New report highlights that agile, skilled and highly adaptable transformation leaders are essential in a dynamic and international business environment.

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Interim and transformation leaders have worked on assignments covering 91 per cent of the globe, that's according to the findings of The WIL Group's (1) first ever global interim leadership survey (2).

The research showed that these top level executives have worked in a total of 178 countries. And almost three quarters (72 per cent) of assignments had an international component, with the majority of respondents spending their time in another country, and many across multiple international locations.

France proved to be the highest ranked, in terms of assignment locations away from the executive's home country - standing at 32 per cent. This was closely followed by Germany (29 per cent), the UK (28 per cent) and the USA (23 per cent).

These executives operate at the top levels of an organisation and fit into two main categories - 25 per cent operating as CEO, and 23 per cent working on change and transformation roles involving project and programme management, restructuring and turnaround. In addition, 13 per cent work at CFO level and - unsurprisingly - there is strong representation of executives handling technology and digital programmes.

Over half (57 per cent) have worked as an interim and transformation leader for more than three years, and 19 per cent for more than 10 years. On average these talented business executives have completed seven different assignments, each lasting typically 10.5 months.

Approximately 20 per cent have a professional background with the world's largest management consultancies and professional services networks such as McKinsey & Co, Deloitte and KPMG. And, almost two thirds (64 per cent) have gained a master’s degree or equivalent.

WIL Group founding member and Managing Director of the UK member firm Russam GMS, Jason Atkinson, said: “The findings from our inaugural research indicate the high demand for interim and transformation leaders across the globe.

"The WIL Group's truly international footprint provides a single destination where businesses can source interim leaders who are able to work anywhere in the world. Clients benefit from experienced transformation specialists who possess both operational and consulting skills and qualities to run major projects."

Patrick Laredo, Chairman of WIL Group and CEO of the French based member firm X-PM, added: “Not only are we highly impressed by their international exposure and adaptability to different cultures and working environments but the high level of training, skill and experience of our interim leaders is commendable.”

The research also showed that a broad range of industries utilise interim and transformation leaders globally, but that it is dominated by the manufacturing and industrial sector - standing at more than two thirds (38 per cent) of all assignments; followed by technology/media/telecoms (TMT), retail & consumer, financial services and business and support services.

Clients are clear about why they want an interim and transformation leader. Over half seek fresh new ways of thinking or an external perspective with multi-country experience; and 23 per cent claim skills were not available locally or internally.

It is not all positive news, with 41 per cent saying that the biggest challenge is leaving friends and family for a prolonged period of time.

Sarah Bolton-Howard, an interim manager registered with WIL Group, said:
"Working in the global transformation space is an area that I am passionate about. I enjoy the challenge of applying my experience from my corporate and consulting career to address a diverse range of business and brand challenges for international organisations."


(1) Worldwide Interim Leadership (WIL)
(2) December 2015 - 2,066 interim and transformation leaders interviewed across 43 countries. Assignments covered 178 different countries - ranging from Andorra to Zimbabwe.

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