A little less conversation, a little more action
After completing his last interim management assignemnt, Tor Erik Westvik was offered a permanent position. He politely declined the offer. An administrative role was not his cup of tea. Action is what he needs!
"One of my first interim management assignments was offered to me by a board member who called me and said: "Tor Erik, I am a member of a company board - we don't know if we're making or losing money. Can you help us?" You might be thinking: "Is that possible?" But that is actually what happened," says Mr. Westvik.
From manager to consultant, responsible for line management
With over 20 years of experience of international management roles in the field of economics and management, in everything from small start-up companies to multinational conglomerates, he has been out in the cold before and strategic financial management is an intrinsic part of his nature.
"I started working as a consultant in 2007, but I received a taste of interim management while working for companies which have real requirements and want to do something. You are more or less like a hired consultant, but the difference is that you are responsible for line management. You do not just provide advice. You also have to find out what needs to be done and then do it within a limited period of time. This provides you with great motivation and the desire to complete whatever you are working on," reflects Mr. Westvik.
Working for InterimLeder
Tor Erik Westvik believes that being part of the InterimLeder team is an asset and he now working for the subsidiary of a large international group.
"They have grown considerably during the last three years and now have a great opportunity to acquire market shares in Norway. I have been hired to put financial management systems in place which could help the company to make beneficial, conscious decisions about their choices of strategy and investment areas and about how to follow up to see if they are on the right track", says Mr. Westvik.
"The reporting instructions we receive from the parent company mean nothing for local operations. We need to find management systems which will work well at local level. This also applies to the way in which the customer base is divided up. When the parent company discovers a new industry and says: "We need to get involved here", without knowing if that would be the right thing to do in Norway, then it is my job to tell them."
Foreign experience valuable for Norwegian recession
Some of the current trends we are facing include constant increases in international trade and the recession which has hit the Norwegian oil and gas industry.
"During the last 30 years Norwegian trade and industry has enjoyed a period of prosperity while the rest of the world has experienced both recovery and recessions. Managers with experience of periods of recession on the international market will be worth their weight in gold now that it looks as though Norway is about to face tougher times.
Start-ups should invest in part-time interim managers
Another trend includes the considerable increase in value added which is becoming prevalent among small start-up companies here in Norway. Mr. Westvik has the following advice for companies such as these:
"The founders of such companies should consider hiring interim managers. Their budgets will probably not cover a full-time position, but an experienced interim manager can do more in a 20-40% job than a less experiences financial manager can do in a full-time one. That is something to think about," concludes Mr. Westvik.