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At Egon Zehnder, we take our deep industry and functional expertise and convert it into usable insights for our clients and candidates. Whether an article, a speech, a video, or an event, what we say and create must add value. We’re proud of doing work that contributes to successful careers, stronger companies, and a better world.

The CEO: A Personal Reflection

Egon Zehnder asked over 400 of the world’s top CEOs what it means to be an effective leader today

Browse the findings

Our Featured Harvard Business Review Stories

Most Recent Insights

1

Good Leaders Need Safe Spaces

One could be forgiven, then, for assuming that a good CEO is little more than an omnipotent puppeteer, pulling the strings to assign the right people to the right projects. These are the CEOs of Hollywood screenplay writers. The real world could hardly be more different.

2

Leading in the Digital Age

How to create innovation and growth in the global procurement and supply chain industry

3

Family Gravity Study

At Egon Zehnder, we have worked with family businesses around the world since our founding in 1964. We interviewed scores of family executives to better understand their sources of success—as well as their pain points.

4

Egon Zehnder Cybersecurity Roundtable

In December 2017 Egon Zehnder held a Cybersecurity Roundtable Discussion in Hong Kong, moderated by Richard Lin and Matthew Edwards, consultants in our Technology Officers and Fintech practices.

5

Happiness isn’t a gift from the gods

Happiness and business – can they go together? Mention happiness in this context and the doubters are quick to speak up: “That’s just new-age nonsense,” or “Ultimately businesses just want to maximize their profits”. Yet it’s clear that happy people are more successful, more creative and significantly more resilient in times of change.

More insights

Good Leaders Need Safe Spaces

Good Leaders Need Safe Spaces

One could be forgiven, then, for assuming that a good CEO is little more than an omnipotent puppeteer, pulling the strings to assign the right people to the right projects. These are the CEOs of Hollywood screenplay writers. The real world could hardly be more different.

Leading in the Digital Age

Leading in the Digital Age

How to create innovation and growth in the global procurement and supply chain industry

Family Gravity Study

Family Gravity Study

At Egon Zehnder, we have worked with family businesses around the world since our founding in 1964. We interviewed scores of family executives to better understand their sources of success—as well as their pain points.

Egon Zehnder Cybersecurity Roundtable

Egon Zehnder Cybersecurity Roundtable

In December 2017 Egon Zehnder held a Cybersecurity Roundtable Discussion in Hong Kong, moderated by Richard Lin and Matthew Edwards, consultants in our Technology Officers and Fintech practices.

Happiness isn’t a gift from the gods

Happiness isn’t a gift from the gods

Happiness and business – can they go together? Mention happiness in this context and the doubters are quick to speak up: “That’s just new-age nonsense,” or “Ultimately businesses just want to maximize their profits”. Yet it’s clear that happy people are more successful, more creative and significantly more resilient in times of change.

How to Become an Audit Committee Chair and Then Succeed

How to Become an Audit Committee Chair and Then Succeed

This report is based on a survey of a 140 UK based respondents across Audit Committee Chairs, Board Chairs, CFOs and Audit Partners in the UK. The survey was supplemented with 21 interviews with UK Board Chairs, Audit Committee Chairs, CFOs and Audit Partners aimed at determining what characteristics are needed to lead this key Committee, what the job entails now, and crucially how an Audit Committee Chair can succeed.

The Spark that Lights the Flame (3)

The Spark that Lights the Flame (3)

By this point, together with our client we have determined what degree of transformation is necessary in various dimensions and at different points within the company. A shared view among the management team of the level of transformation required (improvement, renewal or reinvention) and of the current state of the company at the start of the transformation is a fundamental prerequisite before setting the ball rolling.

The Spark that Lights the Flame (2)

The Spark that Lights the Flame (2)

By way of structure for our diagnosis, we take the five key dimensions that determine the success or failure of any transformation and examine them. As the transformation affects the entire system, the diagnosis invariably looks at three levels from the same perspective: the CEO, the management team and the organization as a whole.

The Spark that Lights the Flame (1)

The Spark that Lights the Flame (1)

It’s a simple truth that haunts many a corporate leader: “What made us successful in the past will not keep us competitive in the future.” Contributing to their restless nights is a growing awareness that, in complex and volatile environments, the future is no longer something that can be planned. So what must the nature of the long-term goals be with which they align the company?

