Lindsay Trout Practice Group Leader, Palo Alto
In a world where consumers tweet complaints in public forums, shop online as much as on high streets, and express brand preferences on Facebook, excellence in digital is critical for business success. Organizations that fail to embrace digital innovation in their core business will fall behind fast. Consumer companies, governments, and B2B operators are all deeply affected.
In this environment, traditional companies must grasp the challenge of making their organizations truly digital-savvy, and of competing with young businesses, born of the digital age, that have grown up online and with e-commerce at the heart of their operations. Even highly successful global corporations need to take bold steps to evolve their strategies, excel in a multi-channel environment, and deliver compelling digital experiences.
Entrepreneurial digital enterprises face a different set of challenges. Many struggle to scale and professionalize their organizations, as they must to sustain growth. All need to permanently validate their vision, shape and optimize their business models, and build effective organizational structures.
While different stages of maturation bring different talent imperatives, strong general management skills will be required across the spectrum. The mega-players need to stabilize, integrate, and scale up their acquisitions and optimize talent development and management approaches to reap the tangible business benefits that justify these costly strategic investments. Correspondingly, growing digital enterprises need to add experienced managers who have successfully navigated downturns and demonstrated that they can innovatively sustain revenue growth. With relatively light assets, growing digital organizations – corporate or free standing – can go where the talent pools are, accelerating globalization. Recruitment and integration of strong general managers and senior functional staff, such as Big Data experts, is a strategic priority.
As digitalization drives convergence across consumer mobility, embedded systems, industry automation, defense & security, government, SMBs, digital commerce and social platforms, talent that bridges the relevant industry backgrounds becomes ever more critical. The overarching generational shift towards “digital natives” among staff and customers needs to be mirrored at the senior levels for companies to avoid the risk of becoming alienated from the real world.
Egon Zehnder supports digital disruption
Egon Zehnder focuses on clients who want to disrupt their traditional business models as well as the “disrupters” themselves.
Through our seamless and truly international network, reaching from the US to Asia and across Europe, we proactively identify executive and strategic talent worldwide. Our Digital team stays closely connected with leaders competent in general management and critical functions such as brand activation and engagement, digital analytics and insight, and eCommerce. In the fast-changing and high stakes digital arena , our long-tenured and stable team of highly skilled consultants provides the differentiated expertise to serve demanding clients.
How we operate
In addition to our unsurpassed capabilities in Executive Search, our Executive Assessment and Development help key players across industries to rapidly optimize their approaches to digital talent acquisition, succession, retention and development in the context of mergers and acquisitions, change of shareholders, change of business paradigm and the scaling and maturation of start-ups.
Our Global Board Practice works closely with tech company boards on governance issues including board composition, board effectiveness reviews and director and CEO succession planning. We help board chairs, heads of nominating committees and CEOs recruit directors and executive leaders with the digital, technological and global expertise required in today’s fast-paced business environment.