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Manager testimonies

The quest for performance and development encourages companies to adopt project-based management. The diverse roles that the stakeholders play influence project configuration. I work externally in managing these organisational projects. They range from mergers and acquisitions to major changes. As such, it is essential for me to link up my role based on the strengths and skills that already exist in the company.

The complexity of these projects is mainly due to relationships, and the scope of the mission always has an impact on the existing organisational models. It is thus also important for my role to evolve in tune with the constantly changing team dynamic. I therefore always offer my clients carefully chosen options, so that they are the ones who make the decisions. As for me, I implement the selected methods and categories of action.

I use the art of influencing to suggest the project organisation I can implement and coordinate, harnessing existing internal potential. This makes it possible to steer major change and transformation programmes.

General management supports this. It wants to modify cross-functional processes or to steer organisations in a new, more creative way, so they are in tune with the market and with client expectations.

Interim management requires more than the abilities that are most obviously required for the profession, and the knowledge which leads to our recruitment. You must also have a keen sense of humility, the will to share, and be a very good listener. You must also be able to quickly win the confidence of the client. As such, you must step into an environment where our hiring agency has earned a reputation in terms of skills, inspired confidence in terms of feasibility, expected results, and an understanding of the issues at stake.

MPI is a key player in this role, providing the intervening manager with the level of quality we need to execute our functions as best we can.

As a human resources director, I used interim management. One day, the agency I worked with extended an assignment to me. So I went over to the “other side”.

I remember I conducted a particularly interesting mission for a corporate buyout at an automotive manufacturer. It had recently opened a site (four years earlier), and had hired people very quickly, without any HR professionals.It needed support and its management to be coached in line management and team leadership. We truly worked together with the client.

Most of the missions involved interim management (about 10 in 10 years). They complemented my professional experience.

I was thus able to diversify my knowledge of both human resources and corporate activity. This has also been an enriching experience at a human level.

My relationship with MPI: I met this budding agency in 2003. I developed a very good relationship with one of the partners. Thanks to the follow-up of each mission, of each difficulty encountered, and of each success, I was able to expand my professional experience, and forge a real working relationship, and above all, forge human ties.

It just so happened that I started working in the interim management field in 2010. But I started thinking about it back in 2007. I had realised that my approach to my career was not compatible with rigid corporate structures, with their cumbersome procedures, internal opposition, and politics.
The concept of this mission was in my genes. My many years in the French marines taught me how important it was to quickly adapt to a situation in record time. This was exactly what had to be done in this mission.
Since then, I have been happy to put my apparent talent to the service of interim management.  My taste for challenge is always satisfied. I can also take responsibility at the levels that suit me, and maintain a good quality of life at the same time.
There are, of course setbacks. With the high degree of uncertainty, you must be able to cope with the periods between missions. They may last from a few months to over a year, and are always difficult to deal with.
One mission in particular remains fresh in my memory, as a managing director, the corporate representative. This isn’t just because it was my most recent assignment.

The mission was spread over a 17-month period. It took place overseas in a difficult environment. It was exciting because it involved a mix of social issues, politics, communication, and operations. In a nutshell, this assignment suspended the activities of the subsidiaries of a European company in an African country. This mission required the managing director to negotiate at the highest level of the country where it was established, to implement a redundancy scheme, and to evacuate staff and equipment in a country plunged into a civil war.

In this situation, the interim manager had to use the whole range of abilities required for this extraordinary profession: swift adaptation, immediate on-site takeover with analysis of the issues at the same time, studies and presentations of the action plans at the European level of the company, and at the level of the administrators of the subsidiaries.

Ultimately, the interim manager must be able to:

  •  Quickly prepare a mission for the sponsor
  •  Quickly collect accurate information locally
  •  Analyse and then draw up action plans
  •  Adapt to environments and people, and keep in mind what’s most important—the mission and its ultimate goals

The mission was a success, and was also an excellent illustration of what we all know in this profession—the mission cannot be successful without strong and constant communication between the agency which accepted the mission and the manager on the field, with regular communication and updates.
The interim management agency is thus becoming a kind of “risk insurance” for the manager on the field, because it maintains an overall vision of both the mission and the partner.

In this context, the relationship with the agency MPI executive was particularly strong. Beyond the professional requirements mentioned above, the way the agency interacts with “its” managers is very personal, which is very much appreciated within the profession. Indeed MPI considers that “its” managers are very talented and promising individuals. MPI executive makes them loyal and helps them to go forward. This powerful concept can only be implemented with the full backing of the agency and its managers. This allows them to develop a lasting bond with each other.