Having spoken with many Interim Managers I find that they tend to fall into one of two camps: Serial or Parallel.Posted by: David Regler @
Serial Interims are probably what most people consider to be the classic type. They work on an assignment in a full-time capacity for a length of time (usually 3 to 12 months) and then, when they complete it, they move onto the next gig.
But, just as many entrepreneurs have started describing themselves as "serial" or "parallel entrepreneurs", this second category exists in the interim market.
In fact, I would describe myself as a "parallel interim manager", in that I work on a portfolio of client assignments at the same time.
It's a bit like the portfolio worker concept identified by Charles Handy.
It could be that this mode of working is more suited to smaller businesses and start-ups, which are my clients. The necessity to run multiple projects is usually due to clients wanting my expertise without the capital commitment of hiring a full-time Sales Director.
Also, I've personally found that sales and business development are processes that can be effectively segmented into activities run in parallel. Some care needs to be taken not to start two assignments at the sames time (which is when they are most intense and require full commitment) but generally the model works well.
Many of my associates also take this approach, running client or their own business projects alongside other engagements. Again, this is typically a good fit for small businesses or larger companies that want an interim for special project or strategic initiative (such as to validate a new market).
The classic serial approach is best for stop-gap or "business as usual" interim work. However, the reality is that interims are rarely used for "business as usual" within the sales function.