At the EEF Conference, Jeremy Corbyn’s speech was particularly interesting around challenges facing the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors in the UK. One factor which Corbyn raised was the lack of skills available.
For many, there is a growing area of concern with the shortage of skills and talent, and it’s apparent at all levels within the Leadership Pipeline. I would argue there is an immediate talent solution available.
Could a senior Interim Manager help businesses develop existing middle management into the leaders of the future?
I've worked with interim executives where they've been used in a mentoring capacity for 3-6 months and the value added has been huge. An example of this comes from a conversation I had with a client to ascertain the impact an interim in my network had made on a previous assignment. The interim executive mentored the existing team, held them to account and helped problem solve on a key project. The client stated that this led to a factory restructure being completed six months ahead of schedule, with the principals learnt still in place today.
Each business that utilises an interim in this capacity is left with a high potential leader who now has had the benefit of working with someone who has thirty to forty years' experience. Not only have you developed your own talent, you should also have solved an exisiting problem.
This solution also leaves the opportunity for both parties to keep in-touch post assignment. Many interims I speak to are more than willing to put so much back into the industry they're passionate about, through mentoring and networking. Additionally, findings from a survey Boyden conducted consistently flagged ‘mentorship’ as a key factor in the journey to becoming a senior executive, providing additional benefit to the individual involved.
In conclusion, yes, the engineering and manufacturing sectors have a skills shortage and current challenges.
However, can the industrial sector better utilise their existing talent differently and more effectively? Could an Interim Executive help a business to develop their existing middle management into the leaders of the future?