- The exciting part happens before ordinary operations begin

Aksel Kverneland has found his career path as an interim manager. After twelve years he can look back on sixteen completed assignments. The majority of his time is currently spent on capacity expansions at Q-Meieriene.

"If you are hired as a Managing Director or Production Director on an interim basis you better score a few goals in the first 3-4 weeks in order for management to want to continue investing in you," Aksel Kverneland explains.

He should know. The civil engineer from Rogaland is currently undertaking his sixteenth interim management assignment and is enjoying the lifestyle.

"For me the excitement lies in being faced with completely new issues and reorganisation projects where I can make a visible contribution. Once ordinary operations commence there is nothing for you to do. There will be new challenges waiting for you elsewhere," he says.

Selling yourself

Hired out by InterimLeder AS in the role of technical manager for Q-Meieriene, Kverneland is responsible for production strategy and capacity expansion.

"The cooperation with InterimLeder is working very well for me. When you are out on an interim management assignment you will be one hundred percent focused and have no time to think about the next task. So it is nice to have the support of an organisation which will sell you to clients that require your specific expertise and profile," Kverneland explains.

Finding yourself

How do you become an interim manager? The transition was fairly natural for Aksel Kverneland. It all started in 2002 when he was the COO of AKVAgroup. The company needed to make serious cutbacks as a result of a collapse in the salmon industry. He was offered temporary employment as the Managing Director of the company next door:

"The assignment focused on the reorganisation of a production company in Jæren. I realised then that this is what I enjoy doing and what I am really good at," says Kverneland.

Satisfied clients

He has also held other roles, amongst others that of project director for larger project deliveries within offshore and retail.

"When you pack your box and leave the office after an interim management assignment many will say that they are satisfied with you. But when they come back later and want to hire you again, then they are really happy," Kverneland says.

Tips for budding interim managers

"An interim manager is constantly in the spotlight and has to deliver results for the duration. You need to be comfortable with this. If you are, the interim manager lifestyle will be exciting and incredibly educational," says Kverneland. 

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