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Executive interim managers and consultants both provide professional services to organizations, but there are several key differences between the two concepts and they should be therefore used in different scenarios. 

Overall, the key difference between an interim manager and a consultant is that an interim manager is brought in to manage a specific project or department for a limited period of time, while a consultant is hired to provide expert advice and recommendation on a specific issue.

Interim Manager

An interim manager is an executive who is brought in to manage a specific transformation, project, or functional department for a limited period of time. Interim managers are experienced senior executives who have a proven track record from previous similar projects. They are responsible for the design, implementation, and lasting effect of their measures.


A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice and recommendation. Consultants are usually experts in a particular narrow field or industry, and they are contracted to provide specialized knowledge and expertise. Unlike interim managers, consultants are not responsible for day-to-day management, and they do not take responsibility for the implementation of their recommendations.

Key differences between
interim managers and consultants

Purpose and scope

An executive interim manager is typically brought in to manage a specific project or department within an organization for a limited period of time, whereas a consultant may be engaged to provide advice or recommendation on a specific issue or to provide ongoing support to the organization in various areas.

Level of involvement

An executive interim manager is hands-on and involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, whereas a consultant has a more advisory role in recommending what needs to be done.



An executive interim manager is accountable for the success of the project or the results of the department they are managing, whereas a consultant is accountable for the understanding of the problem and proposing solutions.


Interim managers are responsible for achieving specific goals and objectives, managing stakeholders, and leading team members in various departments. Consultants are responsible for conducting research and analysis and developing recommendations.


Seniority level

An executive interim manager is typically a senior executive with more than 20 years of managerial responsibility, often from international assignments. Consultants are very often recruited at prestigious universities without prior managerial experience.


Hands-on experience

Interim managers have extensive hands-on experience in their industry or functional area. They have a track record of managing teams, implementing change, and driving results. Consultants are experienced analysts, who present proposals in a very structured and user-friendly format.


Duration of project

An executive interim manager is typically engaged for a specific period of time, often ranging from a few months to a year or more, whereas a consultant may be engaged for a shorter or longer period, full-time or part-time, depending on the need.

Get in touch for a confidential discussion

Bohuslav Lipovsky

Managing Partner Global Operations

Temporary assignment

Both consultants and interim managers are brought in on a temporary basis to work on a specific project or assignment., and leave. Neither of them is looking for a job or planning to stay with the company as regular employee.

Specialized expertise

Both consultants and interim managers typically have specialized expertise in a particular area, such as strategy, operations, finance, human resources, supply chain, or marketing. They are both well-educated with latest certificates from specific areas.


Objective perspective

Interim managers and management consultants provide an objective perspective and out-of-the-box view on the issues the organization is currently facing, its root causes, and possible future solutions, as they are not full-time employees.


They are both very flexible, used to working in remote locations and spending long hours while traveling back and forth. They both adapt well to different situations, work environments and corporate cultures.


Both interim managers and consultants work to the highest industry level of professionalism and maintain strict confidentiality with regard to sensitive information obtained during the project.


Contractual relationship

Neither interim managers nor management consultants are employed by the client's company. They both work based on an independent B2B contract with a clearly defined scope, duration, remuneration, and termination options.


Free from internal politics

As they are both independent contractors, with no intention to build a long-lasting career or obtain a promotion with a salary increase, they are free from internal politics, the varieties of personal relationships, and expected behaviour. 

What do consultants and interim managers have in common

Overall, consultants and interim managers share many commonalities in terms of their approach to problem-solving and their focus on achieving specific goals within a defined time frame. However, there are also some key differences between the two roles in terms of their level of involvement in the organization and the scope of their responsibilities.

Cross-cultural Executive Interim Management. Worldwide

We design and implement individual project-based business solutions and together with our industry experts lead companies through transformations to unlock their full potential.

Our Managing Partner stands personally by your side from the project definition, evaluation of the interim manager, through the whole project, until completion, and hand-over, to ensure the agreed objectives are achieved and stay within your organization.

Our Executive Interim Managers have local or international backgrounds, they have studied, lived, and worked in various countries and go through rigorous evaluation processes following a methodology specifically designed for demanding cross-cultural interim missions.

Over the recent decade, we have performed hundreds of successful missions predominantly in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in Asia, the Middle East, and the USA.

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