Selecting the right leader for the times
A head of business was being recruited to scale-up & significantly raise operational effectiveness following a highly successful start-up led by an exiting entrepreneurial leader, who had been less focused on consolidation & sustainability.
The challenge was enabling those part of the decision-making process to recognise & value the different capabilities required to deliver the next organisational stage & not focus on the highly attractive characteristics possessed by the existing head of business. The CEO & GHRD requested additionally that anyone unsuccessful in the selection process, should continue to talk well of the business & the process they had experienced. LQ would take this as a given, but it was particularly important in this sector where everyone knows everyone else.
The assessment process:
- Personal contact with each potential candidate, making them very much partners in the process & of the data
- Assessment through interview & mutual exploration of web-delivered psychometric measures
- Grid against the critical capabilities together with suggested questions was presented to the organisation's interviewers for them to explore in their interviews with candidates - this was much appreciated!
- Resultant thinking subsequently used to integrate & develop the successful candidate
- Candidates less suited to the role identified that this was the case during the process
- Unsuccessful candidates identified their next steps &/ or development required to achieve their career aspirations - to our pleasure, two of the three other candidates secured roles more suited to them within the next six months
The candidate who went on to substantially re-position the business is about to move to a new role three years later which is designed to position him to be a serious contender for succession to the CEO
We were successful because we:
- Responded with urgency to rescue the initial process which was flailing
- Understood the change that was required to deliver sustainable organisational success
- Partnered the candidates involving them as much as possible at each stage
- Used psychometrics as a discussion vehicle, not as ‘truths'
- Provided questions that would elicit relevant information-rich responses from the candidate
- Identified with the successful candidate where they shone & where they needed to focus in the new role
- Worked with each candidate on ‘what next’ for them
'Caroline has deep knowledge and understanding in the field of leadership assessment including of CEOs, and significant international experience and adjusting her approach to different cultures. Her insights and judgments are always presented with great clarity and extreme accuracy.'
David Longbottom, Chair of Board of Governors at London South Bank University
‘Caroline provides sharp and focused insight crystallising the key issues that impact on what are often multi-million $ decisions to be made regarding senior people and teams, accelerating personal development actions and delivering enhanced performance. She does not dodge the often difficult and challenging conversations.'
Russell Taylor, HR Director at Associated British Foods