Appointing the wrong person to head a company typically results in human, financial and economic disaster.
Who’s the right person? It depends for whom:
- for an investor in a hedge fund it may be a turn-around specialist, who fixes the numbers as quick as possible without regard to anything else
- for the owner of a family business it may be someone who does as he’s told and stays loyal
- for multinationals it may be somebody who is smooth, articulate, highly compliant, good at reporting good news and at managing up
In real life, there are literally thousands of scenarios, neither of which is ideal. The only common thread that is recognizable across all these is the sugarcoating. What’s more, since no two situations are identical, most people calling the shots on executive appointments are completely inexperienced and / or highly biased in the worst possible way.
There is a paradigm shift taking place in the “executive search business”. Currently the search part means absolute compliance with the given scenario: e.g. “Bring us another John“. The rest, the brand name of the search firm, the white papers they produce, their media presence, the thought leadership or the celebrity status of the consultant is just sugarcoating.
The search part may be done by an average 16 year old.
More and more decision makers share the view that there is a difference between the company as a mechanical entity and the organization, which is an organic concept: the company and the organization are not the same! This is where the paradigm shift is happening.
The role of the consultant who advises on executive appointments is to bring this understanding, as well as tools and perspective for successfully increasing the organicity in the company – with each new appointment.