Michel de Kemmeter
Fasten your seatbelt: the itinerary Michel de Kemmeter is drawing for the economy for the next ten years, is anything but a quiet walk on a Sunday afternoon.
De Kemmeter is associate professor in Economics (VUB Vesalius College), Founder and CEO of Wise Holding which catalyses economic transition for people, companies and governments, bringing methodologies and education on ‘what works’, to create tomorrow’s jobs and businesses with global tribes. This expert in economic transition is also Founding Member of the think tank Club of Brussels. Together with other experts in the economic field, he identified 26 challenges (see http://clubofbrussels.org) that our country will have to solve within the coming decade. Interviewed by TIP-IM on his perception of the future of Interim Managers, Michel lists some evolutions which have a direct impact on this growing sector, as well as the key assets of the Interim Managers the companies which will be hiring them will benefit the most from.
According to Michel, there is no doubt the future will be more a question of project based work, with allocated and result-driven teams. These teams will increasingly be led by independent project leaders. These managers ad interim will face the additional challenge of creating a cohesion with the team they will be handling, knowing they will only be leading them for a limited period.
The good news is this evolution will benefit to a greater extent of higher profiles whom currently feel the need to find an answer to questions like “who am I” and “what is my added value”; answers they can no longer get in traditional employer-employee relations. They will also play a fundamental role in giving their team members a new sense in the work they do through specific projects.
“As Interim managers, to carry out a project successfully, they will need to be fully dedicated. To pulse the project, to feel it. Achieving this successfully, will give them a strong feeling of self-empowerment. And self-empowerment will become increasingly important in the future of our economy.”
License to speak up
In most situations, as Michel believes, the challenge for Interim Managers will be immense. In front of them, the Board of Directors will probably be awaiting a tangible and rapid return on investment. However, whereas their mission will be on the short term, their vision will have to extend to a longer term. “The first challenge will be for the temporarily involved managers to get a real license to speak up. To clearly state what’s not working and needs to change”. For people, organisation and strategy”.
Coaching the Board
In a fast moving, digitalised economy, many board directors and company owners risk to get lost. In front of them, the hired “special forces” will need to adopt a frank but constructive, coaching attitude. “They will have to reinsure and awake all at the same time.”
For Michel, the next decade will provoke a lot of shocks amongst boards and employees. “There will be no place for any form of vanity anymore.” Senior people within companies who have been working in the same place for 15, 20 years lack both hard and soft skills. A substantial part of this layer of the working population will have to build a second career as independent consultants or managers. Time has come to act humble, go for a profound introspection and get new training where needed.
New management models
Yes, new management models will arise, strengthened by a collective form of intelligence.
What alarms de Kemmeter, are the very few initiatives taken in our universities and high schools so far to prepare the next generation for the big change. “The economic transition around the world will be very systemic, new societal models will arise in order to achieve economic, environmental and human sustainability. We urgently need to bring change-makers, experts, entrepreneurs and young leaders together to cooperate and exchange strategies, giving them the skills to bring the Systemic Economy to companies, universities, organizations and society as a whole”. The next generation entrepreneurs and product-services still have to emerge…”. We are in front of the biggest shifts in history - but very badly prepared.
A key factor will be the aptitude to bring different generations closer. “People with decades of work experience can play a key role in helping younger workers to contextualise each situation, whereas the young digital natives, interconnected by design, will play a very useful part in helping the “older” generation entering the digitalized world”.
10 assets of the Interim Manager of the future
To conclude, Michel draws the portrait of the successful Interim Manager of the future, high profiles who will really make the difference for organizations which will hire them, through their ability to:
- create an inclusive work environment with a personal sense of leadership, discernment and persuasion force, as well as communication skills.
- involve internal and external stakeholders to the organization
- create business models which offer economic and human resilience
- rapidly map risks and opportunities within an organization’s system
- motivate talents within the organization through challenging projects
- make diversity work effectively
- create a stronger coherence between talents and projects
- deliver smart work through their technological skills
- create working spaces focusing on the people and their projects, in a collaborative way
- serve common progress while tackling the issues