I have completed over 40 assignments in the last 20 years. These assignments have been in a wide range of sectors, although always in companies with a strong engineering or technical underpinning because that is where I can deliver most value. To see some of the assignments I have completed, visit my portfolio.
Over 70% of new assignments come from existing client groups or recommendation. About 10% come through interim providers and the rest through my own marketing efforts.
I take a business, function, project or situation from where it is now to where it has to get to. I then hand it back. During that time, I take responsibility for whatever has to be done and whatever happens.
Once there is agreement that I should undertake the assignment, I confirm a general scope of responsibility and objectives (i.e. what by when). Sometimes the first part of the assignment is to review the situation and then confirm a scope and objectives, this is normally done within 10 days. The scope may evolve (by client agreement) as the assignment progresses. Scope is sometimes documented, sometimes not, but the understanding is always clear.
I report as if a part of the business and fit in with whatever is required. Typically (as a minimum) I will report what has been done and what will be done; this gives a clear picture of progress, achievement and issues arising.
There is no set completion pattern – I do whatever is needed. To give you a few examples, past assignments have closed when:
- either the client or I recruit a permanent person to take on the what the interim role has become.
- I manage the close out to completion (sometimes part time); this has included project completion, end of the need for a catalyst manager, sale/closure/transfer of a business, merger of a business or function with other businesses or functions.
No. Some assignments start full time but as they complete become increasingly part time. This provides continuity whilst controlling the cost. Some assignments are always part time and I have run two assignments side by side – both client companies were aware of the other and, in reality, both client companies got full time input but not full time presence.
My shortest was 16 days (one day per week); the longest just under two years.
This is always determined in conjunction with you because there may be cost implications. As a rule I will be wherever I need to be to be most effective, always recognising that this may change as assignments progress.
For example, for an assignment based in Hong Kong to recover a large material handling project, the design authority was in Denmark. It made sense to be in Denmark for some days each month but this reduced as the design matured and construction/commissioning accelerated in Hong Kong.
For a technology transfer assignment to set up nacelle and hub production in Central China, it was most appropriate to be based in China (typically on 30 day tours) but to spend some time in Germany at the licencing company.
Yes, both in country and cross border. I have worked in 17 countries so far. I have run a factory in France, run businesses in Germany and Denmark (in this case customer and project sites were all over Europe). I have run a project from Hong Kong with the design authority in Denmark and major sub suppliers in the US, Germany, Singapore and China. Other assignments have involved working in Australia, India, China and Ethiopia.
I have a simple form of contract which most of my clients find acceptable. This covers scope of supply, costs and payments, duration and termination, confidentiality, indemnity, dispute and law, etc. This can be modified to meet specific client or assignment requirements. Some of my clients have their own form of contract which I am happy to adopt.
I arrive and start; I have my own IT, support and communications. Only if I need to be included in your network do I ask for IT assistance (and with technology advancing this has become much simpler). If required I provide my own travel coordination. I provide my own insurances and statutory compliances as necessary. For international assignments I organise my own visas and medical insurances – though, depending on the country, I may look to you to help with in-country invitations, etc.
There are common themes, but each situation has unique features. In an operational interim role I am responsible from day one. To make rational and correct decisions it is essential to understand the history and the people – this defines the current situation. It is important to make informed decisions but quickly, sometimes I make early decisions which turn out not to be the best – early recognition and correction is important. This is perhaps easier for an interim than for a career executive.
I deliver all assignments that I am awarded.
I charge by the day and half day. I charge the same rate where ever I am working. Where travelling is involved, I try and do this in the early morning or evenings so that there is no time lost to you. Expenses are recovered at cost. Travel in Europe is by budget airline wherever possible.
This is a limited company; company number UK4515618, formed in 2002. The company is VAT registered and carries professional indemnity, employers’ liability and third party insurances. There is a single director/employee – me. In former times, Shirley Raynor (a Chartered Accountant) who has unrelated business interests was involved with the business administration. This work is now undertaken by an independent firm of accountants.