Category Archives: News

To turnaround sales companies – nine pieces of advice on how to succeed

Nordic Interim, in collaboration with Owe Wedebrand (Executive Interim Professional), has accumulated over 25 years of experience in turning sales companies and summarizing these in nine pieces of advice. The advice is based on real experience, from operational leaders, each having more than 25 years of experience and successfully turning several sales companies.

 

More in our Newsletter March 2018 – only in Swedish.

9 goda råd för säljbolag

Nordic Interim – new partner to Women’s Board Award

Den 14 mars 2018 delas Women’s Board Award ut för sjätte gången i Sverige. Det prestigefyllda priset går till landets främsta kvinnliga ordförandekandidat och som partner har Nordic Interim den stora äran att vara med i urvalsprocessen av årets kandidater.

Bakom Women’s Board Award, och även Chair of the Year, står norrmannen Gunnar Eckbo med bolaget Styreinformasjon AS.
De prestigefyllda priserna har delats ut till en rad prominenta styrelseprofiler sedan början av 2000-talet och nu det dags att kora 2017 års vinnare i såväl Sverige och Norge som Finland och Danmark. De svenska kandidaterna nomineras av en namnkunnig jury, efter ett omfattande och mycket inspirerande researcharbete av oss på Nordic Interim.

Tidigare vinnare av Women’s Board Award Sverige
2016 Eva Elmstedt (se bild)
2015 Lilian Fossum Biner
2014 Marianne Dicander Alexandersson
2013 Cecilia Daun Wennborg
2012 Lena Olving

Women’s Board Award 2017 Sverige delas ut under högtidliga och festliga former på Handelshögskolan i Stockholm den 14 mars 2018.
I juryn sitter några av Sveriges främsta styrelseproffs, däribland Kia Orback Petterson, Magnus J Johansson, Sven Hagströmer och senaste vinnaren; Eva Elmtstedt.

Fakta om utmärkelsen
Women’s Board Award går till den bästa kvinnliga ordförandekandidaten till stora bolag, noterade eller onoterade. Kriterier för att bli nominerad i Sverige:
– Kandidaten ska ha haft ledarerfarenhet för en egen division eller linje med resultatansvar i ca fem år.
– Kandidaten ska ha erfarenhet som styrelseledamot i stora företag >700 miljoner i omsättning i sammanlagt ca tio år.
– Kandidaten ska ha stark anknytning till Sverige.
Kvinnor som redan har ordförandeuppdrag kan i regel inte nomineras, om det inte rör sig om mycket små bolagsstyrelser.

Innovation for a sustainable future

Husqvarna sees an increased need for flexibility in its business model and wants to contribute to a more sustainable society. Anders Johanson, CTO Husqvarna, gives us Husqvarna’s input to the question.  Read more in our News letter.

Newsletter 26 Nordic Interim

Anders Johanson Husqvarna SVP Group Technology Office & CTO Adjunct Professor Royal Institute of Technology, KTH

Husqvarna Group verkar i en spännande tid. Förändringar i konsumentbeteenden, nya kanaler för kundrelationer, lärande och försäljning, samt nya digitala tekniker och en acceleration mot ökad batterianvändning påverkar marknadens dynamik och därmed koncernens strategi. Företaget ser ett ökat behov av flexibilitet i sin affärsmodell. Hållbarhet är viktigt för kunderna och företaget, oaktat att det inte längre är en valbar fråga. Här har Husqvarna möjlighet att tänka i nya banor för ökad konkurrenskraft, och samtidigt bidra till ett mer hållbart samhälle.

Vilken roll spelar innovation i er strategi?
––Vårt mål är marknadsledarskap 2020, med utgångspunkt i ett innovationsledarskap. Innovation och förmågan att anpassa sig till förändringar har gjort oss framgångsrika i 330 år, men en sak som skiljer nu mot förr är att vi i allt större grad konkurrerar i olika ekosystem, där framgång bygger på nya typer av partnerskap, med såväl stora företag som mindre, ”agila” företag. Vi måste testa såväl ny teknik som nya affärsmodeller samtidigt som vi kombinerar en hög grad av kreativitet, disciplin och snabbhet i beslut, för att lära fort och hitta framgångskoncept.

Vad gör ni konkret?
––Sedan i somras, har vi i Stockholm testat ett nytt koncept som vi kallar Batteriboxen. Vi gick från beslut till test med kunder på 6 månader, genom ett partnerskap ”peer to peer” med stora och små företag. Med Batteriboxen testar vi en ny affärsmodell som bygger på att hyra batteriprodukter per dag, allt genom en digital tjänst. Projektet har gett oss viktig kunskap av delningsekonomin genom att våra kunder fått testa tillgång till klimatsmarta produkter och tjänster på ett nytt sätt.

