Lessons learned. PRIVATE SEARCHES.
Technology, the backbone of all acquisitions. A major European company active in healthcare looked for its new CIO. The position was critical to support the integration of existing entities as well as aggressive acquisitions in continental Europe. In a very tight market and unconsolidated sector talents were hard to come by. Thanks to close co-operation with the CEO we brought on board the CIO as well as his deputy.
A Copernican revolution in “Safety”. The Safety business is changing mostly by becoming more professional. Technology helps but the challenge is in the service delivery. Traditionally, safety came first and people second. Today, people are no longer “beneficiaries”. First and foremost, they are “customers”. For this major global operation dealing annually with millions of customers, we found the Director who could instill the new “client-centric” approach to safety.
Seeing the value, beyond the cost. A local player in the transportation industry looked for its new CEO. The Board assessed the final candidates with attention. One of them was clearly outstanding but too high in terms of compensation. Board members were ready to lose him for this reason until the President demonstrated how his expertise would eventually pay-off.
Being right not lucky, thanks to the Chairman. This energy company was looking for a new CFO as the previous incumbent was fired after the discovery of irregularities. Once the mission accomplished, the CEO left following strong diverging views with the Chairman. While this second assignment was being completed, the HR Director resigned, not willing to be part of the new team. The Chairman, once again, called for help to solve the issue. The 3 placements have been on board for years.
Beyond all what you have and you have done… This JV in telecommunication was looking for its new Chief Communication Officer. Among the 5 qualified finalists, the winner convinced the CEO by her ability to stand firm on her feet when challenged with hot topics. Unlike the others, she neither patronized nor got defensive. In some instance, personality is an asset.
Yes, a CIO can be a strategist! For the CEO of this global operation with 150+ countries coverage, it was clear that IS was a critical component for building the future. The CIO was expected to shape strategy together with the CEO. The candidate’s credibility was demonstrated by his ability to see beyond the role. Showing how he capitalized on his learnings when he successfully moved from Oil & Gas to Asset Management was the ultimate convincing evidence.
Sleeping on the IP goldmine. This multibillion global industrial conglomerate realized that revenues could be generated by selling some of the non-strategic patents. The newly created position was tasked to convince both the coporate lawyers and the engineers to review their conservative positions. After a thorough world-wide market investigation, we brought on board an Expert who eventually managed to book $ 30 mio of business in his first year of tenure.
Right person. Right place. Right time.
Respect. Reponsibility. Result.
Lessons learned. ADVISORY
Investing in building trust. When the Chief Purchasing Officer of this multibillion corporation got on board, it didn’t take him long to realize that his team was in disarray. Changing people and/or the org chart would have had little effect. He knew that he had to address a more fundamental issue: trust. We immediately conducted an in-depth study on the topic for him, covering Europe, the Americas and Asia. Out of the 13 behaviors we investigated, we identified the top 2 which gave him a solid foundation to rebuild pride and confidence.
Functional Alignment Produces Powerful Results. The Managing Director of this Private Bank was a born business developer. Marketing had difficulty to understand his initiatives and was not acting as an efficient sparring partner. We put in place a workshop involving Research, Advisory, Marketing and HR, together with the Front Team Leaders to define the strategy and go-to-market approach with a more coordinated spirit, by increasing buy-in and collaboration.
Money is not the Solution. The Owner of a local multimillion business wanted to put in place a succession program based on rewarding loyalty and encouraging responsibility. The intention was to implement an additional bonus scheme to instill a better engagement. After our intervention, it turned out that executives were more interested in working on the contents of their respective Positions as well as on the rationale of the Organization rather than receiving a “simple” monetary incentive based on discretionary (i.e. arbitrary) judgment.
A 360° experience. When a Senior Director of this financial partnership expressed his motivation to leave the Firm to become independent, he believed that time had come for him to know what people thought of him. Our 360-degree methodology was a precedent that never happed at that level. Constructive feedback to both parties allowed a positive transition and successful collaboration.
The CEO led a drastic governance and reorganization project which last a few years. The final phase was the building of the new Executive Committee made of selected members from two separate entities. Within 3 weeks and 150 hours of personal in-depth interviews, we managed to assess the candidates’ ability to think beyond their respective functional silo.
“Thank you for your precious and appreciated assistance. This has been a flawless masterstroke”.
Maximizing Experience – the CIO’s added Value
At the end of August 2011, we hosted a private working lunch with the CIOs of 4 world’s prestigious NGO (i.e. UNHCR, IOC, WEF, ISO).
The burning themes we discussed were:
> cloud hosting vs. virtualized own infrastructure;
> security (as to where data is hosted);
> how to adapt/change a legacy CRM system to follow a changing business environment;
> collaboration with stakeholders;
> information and knowledge management / organization; etc.
Aside from these familiar topics, a new subject surfaced related to their common reality, the “organization of world-wide events”. The question was, specifically, “how to maximize the experience of each participant before, during and after the event”.
This take-away opened of window on the future.
In the course of our exchange, we imagined that Chief Information Officers could become soon the new Chief Learning Officers and, who knows, eventually, the Chief Experience Officers of the futre. One day.
To be continued.