How To Make A Success Of Interim Consulting

GRO.TEAM Business Growth Agency
GRO.TEAM Business Growth Agency

How To

Make a Success of Interim Consulting

How can you maximise your chances of success if you make the leap to interim consulting?

is it the same?

Few interims get treated that differently

In my experience very few people get treated any differently day-to-day in interim consulting roles than “permanent” employees..the fact that you’re an interim consultant won’t be a big issue but the expectations of you as an interim consultant can sometimes be higher.

You might be expected to be an expert on more things, and you’ll probably be expected to have a measurable impact — perhaps more quickly than a new full time employee would be.

You could also get more latitude to challenge the orthodoxy, not be expected to navigate the company politics so carefully, and have your change agenda considered more dispassionately.

how do you make sure you’re a success


The first (and maybe obvious) point is to choose the right role.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by taking an interim consulting role with a team size, company culture or business model you’re not absolutely confident you can add real value to.

Ultimately what you “sell” is your reputation and track record — don’t be tempted to risk it by taking on a role you’re not 100% right for.

Once you have found the right role, and before you start, make sure you are very clear about the brief. Make sure you really understand what success will look like in the potential role.

know why they hired you

get the basics righT

Sometimes companies want a change agent, but sometimes they just want an interim consultant to “act like they got the job for real” and do their “sensible best”.

Make sure you understand whether you will need to be a good cultural fit or being counter-cultural is one of the reasons why they want to hire you.

When you start get the basics right..always arrive on time and dress similarly to the prevailing dress code in the team.

At the early stages of any assignment make sure you don’t write cheques you can’t cash by promising un-achievable things. There is no surer way of destroying your credibility (and making enemies of other people) than by promising things that can’t be delivered.

It’s a subtle situation may have been brought in to increase urgency and delivery so any goals you agree need to be ambitious but achievable.

when you arrive


Never make the mistake of joining with a “here’s the tell me about the problem” approach.

In your first week interim consulting try and meet as many people in the team as possible.

It’s important for you to get to know the team, and them to get to know you, so scheduling 30 minute interviews with each team member to ask the sort of questions below will very quickly create a picture of what you’re walking into.


Interview Questions

1. Are you enjoying it here at the moment?

2. What are our key responsibilities as a team do you think?

3. As a team, what do we do well do you think?

4. What do we need to get better at?

5. Who are our stars?

6. Does anyone in the team need help to be more successful?

7. How could we get more customer outcome focused?

8. How could we move faster?

9. Would you recommend working here to a friend?

10. What three things would you do if you were me?

11. Anything else we should talk about?

week one


After the interviews an interesting exercise is to allocate any team member mentioned as a “star” in question 5. a +1 and any struggling team member mentioned in 6. a -1. Adding up all the scores will give a quick but surprisingly accurate team talent map.

Question 9. can also be used create a quick team “NPS” score.

At GRO.TEAM we like to end the first week of a new interim consulting assignment with a “Week One Playback” with the person that sponsored the appointment.

It’s a great opportunity to discuss the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) found so far and calibrate it against what the sponsor wants.

Be of value

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add value

in any way you can

Remember to add value to your interim consulting client in any way you can as well. It’s not just about the goals. Doing things like sharing their job postings on LinkedIn, mentioning them in any interviews you do, retweeting their tweets, liking their Facebook page, and so on, all help.

Don’t “penny pinch” the client either. What “goes around comes around” so if taking a phone call or sending a quick email in non-client chargeable time helps solve a problem or keep momentum up then do it. You’ll be judged on your impact at the end of the day.

We help you get the perfect interims...

We can help you engage the Interim talent you need…quickly…with no fuss…wherever you need them…

The last thing to remember is

…to know when to move on

You know when you’ve achieved your interim consulting goals or hit the diminishing returns point on the value curve.

Don’t wait to be replaced.

Proactively suggest a new way to add value to the client if one is appropriate, or move on to your next interim consulting challenge with another successful engagement under your belt.


be of value

so there you have it

To make s success of interim consulting you need to chose the right role, deliver as much value as you can, and then move on as soon as you’ve delivered the necessary business impact.

