Before you appoint your next executive ask yourself these 7 crucial questions (Question 3)

March 05, 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 and Question 2, click here. Below we examine Question 3

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?

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

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

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

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

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

Question 3

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

  • Do I have a process to capture the essential and desired capabilities for the role?

  • Do I have a process to identify preferred leadership styles and the impact areas expected of the appointee?

Consider the 3P’s of leadership styles: Professional, People and Pioneering. How should your role be weighted across these areas?

Professional: administrator, co ordinator, regulator, technician, intellectual, business advisor.

People: enthusiast, facilitator, inspirer, collaborator, persuader, consulter

Pioneering: catalyst, innovator, change agent, crisis handler, strategic opportunist, growth seeker.

Consider how and where the role should have an impact. Where is the emphasis?

Professional: service and product delivery, managed risk, expert reputation.

People: organisational commitment, successful teams, communication.

Pioneering: new products / markets, organisational transformation, organisational growth.

  • Have I created a role blueprint that includes capabilities, leadership styles and preferred impact areas?

  • Am I able to identify companies, sectors and geographies where the required executive capability may originate?

  • Am I open to explore possibilities and consider lateral movement from another sector where my existing and forthcoming challenges may have been encountered and surmounted?

  • Are these capabilities readily transferable from other sectors, or is it a domain-specific role?

  • Can I visualise the impact I want this person to have on my organisation within the next three years?

There is no point having a sharp machete if you are in the wrong jungle. Invest plenty of time upfront defining the requirements of the role. There are sound processes to get the stakeholder group involved and help everyone to come to a shared understanding of the role, from a leadership style to the preferred impact this role will have. Having a role blueprint in place at the outset of the process is key to risk mitigation.

Peter Tulau
Managing Partner AltoPartners Sydney