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Issue 29 May 2015
Training the Board to Make Better Top Talent Decisions
C-suite talent decisions are a key factor in company performance. So why are many boards still getting it wrong when it comes to assessing executive talent, asks Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, senior adviser to Egon Zehnder, in the Harvard Business Review? The answer is simple: while directors tend to be experts in their own fields, they often lack the experience and skills required to effectively assess leadership talent. How can companies mitigate the risks of hiring the wrong executive? According to Fernández-Aráoz, training is the way forward. “C-suite appointments should not be made based on intuition or cursory evaluations,” he warns. Instead, he urges directors to: “commit themselves to learning and applying best practices for making the right hiring decisions.”
> Read the full story: Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, “Why Boards Get C-Suite Succession So Wrong” in the Harvard Business Review (15thMay 2015)
Tapping the Potential of Intrapreneurs
A growing number of ambitious employees eager to make a real impact and drive change are now choosing to innovate from within large companies. The rise of the intrapreneur marks an unprecedented push for staff to take ownership and create something entirely new within their organization, writes Alyson Krueger for youinc.com. The future belongs to individuals and companies who embrace this entrepreneurial spirit, say experts. To harness this spirit and tap the full potential of their organization, executives need to identify what will motivate and inspire people to make their highest contribution.
> Read the full story: Alyson Krueger, “The Rise of the Intrapreneur” on youinc.com (25thMay 2015)
CFOs: Leaving a Talent Diversity Legacy
A stronger focus on diversity in finance means that a CFO’s achievements are now often judged by who replaces them, writes Egon Zehnder consultant Çağla Bekbölet in Financial Director. “Increasingly a measure of success we apply to the CFO is the legacy he or she leaves behind, and a key part of that is to have at least one successor. If he or she is serious about diversity, there should be at least one female successor,” explains Bekbölet. She also urges individuals to adopt a more proactive approach to their careers to ensure that they gain the right experience, even if this means zig-zagging between roles. “Candidates of both sexes need to think more strategically about building their careers as a set of commercial experiences which, in the right combination, could take them to the top.”
> Read the full story: Çağla Bekbölet, “#FDYP 2015: Legacy of talent diversity crucial for a successful CFO” in Financial Director (20th May 2015)
Energy: Finding Value in the Energy Industry Boardroom
Shareholder activism in the energy industry continues to rise, but the impact on company returns is often short-lived once activists exit their temporary ownership positions. According to Egon Zehnder’s North American Energy Practice Head Steven Goodman, one way for boards to drive long-term improvements in company performance is through a board effectiveness review. In a video interview filmed on site at the recent 2015 CERAWeek conference in Houston with IHS’ Atul Arya, Goodman discusses a typical review, which provides recommendations on the structure, roles and responsibilities, as well as behaviors of each of the board members, and can help improve a board’s decisions around strategic scenarios, capital allocation, and CEO performance and succession. According to Goodman, boosting board effectiveness is one way for energy companies facing troubled times to achieve 10-20 percent value growth.
> Watch the full video: “Steven Goodman with IHS” (23th April 2015)
> More: Latest insights on the future of energy leadership: “www.egonzehnder.com/CERAWeek2015”