––Ett annat exempel är GARDENA smart system som vi även lanserat i Sverige i år. Här möter vi kundernas önskemål om en perfekt klippt och bevattnad trädgård. Smarta sensorer, bevattning och gräsmatteskötsel, när som helst, var som helst, allt samlat i en app. Med GARDENA smart system får kunderna en unik överblick över sin trädgård och individuellt anpassad skötsel med ett utnyttjande som optimerar både energi- och vattenåtgång.

Vilka utmaningar har ni framåt?
––Vi fokuserar på olika komponenter som krävs för vår omställning. Detta innefattar kreativa områden som ovan med ny innovation i olika miljöer, men även områden av helt annan karaktär. I den digitala ekonomin ställer våra kunder förändrade krav på tillgänglighet och snabbhet och därmed vår produktlivscykelhantering (PLM). Detta berör såväl digitala kanalstrategier, produktdata- och masterdata hantering samt områden för utveckling i vår försörjningskedja. Att utveckla vår förmåga inom områden som dessa blir viktigt för att snabbt kunna skala upp innovationer i den digitala ekonomin

Husqvarna Battery Box

 

Gardena Smart System

An evening with our interim managers

We invited our interim managers for a social gathering with a lecture at HOBO in Stockholm on 10 October.

It was a really nice evening with an interesting discussion about breaking new ground. The number of participants reached a new record. We were pleased that we managed to get Anders Johansson, CTO at Husqvarna, to come and tell us about Husqvarna’s innovation journey.

 

Six tips to succeed in a Post-Merger integration

In newsletter as well as through press releases we are constantly greeted with the news that company A has acquired company B. The future is always painted bright as to the position the new constellation will conquer. The market welcomes the initiative and expectations are built.

 

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are often seen as a quick way to reach growth and there is often impatience from both the owners and the board to see the expectations realized. But when we hurry, things are bound to go wrong. Perhaps the acquisition was made upon the heels of a large cash flow and a sudden opportunity; perhaps it was done as a defensive move to minimize the competitors’ possibilities to improve their positions. Many companies, however, devote much time to their acquisition strategies before it is time to carry out the actual transaction. Management consultants perform extensive market analyzes and driving forces influencing the market are rigorously studied. The acquirer’s positioning is defined, the competition is analyzed, and other possible complementary acquisitions that would fit strategically are also thoroughly dissected. When it is finally time for the acquisition the board seeks the assistance of several experts for the transaction itself; auditors and corporate finance- and legal expertise. The whole acquisition process can end up costing the company a fortune.

Read more

Post-Merger tips – Nordic Interim

Celebrating the Executive Interim Manager

Annika Muskantor has 20 years’ experience within Executive Interim Management with assignments at, e.g., Sobi, Bisnode, Zodiak television, and Ebay/Tradera. Her latest CFO assignment was at high-tech Scienta Omicron for 20 months. Annika lives with a partner and has three grown-up daughters. Energy boosters in her life is being with her family, walks by the sea, trekking, skiing, sailing, and cooking. 

Interim CFO with a passion that lasts all the way
You are never better than the team you are building. That is leadership to Annika Muskantor. Change processes and innovation are what she’s passionate about, but the management mission Annika leaves to someone else.

In her profession as interim CFO, Annika Muskantor is often asked: How do you do it? Are you just stirring up some dust?
– As an interim manager, you cannot just ”stir up dust” or suspend decisions. I take all executive decisions as I see fit and stand by them. You should not take on an interim CFO assignment if you truly do not believe that you will leave behind strong organization. Your successor should be up and running quickly, says Annika.

Make use of the economists
Annika tell us that quite often the mood is low at the Finance departments when she arrives. Few talk to each other. Half has already left the company, the other half of the staff works with music in their head phones. It is important, according to Annika, to make the department an attractive workplace and a platform for the whole operation.

Sometimes the finance department is shunted off somewhere, because everyone else at the company think that they are a nuisance and keep on nagging for receipts and invoices. Then Annika moves the department, physically, to a more central position in the office where they better can interact with the whole organisation.

– Make use of the economists, they should not be tormentors, we have the tax authorities for that, she says laughing. The team should be strong, cooperate and have fun together. The finance department should be in demand by the organization regarding basically everything from sales support to forecasts, and contribute wisely to increase profitability. That is the sign of a successful CFO.

Value added 
The motivation comes from value building.

– The stockholders pay for my work. It would be wrong to invoice the client if I don’t deliver more than I charge.

Annika often recruits her successor, and many clients have asked her to stay. She is driven by the change processes, there are other managers better at everyday management. Annika’s focus is always on what the organization needs.

She emphasizes the importance of bringing in competent staff and then to trust them. But of course, she’s there as a back-up if something does’nt go as planned. Building a culture where employees dare to ask for help. As a manager, you are accountable – never throw your co-workers under the bus or take credit for their work. However, allow them to shine.

– I’m responsible if mistakes are made – it means I didn’t keep an eye on things. That is the responsibility of leadership and it’s downside.