We summarise it at GRO.TEAM with our motto of “Be Of Value”. If you do that at all times you will be successful.

Interim consulting be for everyone but if you get your sense of accomplishment from delivering business impact and enjoy variety and challenge then maybe it’s for you?

GRO.TEAM Business Growth Agency Services Joined Up

GRO.TEAM Business Growth Agency
GROW Coaching
Business Growth Agency
Bobby Growth Services

Give our friendly team  a shout for a non salesy chat about how we can get stuck into your challenges…asap

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What would happen if

we used these “Agile” principles to deliver Growth rather than Software?!?

We could favour “customer collaboration” and “individuals and interactions” by forming a cross functional Growth team including both “customers” and “suppliers”. We should include representatives from Product, Sales, Marketing, Technology, Operations, Finance and so on…

We could favour “working software” or Growth in our case by giving the team the single unifying purpose of growing a carefully chosen growth metric.

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We could work to a weekly or fortnightly rhythm with the cumulative affects of the growth activities on the Growth metric being publicly demonstrated (and hopefully celebrated) at the end of every cycle or “sprint”.

So we have created a cross-functional team meeting regularly with the unified common purpose of doing anything and everything necessary to measure-act-measure the impact of their ideas on a single carefully chosen growth metric. That’s cool but…

Maybe we could give This a name?

like Growth Hacking or something?

Yes Growth Hacking is the sort of term that means different things to different people but anyone familiar with Agile software development will be struck by the similarities between the approaches, rituals and rhythms typically used in both Growth Hacking and Agile Software Development.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

 “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Does it all work in the real world?

Yes. The same underlying principles that make Agile software development so effective also mean Growth Hacking can totally transform the effectiveness of a company’s growth activities.

in the real world


I recently spent a day with the talented team at a well backed UK based energy startup called Hometree who are creating a great brand by disrupting the domestic energy market customer experience.

We had a really productive workshop where we honestly examined the Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats in their current growth landscape, discussed and then selected initial and ultimate growth metrics, collected growth ideas, created a growth board, reconstituted the growth team and set up the new team’s rituals and rhythms. 

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Not bad for one day

Andreu Tobella Brunet the Co-Founder of Hometree UK commented

“As a start-up that is using an innovative way to sell online, we created a growth team from scratch but were having a few challenges to structure it well and have clear objectives and team alignment. This is where Rorie stepped in and helped us understand well all the roles, define our single metric and create a high performing growth team. The whole team was extremely pleased with the improvements, I would highly recommend him”.

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Whether you call it Growth Hacking or something else

A very effective way of accelerating your growth is to learn from agile software development and to create a cross-functional team meeting regularly with the unified common purpose of doing anything and everything necessary to measure-act-measure the impact of their ideas on a single carefully chosen growth metric.

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Create A Strategy That Is Agile

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Our strategy is our HOW

Leadership is about change and a simple analogy is that leaders take their organisation on a journey from the present location to a different (and hopefully better) place

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Mission Objectives Strategies Tactics

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If we add Mission to the front of the acronym to make it MOST I think we have a framework really helps maximise execution effectiveness.

Why we need to make the journey

The Mission

The Mission is why we want/need to make the journey

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what we want to achieve

The Objective

is what we want to achieve in the next 12 months

Our objective at GRO.TEAM is to double our social engagement this year.

How we're going to do it

The Strategy

is how we are going to achieve our Mission and Objective

At GRO.TEAM our Strategy is to increase the number of people we talk to.

5-10 things we will do

The Tactics

The Tactics are the things we think we need to do now to deliver our Objective.

At GRO.TEAM we set 5-10 quarterly tactics and review their effectiveness and START/STOP/DO MORE/DO LESS every 3 months

Setting more than 5-10 tactics becomes counterproductive as it effectively says we’re going to do everything we can think of…

agile efficient effective

The MOST Framework

We really do find that if you put your strategy in a MOST framework, and communicate it well, it very much becomes part of the solution not problem and helps ensure your execution is as agile, efficient and effective as possible.

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