Can Interim Management be Cure for Brain Drain?

For any company in an economic downturn, after slashing  employees to reduce their overhead there follows a sobering moment of clarity.  “How is the work going to get done? We just let go the only people that really knew how to do this (whatever “this” is) really well!”

I propose that interim management is an excellent solution, especially when the new gap is in a highly-skilled management role (as opposed to a low-skilled bureaucratic role).

So, the company can’t afford a FTE as head of marketing. Fine. Bring in a perfectly suited interim marketing executive for a couple days a week.

I had coffee with a former client last week. He had just been laid off.  The company he had worked for needed to slash overhead due to the rapid economic decline. They let go the head of marketing and the product manager, electing to leave untouched a small department of marketing specialists. Who is managing this group, you might ask? They now report to a director of business development with no marketing experience whatsoever.

Cut backs are agonizing decisions and I’m not second-guessing the decision to swing the axe at the higher salaried managers first. However, what is to become of this very effective marketing group without skilled leadership? Imagine what just two days a week of expert marketing leadership could provide.

Something tells me this story is being repeated again and again all around the world. Interim managers, let us put on our capes and save the day.

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