and scope analysis
Don’t rush before you understand.
During this very important meeting(s), the Partner will identify the needs of the Client Organisation. The scope of elements to take into account and the pursued objectives are thoroughly analyzed with the Client.
This takes into account “objective” data as well as the more “subjective” elements the Interim Manager will need to address. Subjective elements can range from management style, formal or informal communication ways of specific people to the identification of power lines and resistance to change.
Based on this information and together with the Client, we define the profile, tasks and accountabilities of the future Interim Manager and evaluate the expected duration of the assignment.
Step 3: Assignment letter
Verify and agree
To make sure we have understood the needs of the Client we put the elements and conclusion of the Intake meeting in writing and transmit it to the Client for review and approval.
The Assignment letter covers at least the following elements:
- Actual situation and Scope
- Objectives and Deliverables
- Tasks and Authority of the Interim Manager
- Profile description
- Expected duration
Step 4 : Selection and presentation of adequate interim managers
Shape the solution
After screening and in-depth interview of potential candidates belonging to the Arrowstone team of selected and available Interim Managers we propose one to three candidate Interim Managers to be interviewed by the Client.
Arrowstone considers that the steps 2 to 4 can be handled in less than 5 working days.
Step 5 : Agreement
Seal the team
Once the Client has made his final choice, the parties sign the necessary agreements:
- Arrowstone with the Client,
- Arrowstone with the Interim Manager.
- The Assignment letter, mentioning starting date, is included in both.
Step 6 : Prepare day one
Be aware that the first impression lasts forever
Arrowstone stresses the importance of preparing the arrival of the Interim Manger, and most often prepares the necessary communication with the Client and the Interim Manager.
This is very important to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary resistance and underlines the importance of the assignment to all staff.
Step 7 : Action plan
You don’t have the “first 100 days” before starting the action
After an information and orientation phase (“landing and finding a bed” in paratroops’ language) that can take 5 to 20 days, the Interim Manager develops an appropriate action plan with the support of the Arrowstone Counsellor.
- Summarizes the goals to achieve
- Defines the deliverables and timetable,
- Highlights the critical success factors,
- Defines the quality assurance schedule.
This action plan is proposed and reviewed with the Client Company and highlights all the critical factors as people, customers, business processes, existing technologies and available resources.
After possible adjustments and final approval by the client, this plan will be the guideline during the execution of the assignment.
Step 8 : Monitoring
Arrowstone is a Team at the service of the Client
Depending on the nature of the assignment, the Arrowstone Partner provides the following supporting services during the assignment:
Counselling & coaching.
The Mirror effect
Today’s managers must “hit the ground running” and are faced with lots of challenges, some expected and some that were not clearly identified at the start, some experienced before by the manager, and some not, even if an interim manager is most of the time overqualified. Time is essential but circumstances change regularly during the assignment. At the end of the day the reputation of an interim management provider and off the interim manager is defined by the success of the assignment.
The Interim Manager will off course have superior technical knowledge in his area of expertise, but a “sounding board” or an intellectual and emotional “sparring partner” is invaluable to stay alert, strategic and open-minded.
It is therefore not reasonable to think that our work as provider stops when the interim manager steps in. And it is our experience that the interim management provider can play an important part in the success of the interim management assignment.
The Arrowstone Partner will be the “shadow” inspiring the Interim Manager.
Having very regular face-to-face contacts with the interim manager, where he can speak totally freely about all aspects of the situations he faces. He cannot indeed speak about everything with the people below him and is not supposed to take too much time freewheeling about possible options with the people upside. The Arrowstone Partner who takes the role of “listener and challenger” must have a very wide management and business culture, must be very curious and be a very creative thinker. If that is the case he will be a real accelerator for the interim manager.
Technical support – Help Desk
Top experts in the back-office
Nobody knows everything. In the course of a mission, an Interim Manager may be confronted with a less familiar technical issue (example: a finance manager has a very technical tax issue).
Arrowstone will provide the Interim Manager with the appropriate “state of the art” counselling party, be it in taxes, accounting, HR, legal or other matters. Arrowstone has a network of independent professional organisation in those areas.
It is essential to be aware of the fact that Arrowstone does not get any payment from the possible external counsellors who commit on a “first free advice”. (Ethical chart).
A last but sometimes important point is that Arrowstone puts its large network of contacts to the disposal of an interim Manager in assignment. This can cover technical advice by another interim Manager, it can be an introduction to a supplier or a potential customer.
Progress meetings and Quality assurance
Do as you say, say as you do.
Arrowstone insists on regular progress meetings between the Client, the Interim Manager and the Arrowstone Partner to discuss important issues or new points of attention, evaluate and eventually adjust the going of the assignment. The initial Action Plan may indeed evolve, but never without clear agreement.
Step 9 : Transfer of knowledge
Leave with pride.
During the whole period of the assignment and especially before the end, the Interim Manager will take the necessary steps to document the innovations, changes and new processes introduced. He will also identify, motivate and coach the people necessary to manage further and carry on the movement.
Step 10 : Debriefing & Evaluation
Nobody’s perfect and everybody likes a “thank you”
At the end of an assignment, we find it important to evaluate the mutual added value of the parties. This process is organized by Arrowstone.
It is important to notice that this process will be handled by a different Arrowstone Partner than the one responsible of the assignment.
Step 11 : Aftercare
The finishing touch.
After the end of the assignment, everybody goes his way. But some issues maybe need a follow-up. Some info may be needed. A short reminder/coaching can be appropriate.
We always remain on stand-by…