"Interim management has excellent potential in Norway"

Jon Erling Tenvik has been in management for more than three decades. In the 1980s he served as an officer in the Norwegian Navy on frigates and patrol boats. He is now changing course as an interim manager. "There is still plenty of work to do in order to communicate the benefits of interim management, Tenvik says.

Tenvik trained at the Norwegian Naval Academy and INSEAD and has extensive management experience from the finance, technology and maritime sectors. He has been a Director of Investments at Storebrand and has also managed a private shipping and investment company. From 2004 he was managing Mercuri Urval's executive and board activities in Norway, until 2010 when he took over as the Director of Corporate Finance at Handelsbanken.

Hired as an interim manager in a Norwegian tech company

Tenvik is currently an Associated Partner and Consultant at FIRST HOUSE and holds various board positions, including the role of President of the Norwegian Reserve Officers' Federation. During the last 3-4 months he has been actively employed by InterimLeder to assist a Norwegian tech company in the commercialisation and internationalisation of their business.

"The company has spent a lot of time and money to develop products and solutions that are technologically world class. Together with the rest of management I am working to commercialise the company and we are running ahead of schedule," says Tenvik, who started the assignment in March.

"In order to ensure impact, an assignment should not have a duration of less than three months. On the other hand, if the assignment runs for more than six months the company should really consider getting a more permanent solution in place, unless it is a case of a generation change in which the business is being sold."

The advantage of being part of InterimLeder's staff

Tenvik has previously taken on management for hire assignments but he has no doubt that it is a massive advantage to be part of the InterimLeder database:

"The advantage of being part of the InterimLeder staff is that you do not have to spend your time looking for new assignments, they do it for you. This means that when you are on assignment you can focus 100% on delivery quality," Tenvik reflects.

"I have worked in the finance industry for a number of years and there are two things about InterimLeder that I consider to be really impressive. One is that they are very committed to delivery quality, something they are extremely zealous about. The other is the speed at which they fill an assignment, from an assignment coming in until the person is at the client's door. Recruitment processes can often take 3-6 months but InterimLeder manages to identify relevant resources who can start the job within just a week.

Interim management as a subject

Tenvik believes that there is still work to be done to make interim management better known throughout the country:

"Interim management is an extremely complementary management mechanism in specific parts of the life cycle of a company. It is reasonably well known among some but there are plenty more people than those familiar with the concept who could benefit from giving it a try. I still believe that there is potential for communication," he says.

"In particular there are two things that should be communicated. One is the flexibility that the client has by hiring an interim manager for a period rather than taking on a permanent employee. The other is the joy of finding out how much experience the typical interim manager has, often from many different industries and various positions within a company. The company benefits from this experience and retains this knowledge after the interim manager has left."