Some assignments are turned down
It’s the passion that has taken her where she is today. Annika has selected projects she thought seemed interesting and fun, and becoming good at what she does. This has led to more and more interesting assignments. However, there are industries that Annika avoid, for example addictive products such as cigarettes or gambling.

Integrity and boundaries are important to Annika, her name is her trademark. If a company is one payday away from bankruptcy, that is a challenge to Annika. Then you need to run parallel sales support activities, saving programs, negotiate with banks and financiers – while cleaning up the books. However, she sometimes detects financial irregularities in the companies such as fraud and corruption. Then the assignment will primarily focus on cleaning and correcting in cooperation with the management and auditors.

– So far so good, but I would never accept being the front for unethical or illegal actions.

Safe recruiting
On occasions Annika has been hired by recruiters and sent to a client without them even meeting her prior.

– Nordic Interim’s professional recruiters are the opposite and they are not shy to find different kind of references. This makes me feel protected, and they do exactly the same with the clients. I have never experienced an assignment from Nordic Interim that turned out to be different to what I have been told. Which have happened with other recruiters.

The price tag of a career
Annika’s career has given her a lot of joy and she says this is the best job in the world. However, at a price – her children have had to grow up fast and from time to time she has worked a lot.

– But I have at the same time always been there for my children. Even in negotiations, if they call I answer. On the other hand, they have heard the phrase “mummy needs to work now” more than once.

Annika is not regretful about this, nor are her now grown-up daughters. They have discussed this a lot within the family.

– I believe that my hard work has taught them that as a woman you can follow your dreams and do what you want. I hope that they follow their passions to the end of the road.

Annika Muskantor, Executive Interim Manager

By Eleonor Björch Lowe

Nordic Interim continues to grow

We warmly welcome Mikael Forss as Senior Advisor at Nordic Interim. Mikael Forss has many years of experience in leading positions within healthcare and life science in both the private and the public sector. Mikael has been Strategic Director and CFO at Astra and AstraZeneca, Deputy Hospital Director at Karolinska University Hospital and CFO at Region Uppsala.
In the role of Senior Advisor to Nordic Interim, Mikael will, among other things, participate in the continued business development towards the public sector.
Mikael can be reached on phone +46 (0)70 737 39 95.

Pioneer Executive Interim Managers are breaking new ground

Nordic Interim invited Executive Interim Manager to an evening at the Nobel Museum on the theme of innovation. The participants, both in and between assignments, exchanged experiences and discussed their views on innovative leadership in an industry that continues to grow.

 In his opening speech, Björn Henriksson stated that the demand for successful professionals, capable of running time-limited, complicated projects only increases:
– You are all part of engineering a new profession, and I’m struck by the collective expertise in this room.

Problem-solving and creativity

The theme of the evening was innovation, and the Nobel Museum’s exhibition Idéer som förändrat världen (Ideas that changed the world) were presented to the participants at the event. The Nobel Laureates work in widely different fields, they often have more in common than one might think. Everyone received the price because they’ve solved a problem – hence creativity unites them. And hard work. Another theme in the exhibition was the importance of honesty, and that you cannot advance if you are too attached to your own theories.

– That caught my attention during the show, says Joakim Kedbrant, one of the participants, currently working on an interim assignment as Senior Program Manager Officer in the health care sector.

He tells us that it is a particularly complicated case, where several major stakeholders are involved.

– In my role, I just set the ground rules, that everyone need to follow, and to make sure everything is communicated to everyone. It is important to remain humble, especially initially you need to listen instead of telling how things should be done. Just listen.

Executive Interim Management – An adrenaline rush

Annika Muskantor emphasizes the importance of being curious and able to listen to succeed as an Interim Manager. After working 20 years in this sector, she should know. Right now, Annika has just completed a 20-month assignment as CFO at a high-tech company.

– It’s a bit of fun, my dad still asks if there isn’t anyone who wants to hire me, says Annika Muskantor laughing. But there are other individuals better at managing. I’m driven by change work and to create. My strength is to make things happen and I need to move forward. It is such an adrenaline kick to work like this, to constantly push myself and to gain new insights.

Annika Muskantor has chosen Nordic Interim because she believes they do the most thorough background controls in the industry.

– Nordic Interim is doing a solid job as it goes through both the company and the candidates. This is important because you often need to start an assignment without a proper handover. You may, e.g., need to replace someone that has fallen ill and need to leave the same day, she says.

Emerging trends in the industry

Many of the participants discussed industry trends and how they look at innovative leadership. What kind of skills will be required within the next few years? The forecasts are sweeping and abstract. The most obvious, and what most people seem to agree on, is that as a manager you must be prepared to adapt quickly and effectively to the occurring situation. Ossi Mörnesten is the interim CEO of an industrial service business and believes that the interim management industry is the future. Companies will work more and more in projects and acquire the skills needed specifically for a certain project.
– To me, an innovative leadership means just being able to face a market that is constantly renewing itself, says Ossi Mörnesten.