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Deeper Insights into the Facets of Interim Management with René Walpen

Updated: Apr 12

René has used his extensive experience in various senior management positions to influence different business areas. He has coordinated business development activities and led management reviews at the highest level to maximize staff productivity and minimize risks in various areas. His extensive experience in sales has brought him impressive results.  


His work style is characterized by agility and passion, benefiting from valuable experiences as an Executive Manager both domestically and abroad. René excels in several areas, including coaching leaders, successfully implementing transformation processes, and supporting employees in difficult situations. 

René Walpen - one of our Interim Manager in grey suit and white shirt
Interim Manager with grey background

We talked to René about what motivates and drives interim managers, we aimed to gain a clearer understanding of the core principles of interim management and the factors that drive individuals like him to thrive in such a field.

René, could you give us an insight into your motivation for dedicating yourself to interim management, and what your career path has looked like so far?

René Walpen: Certainly. My professional career has been characterized by various leadership positions in different sectors, where I have led a multitude of projects to success. About seven years ago, I decided to reorient myself towards interim management. This step was mainly motivated by the desire to strategically employ my extensive experience and skills to support organizations in phases of transformation and enable them to realize their ambitions.

What core competencies do you believe are essential for a successful interim manager from your perspective?

René Walpen: A successful interim manager must possess a broad spectrum of skills. Besides the essential ability to focus and structure projects, a pronounced openness is fundamental. The willingness to embrace new challenges and cultures, coupled with a deep curiosity, are crucial. Empathy and a solid understanding of a company's cultural situations are just as critical. It is of utmost importance that an interim manager is capable of listening, capturing needs, and leading the workforce through the change process. Moreover, assertiveness is required to implement changes against any internal resistance.

Can these skills be acquired through training, or are they more innate? 

René Walpen: Although certain personality traits may naturally exist, I am convinced that many of these skills can be developed through targeted further education and practical experience. The key to success lies in continuous personal and professional development and the willingness to learn from every experience.

Have particular experiences shaped your methodology in interim management?

René Walpen: In my career, there have been numerous formative encounters and projects. Specifically, those experiences where I could affect significant changes together with my team, which positively impacted employee and customer satisfaction, have significantly influenced my approach. These experiences have underscored the importance of considering all stakeholder interests and the collective pursuit of a goal.

How do you manage to quickly understand and motivate teams?

René Walpen: Effective collaboration and clear communication are crucial to quickly grasp and inspire teams. My approach involves first gaining a comprehensive understanding of the individual people and team dynamics. Awareness of and adaptation to the team's cultural context are essential to create a positive working atmosphere. Open dialogues and regular feedback enable us to define common goals and foster team members' motivation.

What added value do you see for companies that engage an interim manager?

René Walpen: Collaborating with an interim manager offers companies a multitude of benefits. In addition to extensive experience and an external perspective, they benefit from increased flexibility, cost transparency, and rapid access to professional expertise. Interim managers often bring innovative ideas and approaches that can be crucial in overcoming challenges and achieving company goals.

What are your predictions for the future of interim management?  

René Walpen: I see a very positive development for interim management. The demand for qualified professionals who can quickly integrate into new environments is continuously increasing. It is crucial that interim managers continuously educate themselves to meet the dynamic requirements of the economy. I am convinced that interim management will play a central role in the strategic orientation and transformation of companies.

How essential is networking for you, and how do you stay up to date in this area? 

René Walpen: Networking is central to my work and success as an interim manager. A well-organized platform for exchange is essential. For us, this is realized through an efficient Teams system that enables us to quickly and straightforwardly exchange with colleagues who have worked on similar projects or possess specific expertise. This direct exchange and the opportunity to seek advice are invaluable and contribute significantly to effectively overcoming challenges and continuously expanding our knowledge.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently a hot topic. How do you use AI in your work to become more efficient?

René Walpen: The use of AI is an integral part of my daily work. It's not just about keeping up with the latest technologies but using them strategically to optimize work processes. I use AI in various areas, for example, by employing advanced tools in ERP systems like SAP, CRM solutions like Salesforce, marketing via platforms like HubSpot, and video editing with Adobe Premiere. AI helps me better analyze data, make decisions faster, and thus significantly increase productivity and efficiency. It is crucial to continuously stay up-to-date with technology and fully exploit the potential of AI to meet the challenges and requirements of modern management.

How do you manage to maintain a balanced work-life balance?

René Walpen: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is of utmost importance to me. My key to success in this area is regular physical exercise. Sport serves as a crucial balance to stay physically fit. In addition, I place great emphasis on a balanced diet and sufficient sleep.

This combination allows me to tackle my tasks with full energy and concentration every day and consistently perform at my best. It is this conscious decision for a healthy lifestyle that helps me align the demands of my profession with my private life and remain performant in the long term.

Mr. Walpen, thank you for the interview.

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