Delve into the evolving landscape of interim management and the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), featuring market insights and AI-related discussions

By Josh Blackman, Lisa Farmer, Daniel Harrison, James Hunt, Claire Lauder

We hosted our final Boyden Brief of the year in December 2023, during which we discussed market updates and had a dedicated conversation about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on our industry. In this summary, we'll provide insights from the AI discussion with the interim management community, along with the results of the poll questions.

AI: Challenges and Uses

AI, as in previous years, has been a major talking point as the understanding and use of this technology has grown. As such, we wondered what impact it will likely have on various industries that interims managers are working within.

AI has the potential to impact the way some routine tasks are executed significantly, and it can empower interim managers with data-driven insights, enhancing their ability to analyse complex scenarios swiftly. AI systems can also help monitor regulatory changes and compliance requirements, ensuring that projects adhere to legal standards and guidelines.  

Despite the rapid advancements in AI, its integration has raised concerns about ethical considerations. This has prompted the need for continuous adaptation and ethical frameworks. One of the major concerns is that AI systems can inherit biases from the data they are trained on or provided with. Additionally, some AI systems require significant amounts of data to function effectively, which raises concerns about the validity of the results they produce.

Interim Market Insights

As per the Boyden Brief tradition, we conducted a poll among our interim management community and looked back on 2023 to discuss market conditions.

For our first poll question, we asked interim managers about their activity levels this year compared to last year. We found that 58% of interims were busier or had the same activity levels compared with the previous year, which is encouraging.

During our conversation with the interim managers, we asked them about the primary reasons behind the interim roles they had worked on in 2023. According to their responses, the roles were evenly distributed across three categories: growth, turnaround, and transformation. However, in line with the challenges faced by senior-level interims, only 6% of them had worked on "business as usual" roles.

We then asked for feedback on the duration of interim roles so we could understand how long assignments had continued for 2023. We found that 80% of roles lasted for six months or more, which is consistent with the pattern we have observed when clients engage interim executives.

We finally asked interim managers to look into their crystal ball and make some predictions for activity levels in 2024. Against a backdrop of sluggish growth, stubborn inflation, and a looming election, the majority of interims believed that the market would be busier in 2024, with 52% predicting an increase in activity levels, while 41% thought that activity levels would remain the same.

The interim management community is feeling optimistic about the market conditions as we approach 2024. It remains a key resource to enable change and transformation in organisations whilst facilitating growth.

After an interactive session, the consensus was that AI has the potential to be a positive tool for the interim management market. It is currently being utilised in the area of cybersecurity, offering significant benefits such as insights, trend analysis, skill development and risk assessment. However, as the interim management market is heavily reliant on relationships, AI still has a long way to go before it can become a trusted tool to help interims find their next assignments.

If you are operating as an interim manager and would like to join the next Boyden Brief call, please email

If you or anyone in your network are seeking interim management support for a business or organisation, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team directly at 020 3651 6993 or visit

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