Interim stories: Q&A with interim HR Director, Kyriacos Kyriacou

6 June 2023

In our series, Interim Stories, we sit down with interim managers from our community to hear about their careers, lessons learned and hear their thoughts on the industry. Today we’re speaking to interim HR Director, Kyriacos Kyriacou…


Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you into a career in interim management?

It’s fair to say that being an interim is a lifestyle choice. After over 33 years in corporate life – the last 25 years as an HR Director – I did feel comfortable to move into a riskier work environment and to have a better work-life balance. My modus operandi is to work hard full-time for around 8 months of the year, then to spend the rest at my house in Cyprus – or anywhere else abroad!


What, in your opinion, is the best part of a career in interim management?

The flexibility to work when you want to as long as you have an active life outside of work.


And, the worst part?

If you can’t live with a diet of both famine and feast around earnings, then being an interim may not be for you. That’s why I left it until I was in my mid-50s.


Why do you think you’ve been successful in your career?

You need to turn your hand to all areas of HR and Organisation Design (OD). My last four assignments have been very different. From culture change to workforce efficiency/productivity to TUPE/merger/consultation to integrated whole systems care. It helps having been a generalist in the past.


What do you think makes a great interim manager?

Gravitas in operating and going eyeball to eyeball with corporate directors if you have to. Remember HR and OD is mostly grey and apart from employment law there is no right or wrong answers.


Are you an early bird or night owl?

Maybe an age thing, but starting early is when I have my best thinking time and then trying to finish on time.


Who inspires you?

I read a lot on management science, but ultimately it is the phrases, sayings and the poems of the ancients (Greeks of course!) that really understand human nature and that never changes over the ages.


What do you see as the biggest opportunity within your industry?

Within HR/OD we cannot underestimate the fallout of work that is to come from the Health and Care Act 2022 which makes fundamental changes to the NHS around commissioning and spending at a local level.


What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Study hard at interviews and understand your interview panel.


What’s next?

After my current assignment all I can think about is having a splash fight with my grandchildren at the beach in Larnaca, Cyprus. I will be retiring from paid work this year.


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