At times of major change, chairmen and CEOs often need an independent, rigorous and externally benchmarked perspective on the executives who lead their enterprises. Our leadership assessment is a competency-based evaluation of the top management. The outcome is a quantitative and qualitative, objective, neutral and professional evaluation of each leader, according to the strategic needs of the client’s organisation. Whilst getting to know the individual leader we also acquire useful insight into the organisation. Our observations, whether they are potential pitfalls, certain team dynamics or a unique, company cultural value that the client is not aware of, will also be part of our feedback.

We place an emphasis on the implications of the findings, rather than on merely providing a set of leadership profile reports. We aim for agreed conclusions and development of each executive, rather than simply supplying data. We plan to complete the process in a way where every leader involved, will recognize the process as being of great personal value and a positive experience, regardless of what the specific conclusion might be.

The selection of a CEO is amongst the most crucial decisions any board can make. It has a direct, immediate and significant impact on the organisation’s strategy, performance, reputation and shareholder value. Whilst most companies understand the importance, it is surprising how often CEO and senior leadership succession processes are left to the last minute and fail to deliver on the expectations of stakeholders. Our approach links succession processes with the organisation’s future success. We provide a framework in which the board and other possible key stakeholders experience a transparent and qualitative process and become closely involved in our structured and meticulous method of identifying and developing successors who will take the organisation to the next level.

Additionally, we carry out assessments of shortlisted external candidates, to show any ‘clear water’ between them and internal candidates. We then provide support to the board in selecting the final candidate.

It is crucial, that the CEO succession process leaves the organisation, and the leaders involved, engaged and inspired. Each leader should be left feeling the experience of the assessment was objective, personal yet professional, of high quality and of integrity. When the new CEO is appointed, one of our success criteria is that other assessed leaders see the conclusion as a natural outcome based on a fair and solid process.

Is your board best-in-class? This is a key question at the forefront of the minds of chairmen, board members and CEOs, when considering the effectiveness of their working relationships and the contribution each is making to the realissation of the company’s strategic goals.

Leading boards are beginning to transform their approach, ensuring the board and chairman are engaged in strategy, attuned to talent and regularly examine its own performance via an objective third party.

The Leadership Advisor Group will design the process together with you. Clients often want to do a complete qualitative review every 2-4 year. During this time, it can be beneficial to hold shorter reviews that can be used to follow-up on key findings and action points from previous year(s).

When working on a board review with us, based on our assessment, we will typically do several, or all, of the following:

  • Comment on whether the board is operating beyond compliance and risk management, taking the long-term view of the company and its business
  • Provide recommendation on board composition
  • Identify possible improvement areas to structure and processes
  • Deliver detailed and confidential feedback on individual contribution and provide individual coaching, if necessary
  • Develop a succession planning approach
  • Advise on how to increase team spirit, improve on-boarding, grow diversity of thought and develop the board’s relationship with top management
  • Bench-mark your board with the board of competitors or other selected best-in-class companies
  • Ensure board members feel enlightened, inspired, engaged and have been provided with the insight and tools necessary for contributing to a world-class board performance
25-40% of senior-level managers hired externally, or promoted internally, fail in their new roles within 18 months, often beginning in the first month. The costs to companies and individuals is huge – five times salary including bonus – and this is not taking into account disruption and non-tangible knock-on effects to the organisation. Successful integration can significantly aid the transition process by proactively alleviating potential risks, positioning new executives for success, accelerating their learning and preventing senior management turnover.

Common reasons for underperforming senior hires are:
► Misreading company culture and style – barricades go up, support dissipates and intelligence flow stops
► Mismanaging the personal transition (family and new community)
► Failure to understand before acting – coming up with answers too quickly resulting in bad decisions or organisation resistance
► Trying to do too much, too soon – missing commitments, alienating others, creating uncertainty
► Bringing in a new team too soon and polarising the company between the old and the new
► Taking too long to make key changes and being drawn into status quo – patience runs out

Our customized service provides accelerated transition and on-boarding support for executives over the course of the first six months – one year in new role. This typically involves:
― Aligning expectations between new executive and key stakeholders
― Building an organised framework of issues to focus on
― Creating a platform from which to understand culture, operations and organisational opportunities
― Positioning for short-term and long-term success by building a roadmap of action items based on key constituents
― Providing an assessment framework for monitoring progress and the effectiveness of transition

Our process sets up the new leader and organisation for success. We are the trusted advisor for the new executive, doing what it takes to assist him or her in succeeding in their role. At the end of the follow-up period, the executive will be performing at a high level, is intellectually and emotionally part of the organisation, has built relationships on the basis of trust and credibility and has made an immediate impact on the organisation, driving results while successfully navigating the emotional and cultural challenges of the transition.

One of the most commonly found characteristics of consistently successful organisations is that they develop highly effective teams and align individuals within them around value-adding goals. This clarity and alignment of vision must be supported by the appropriate attitude and behaviors to ensure the results meet expectations.

We work with clients to help build team performance that has a direct impact on business results and is sustainable over time. Our processes are built in collaboration with our clients but our efforts are typically focussed around shifting attitudes and mind-sets, enhancing decision making, collaboration and other vital teaming behaviors and, last but not least, creating best-in-class internal processes and sustainable internal capabilities committed to delivering a high return on investment. When our work is completed, each leader as well as the team, have already become more effective. Moreover, they have a clear plan and understanding of what they need to do in order to increase team performance even further.

Advising – new organisational structure:
We assess the current organisation structure and design a robust new structure, taking the client’s strategy and most valuable leaders into account. We don’t just design a new structure based on strategic priorities and critical operations of each function, business unit, region, or product, we ensure the client utilises and leverages their best and most suited leaders.

Advising – quality of succession plans and talent programs:
We evaluate succession plans and the talent management process, and provide an objective opinion on the quality of identification, handling and development of successors and talents in top management positions. We also, provide inspirational insights in how “best in class” looks like.

Advising – validating internal and external candidates in pipeline:
Based on our solid knowledge of the candidate market, combined with our many years’ of experience assessing leaders, we assist our clients in validating potential candidates for critical leadership positions.

Mentoring:

All our mentoring engagements are bespoke and adapted to the situation of the mentee’ and the company’s situation.

Our mentoring solutions are usually geared towards four distinct groups:
• Leader in a new challenging situation – this might be in a new role, in a new team, with a new superior or in a new cultural environment
• Leader in-between jobs, seeking relevant sparring from a top executive who understands the market
• Leader seeking inspiration and personal development
• Leader wanting to develop a non-executive career

The mentoring period is typically between six months and two years, with sessions held on a regular basis. We work with a number of individual mentors as well as organisations, who focus entirely on mentoring CEOs and board-level executives. Based on your particular needs, we will recommend what we consider to be the most suitable solution.