Interim Manager or Consultant? Which is better?

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The same individuals can often be described as both Consultants and Interim Managers, but in our experience the skills and behaviours of the two roles are quite different.  Consultants are typically ‘task’ focused.  They’re engaged to advise or work on a specific project, usually with specific outcomes in mind or expertise to be shared.  They need to be analytical, quick thinking – to get to grips with the clients problem quickly – creative in their problem solving and concise in their advice and help.  Interim Managers are typically focused on delivery – whether that’s delivery of the outcomes of a consultancy project or the routine delivery of services or business activities.  The ability to form relationships with others, quickly, to gel into a team and to get to grips with organisational culture, again quickly, is paramount.  It’s always a challenge not to become emotionally involved with a client as an Interim Manager, but commitment and energy to see the job through are nonetheless vital.

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We always like to hear the experience of others in choosing between consultancy and interim management.  Which do you believe is better?

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