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Interim management challenges according to Daniel Debus

Interim management challenges according to Daniel Debus

« Identifying business and internal organisation’s needs rapidly »

Daniel Debus, you are an interim manager for four years now and you work with the interim management company Delville Management on a regular basis. You have been HR director for twenty years, in many different industries. You have worked nine years in the aeronautic industry and eight years in the automotive industry.

 

What is your position?

I am an HR director and an Interim Manager.

 

What sectors have you principally worked in?

I have mainly worked in the electronic, electrotechnic and mecanic industries, as well as the banking security, telecommunication, aeronautic and automotive sectors. In my role as an HR Director and Interim Manager, I have spent the past four years working in banking, IT, valorisation and food delivery.

 

How did you come to work as an interim manager?

By opportunity rather than by opportunism – the firm I worked for went into receivership, and were bought back by an Indian group, which was a very bad move for the company. This reinforced my belief that we are in an increasingly shifting business universe.

Contracts, regardless if they are full- or part-time, are increasingly uncertain nowadays. An experience a few years ago gave me my first taste of what interim management is as an HR Director. I have never looked back.

 

How do you adapt to the specificities of interim management?

My degree in IT (Control Data Institute) and HR (3rd cycle IGS Paris) has enabled me to have a ‘process’ and ‘process quality’ approach. It allows me to identify the business and internal organisational needs at a glance, as well as their counterparts and their ability to contribute and to evolve.

 

How long does it take you to become operational when taking on an interim management assignment?

I generally give myself one to two weeks to get a general overview of the internal functioning challenges, and where I need to intervene.

 

What obstacles do you usually encounter during your interim management assignment?

Mainly conservative orthodoxy and a lack of cohesion in the steering committee. This is usually the source of a lack of involvement at intermediary levels.

I have often taken on interim management assignments in highly-challenging environments, where the group direction had stagnated.

 

What is your success rate when it comes to the achievement of your interim management assignments’ objectives?

My success rate is very high. Regarding the actions directly falling under my responsibility, in the time limit I have been given, I have always earned the total amount of my variable compensation. With regard to the appointment suggestions, along with the reorganisation recommendations, my success rate exceeds 95% within the six-month period following the end of my interim management assignment.