At Flintlock we see the exciting opportunities that Interim Management presents to transform business performance.
We are marketers not classic consultants. We have spent the last twenty years working client-side, delivering strategy through to execution. Most marketing consultancies will take a brief then disappear for six to eight weeks before providing a strategic perspective and a few complicated charts.
Our unique ‘outside in’ approach provides pace and flexibility. We are prepared to embed ourselves within a business and co-create with teams to build momentum, deliver at pace and transform performance.”
Flintlock Director Graham Appleyard brings significant experience, having worked at a senior level in consumer marketing, shopper marketing and customer marketing in brands ranging from global name through to regional and local teams. He was recently brought in to work with Dulux Decorator Centre, as an interim professional.
Graham says: “I have been interim Customer Marketing Director for Dulux, while they wait for the new director to come in. I’m doing it on two days a week and I’m there to guide and help – to be a sounding board so it doesn’t take up someone else’s time. My job is to focus on the key things. To start with we were asked to define their customer proposition – what do they stand for and what makes them different from the competition. That was a three month project.”
Graham is on a mission to add value by helping to identify and address needs in a changing marketplace and organisation. He is not interested in just keeping the ball rolling until a post is filled, but is all about delivering skills critical to future growth and success.
He explains: “Often those in the business don’t have the time or the energy to focus exclusively on one problem. Having an interim can seem like a luxury but it stops people hiding behind what they want to hear and know and, instead, it can open things up to make a real difference in terms of performance.”
At Dulux, Graham took the proposition work and wrote a clear and simple, one-page brief. With this brief he worked with an agency to create work that could be used online, in store and in window displays, to explain to customers how Dulux Decorating Centres have moved on and changed, what they now stand for, and what’s great about them. “It was about rolling up our sleeves, and centering everything on that important, clear agency brief”, explains Graham.
Fellow Flintlock Director, Tasha Gladman has a similarly impressive track-record for interim management and consultancy across the industry, having had senior interim roles at B&Q, Co-Op and Boots. In each situation she has focused on spotting gaps and pulling in the rest of the team to fill them. Like Graham, much of the work she has done has centered around critical change.
“Experience is everything”, she explains. “If you’ve done something before you can recognise it and do something about it. I have worked in lots of different businesses – across both FMCG and Retail, which gives me unique insights. I can pull on the really good strategic level of excellence that comes from the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and apply it in a practical way with the pace required in Retail.”
All of our biggest projects at Flintlock have come from taking on an interim role – we are filling a gap, even we approach it more strategically. It could be a recruitment gap or a capability gap but, as an interim manager, permanent employees understand that the interim’s role is not only temporary also likely more challenging about getting things done. This makes the employees more comfortable about engaging with the interim and the process, and allows our team at Flintlock to drive real change.
“At the Co-op we focused on the fundamental building blocks”, explains Tasha. “It was about putting a new organisational design in place and a clear governance structure to make the team work more effectively. One of the team members at the Coop said she couldn’t believe the speed with which I assimilated all of the challenges and problems and knew, instinctively, how to fix them. That comes from having done it several times before.”