Christoph Wahl Practice Group Leader, Berlin
There are few comfort zones in today’s services marketplace. Even successful enterprises need leaders who will challenge the status quo and tirelessly innovate.
More than ever, growth and development of the global economy are shaped by Services businesses – a trend which will certainly persist. Egon Zehnder has defined a comprehensive Industry Practice Group to address the people leadership challenges in services-related businesses, be they consumer (B2C) or business services (B2B).
The past decade was marked by rising costs, tight credit, disruptive technology, innovative business models, new market entrants, and global economic uncertainty. Who can say what challenges you might face next? To survive and succeed, your entire enterprise must be sharp, nimble, and strongly customer focused. That starts with highly skilled, visionary leaders who foster a culture of teamwork, proficiency, openness, continuous change, and creativity.
The Services Practice at Egon Zehnder is your expert partner in systematically building your leadership talent pipeline. We tailor a range of proven capabilities to meet your unique needs.
What sets Egon Zehnder apart?
Deep Industry Knowledge
We appreciate that every services industry and each services enterprise has its own leadership challenges and talent priorities. To focus our deep knowledge and sector experience, our Practice is clustered to serve five global services industry segments:
- Transport & Logistics – Air Cargo, Air & Ocean Freight, Shipping, Harbors, Intermodal logistics, Logistics Solutions and Outsourcing, Land Transport & Freight Forwarding, Trucking, Cargo Railways, Parcel Couriers / CEP, Distributors, Postal Services, Environmental Logistics and Recycling, Fulfillment Logistics
- Travel & Hospitality – Airlines, Airports, Navigation Services, Cruise Lines, Hotels, Resorts, Casinos, Theme Parks, Tour Operators, Travel Agencies, Corporate Travel Services, Wholesale Travel, Online Travel, Car Rental, Cruise lines, Ferries, Public Transport, Travel IT
- Business Services / BPO – Facility Services, Cleaning Services, Security Services, Catering Services, Staffing Agencies, Conferences & Fairs, Maintenance & Repair Outsourcing (MRO), Engineering Services, Technical Testing and Inspection Services, Call Center Services, other Business Process Outsourcing
- Real Estate Services – Real Estate Development, Commercial Real Estate Operation, Shopping Center Management, Private Housing Property Management, Real Estate Brokerage, Asset Management, Facility Management
- Professional Services – Management Consulting, Accountancy & Tax Advisory, Corporate Finance & M&A Advisory, Law Firms, Private Education
Our industry knowledge is complemented by expertise in all major functional areas, including human resources, marketing, IT, legal, business development, strategic planning, finance, operations, sales, supply chain IT, supply chain product development, logistics, manufacturing, research, business affairs, and corporate communications. In addition, we offer deep expertise in industry-specific functions – for example, within the airline industry, in specialties such as network planning, revenue & yield management, and ground operations.
Bold Talent Strategies
Shifts in the services landscape are placing new and markedly more complex demands on your leaders. Our experienced consultants help you pursue bold new talent strategies. For example, we can work closely with you to infuse your organization with strategically vital leadership competencies such as change management, strategic orientation, developing organizational capability, and customer impact. We also help you to address new paradigms – for example, the digitization of the value chain or diversity and inclusion. We help you make better people decisions for critical roles, systematically increase your leaders’ readiness to take on bigger challenges, build a sustainable talent pipeline, and ensure that your leadership teams have the diverse strengths required to create competitive advantage.
As we offer you thoughtful, pragmatic counsel, we blend a range of proven capabilities to meet your exact needs. Our comprehensive services include:
The consultants in our Services Practice work as your partners to assemble and develop world-class leadership teams. Referencing our globally researched benchmarks, we help you pinpoint your ideal leaders’ demonstrated leadership competencies, personality traits, and behavioral characteristics, so you can objectively benchmark internal and external candidates against the same rigorously defined standard. Significantly, we can also help you assess leadership potential – using a unique methodology that helps you anticipate how your rising leaders will perform in new and more demanding executive roles – to help you create more accurate and reliable leadership development and succession plans. Where we see convergence of various business models and/or an emphasized need for real transformation of business models – such as commodity services providers seeking to develop into higher-margin value added solutions providers – Egon Zehnder can leverage its One Firm approach pulling in consulting colleagues from various industry or functional Practice angles.
Personal, Global Search
When the candidate profile calls for external search, our consultants personally and confidentially engage their local and global relationships and Egon Zehnder colleagues to identify candidates prepared to meet your needs. All of our consultants are motivated via our equal partnership structure and fixed-fee pricing policy to work on your behalf. The power of this trusted network places the insight and resources of our entire firm at each consultant’s fingertips, making our solutions richer and more responsive, and creating tangible and enduring business impact for our clients. Your search consultants are supported by a dedicated team of researchers who simultaneously run your requirements through relevant segments of our database, which continually tracks top executive and director talent worldwide. Through this rigorous process, we closely examine candidates who demonstrate a potential match, analyzing critical incidents in their careers for insights into how they might navigate the challenges they would face in your targeted role.
We are in close contact with top services sector executives as well as great functional and technical leaders in each geography. We know who can meet your evolving needs, and how to attract them to your company. As we move deeper into conversation with interested, well-qualified candidates, we conduct interviews grounded in our sophisticated and rigorously validated leadership Competency and Potential Model. Our evaluation encompasses far more than the customary professional track record check and referencing. We methodically surface the candidate’s full range of capabilities, personal tendencies, and behavioral characteristics, gain penetrating insights into their readiness to perform in the targeted leadership role, and assess how smoothly candidates would integrate into your organization and culture.
Our consultants invest personally in their relationships with candidates, gaining intimate understanding of their requirements and concerns. So as your search progresses into the hiring phase, we are thoroughly prepared to serve as problem solvers and facilitators. Our fixed-fee policy assures that we can play this vital yet sensitive role with no conflict of interest.
Our value add does not end with a successful hire. For newly appointed senior executives, the first few weeks and months in the role are critical. They must quickly understand the organization’s culture, set the right priorities, and establish credibility with colleagues and stakeholders. Our Accelerated Integration service speeds your new executive’s journey to full impact. We start supporting executives well before “Day One” in a new role – ideally, as soon as the appointment decision is made. Working in collaboration with the hiring manager and the HR manager, we help your executive build an accurate and insightful picture of the upcoming integration challenge, making the keys to leadership success vividly clear and crafting a plan to hit the ground running. We also work personally with the welcoming leadership team as well as the executive to quickly cultivate interpersonal trust and open dialogue. Through the first 90 days, our consultants gather and distill candid feedback on the first impressions the executive is creating during the initial integration. We meet one-on-one with the executive at regular intervals – creating “islands of time” to allow them briefly to set aside all-consuming operational priorities, reflect on progress, identify and prioritize early wins, and calibrate their approach as needed.
We pride ourselves on the fact that most of our client relationships are long-term. We can achieve this only by being consistently effective, responsive to your specific needs, and committed to your ongoing success.