Interview with Steven Brillant, CEO at Victor Buyck Steel Construction
In recent years I have witnessed a great evolution in the use of interim management. I also started at Victor Buyck as interim transformation manager and became CEO after a year and a half, but this was not planned. At the moment, I have been active as CEO of Victor Buyck for four years.
Four years ago, we started introducing Interim Managers into the family business, which Victor Buyck still is, to cope with long-term absences (maternity leave and exceptional cases of burnout). We were looking for profiles with a similar level of skills.
Today, the situation has changed a lot: I now consider Interim Management as a way to introduce certain high-level skills into a company very swiftly Interim Managers give a dynamic edge in challenging situations such as digital transformations or wide-scale change processes. Currently we are going through such a big transformation at Victor Buyck. In these types of situations, it is also important not to have a history in the company in order to be able to evaluate things from a new perspective.
Furthermore, an independent professional can say and do things which an internal person wouldn't be able to say or do. He can question decisions which have been made just because "it has always been decided like that". Another plus point is that Interim Management is not a threat to existing managers. lt is this combination of no history and no future that, in my opinion, makes Interim Management extremely valuable and complementary in a modern organization. As an Interim Manager, you are also part of the team and the solution, whereas a consultant gives advice and questions plans or decisions which have been made.
We also use Interim Management to connect independent experts to the company for a short period of time: for instance experts who cannot be afforded in the long run or who are not be interested in working in a family business permanently for various reasons. For example, we currently have an interim ERP program manager on board for the implementation of a completely new ERP, including defining and reviewing our business processes.
Experience shows that it is important to have an Interim Manager who communicates smoothly and invests sufficient time in preparing this communication. In addition, the Interim Manager should not be too young. He/she must have enough experience to speak with expertise of the facts in order to build up sufficient support in the organization - and this in a short period of time.