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Why organisations facing the need to implement rapid change should consider interim management as a viable option.
Tunstall is the UK's market leader in specialist communications and management information systems for the care industry. Its alarm and emergency communication products enable those at risk to maintain their independence. The company, through its products and services, provides elderly and disabled people with security and peace of mind by ensuring that help is immediately available 24 hours a day.
In 1998, the recently appointed chief executive, Stuart Elsworthy, decided to drive through a more market-oriented and customer-focused approach to the company’s world-wide operations. Wishing to get the new initiative started quickly, one of his first actions was to hire an interim manager to act as marketing director prior to the arrival of a full-time recruit. The prime objective would be to create a dynamic marketing department capable of leading the company towards this new, customer-focused goals.
"As an outsider Norrie brought with him a fresh and objective viewpoint and he could get in quickly and immerse himself in the project without being distracted."
According to Elsworthy the real benefit of interim managers is that, given a clear objective, they have the management capability, drive and focus to rapidly develop solutions and, on a day-to-day basis, make them happen.
"In situations where you need someone to assess the situation, develop solutions and implement them, interim managers are a much better option than management consultants as they actually get on with the job," he added.
Johnston commented: "my role at Tunstall bridged the gap pending a permanent appointment, and working to a clear objective I could effectively initiate a change program to meet a specific business need. For me, interim management offers challenge and variety and because each placement is short term I can concentrate on the job in hand and I don't represent a political threat to existing management."
Elsworthy added: "we now have a marketing team in place committed to promoting customer care and satisfaction across the group, leading us towards our vision of becoming the dominant pan-European solutions provider in the total reassurance market."