Adaptation in Interim Management

First day in my new role as Interim CIO. Official welcome, introduction of the team, allocation of the seat and IT material.

Before the start of the mandate, a lot of details are organised, the area of responsibility is defined as well as possible and the situation is discussed. The infrastructure to be used is never actually discussed, as it corresponds to the "state of the art".

As an Interim Manager, however, you only have a very limited amount of time to achieve something. Impact per unit of time is the KPI I set myself, or also ROIM (Return on Interim Management). From this perspective, efficiency is an important success factor and therefore the choice of software tools to be used is relevant. In addition, an Interim Manager often brings a great deal of knowledge from the past, which he should ideally be able to access for his mandate.

However, as CIO (even if only on an interim basis), you also have a role model function. IT regulations apply to all users, and therefore certainly also to the management.

Many companies now use the typical Microsoft technology stack (Office365, OneDrive, Outlook, etc.). This often also enables access to personal data, which may be useful. In addition, most users (like me) are familiar with the handling of the applications.

With other technology stacks, on the other hand, it takes a certain amount of familiarisation, or a certain amount of ingenuity if the mandate is short. For example, one of my clients was still using Lotus Notes (OK, it's been a while). Here I stretched the flags and set up a parallel world with Outlook. In the end, this was more productive than having to learn everything from scratch.

I struggled with Google Workspace (Gmail/Calendar/Docs/Sheets/Slides, Google Drive, Google Cloud Platform) in the beginning, especially because I missed the familiar Outlook environment for writing emails (writing emails is still one of the main parts of my work). In the meantime, however, I've become a friend of Google's tools. Especially in the area of collaboration, this solution is ahead of the rest in my opinion.

Other infrastructure issues (individual or shared office, meeting room, canteen, car park, etc.) are never actually discussed before a mandate, but they certainly have a certain influence on the Interim Manager's performance.

For the Interim Manager, the motto in this case is "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Special moves are inappropriate in this case and it is important to internalise the culture of the company and not isolate yourself. Ultimately, we Interim Managers act through our teams and the best way to lead them is through inclusion. This certainly requires the Interim Manager to adapt to the new environment at first, but the advantage is "belonging". This aspect is invaluable for achieving the goals set.