Leadership SCRUM

Leadership SCRUM

Forward-looking feedback is mission-critical to the development of top leaders, although many organizations still fail to make best use of this tool. In particular, routine feedback processes embedded in annual year-end performance reviews often lead to frustration – for both parties. Leadership SCRUM presents an alternative to traditional feedback sessions. It starts with a 360-degree reflection process designed to generate development ideas by means of algorithms; ideas that are then discussed and evaluated, providing feedforward rather than feedback and triggering a forward-looking dynamic process. Tilman Gerhardt, who ranks among the pioneers of the development of conventional appraisals, was responsible for creating Leadership SCRUM and introduces it here.

Mark Krymalowski Fireside Chat with Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO, Siemens Healthineers

Mark Krymalowski Fireside Chat with Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO, Siemens Healthineers

On 6 June at the Tempodrom in Berlin, Mark Krymalowski, Head of the EMEA Digital Practice at Egon Zehnder, sat down with Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO of Siemens Healthineers. The conversation was part of the Axel Springer NOAH Conference 2018, which focuses on connecting leaders to empower the European Digital Ecosystem.

HIT IQ - Interview with Simmi Singh

HIT IQ - Interview with Simmi Singh

Simmi Singh was interviewed by as part of HIT.IQ’s leadership conversation series regarding innovators and entrepreneurs in healthcare.

What’s The Best Reporting Structure for the CISO?

What’s The Best Reporting Structure for the CISO?

As cybersecurity risk management has emerged as a top strategic priority for companies across industries, the question of whom the CISO should report to has likewise risen in importance

What We Heard - Leadership Development & Acting on Potential

What We Heard - Leadership Development & Acting on Potential

On January 17, 2018, Egon Zehnder’s Istanbul office convened a group of Turkey-based HR leaders for a breakfast discussion focused on leadership development based on the article of Turning Potential into Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Andrew Roscoe and Kentaro Aramaki.

When the Board and Management Collide

When the Board and Management Collide

It is a truism of corporate governance that a strong, highly functioning board can be an invaluable asset to management, going beyond oversight to provide guidance and strategic counsel to the CEO and his or her team. But these benefits can only be realized if the board and management have the trust and transparency that allows for candid, constructive conversation.

It Takes Discipline—and Behavior Change—To Build a Successful Board

It Takes Discipline—and Behavior Change—To Build a Successful Board

In our role as leadership advisors, we are often asked to conduct board effectiveness reviews. These comprehensive studies help boards improve their performance by recommending specific changes that impact board dynamics, process improvements and governance.

“Sense and Respond”

“Sense and Respond”

Business thinker and best-selling author Frédéric Laloux explains his belief that the way organizations are run is outdated – and that the future is about self-management.

“This is the voyage of your life.”

“This is the voyage of your life.”

Erica Ariel Fox is setting new standards in senior leadership development. In her view, the key to entrepreneurial success lies in a renewed capacity for self-discovery among top managers and CEOs.

Commentary: Here’s Why So Many CEOs Start the Job Unprepared

Commentary: Here’s Why So Many CEOs Start the Job Unprepared

Leadership has never been easy. Yet given the current volatility of the external world—stemming from geopolitical uncertainty, activist pressure, a new generation of employees, and digital disruption—running a large company is both more challenging and less secure than it’s ever been, as the daily drumbeat of CEO departures shows.

Directors&Boards - The Lonely CEO

Directors&Boards - The Lonely CEO

Whether it’s racial tensions in a coffee shop or testimony before Congress about privacy, CEOs face a lot of pressure to make things right. But where do CEOs typically turn to when they need honest feedback Not the boardroom.

The CEO: A Personal Reflection

The CEO: A Personal Reflection

Between November 2017 and January 2018, Egon Zehnder conducted a global research project, surveying current chief executives from a wide cross-section of industries, countries, and corporate structures. A large number—402 of them—responded, sharing their perspectives on what the job entails, the level of preparation they felt they had received, their succession planning process, and how they lead and cope in these volatile times.

Embracing FinTech Disruption

Embracing FinTech Disruption

Technology is reinventing the financial services industry by enabling a simpler, more effective way to solve fiscal and business problems and to connect with customers globally.

The Rules On Being General Counsel In The Cyber Century

The Rules On Being General Counsel In The Cyber Century

In what we are calling the Cyber Century, the first signs of danger appear on a screen; a hack, a viral video, a tweet. Any of these can be the opening shot of a bruising battle that can quickly escalate to a crisis.

Multinationals Risk Defeat In China Talent War

Multinationals Risk Defeat In China Talent War

In the competitive Chinese market, Western companies are losing the war for talent.

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