Before you appoint your next executive ask yourself these 7 crucial questions (Question 2)

March 02, 2020
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By Peter Tulau, Director at AltoPartners Australia

This article was first published via Peter’s LinkedIn Pulse Blog, to view the original article click here

Appointing a new senior executive is a major undertaking in any organisation. Get it right, and you’re a hero. Get it wrong, and the ramifications will reverberate from the board room to the bottom line.

For the deep-dive into Question One, click here. Below we examine Question 2

The Seven Crucial Questions

  1. Is my organisation attractive to top candidates, or do our practices inhibit success?

2. What led to this appointment, and what context will greet the newcomer?

  1. Have I clearly defined the role and the candidate pool?

  2. Are we sophisticated when it comes to sourcing and engaging the best candidates?

  3. Are we up to speed on best-practice when it comes to candidate assessment?

  4. How do I align the executive’s expectations with the company’s expectations?

  5. What should I consider when integrating the new executive?

Question 2

2. What led to this appointment and what context will greet the newcomer?

  • Is there a clear purpose for the role, or has it been driven by other, less obvious, factors?

  • Given this role is current, are there opportunities for a restructure or realignment?

  • Can I unwind some annoying legacy issues and project new initiatives into the future?

  • Do I have agreement at senior levels regarding the need for - and nature of - the role?

  • If not, how do I caucus the relevant internal stakeholders in a positive way?

  • What would be the implications of a unilateral decision on my part?

  • How would the stakeholder group describe the major challenges facing the role?

  • What are the values the stakeholder group would want to see in the incoming executive?

  • What are the transformation and change initiatives this role will drive?

  • What new capabilities will they bring and what impact do I envisage this will have?

  • What impact do I want this executive to have and why?

  • Have I considered each scenario and the ramifications for my team and the business?

Senior appointments are a cusp moment in organisational development, and they often bring opportunities for step change. On the flip side, it is not uncommon to see several strong streams running through an organisation’s culture, forged by successful executives who may be change resistant.

Consider the impact on this group in your decision making prior to this appointment. Undertake executive assessment on short listed candidates to secure the required insights to mitigate risk and focus your decision making.

Peter Tulau
Managing Partner AltoPartners Sydney