Sustainability Leaders

Sus­tain­a­bi­li­ty is se­ri­ous busi­ness. To make it your enduring com­pe­ti­ti­ve ad­van­tage, you need sus­tain­a­bi­li­ty leaders with di­verse and evol­ving lea­der­ship com­pe­ten­cies.

Sustainability, to our clients, carries dual meaning. On the one hand, it guides their social and environmental stewardship. On the other, it bolsters their bottom line by achieving more with fewer resources. Across sectors, sustainability aligns the social commitment to do good with the corporate imperative of doing well.

Your challenge is to profitably meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. You aspire to do more with less in the face of constrained supply of natural resources, intense public scrutiny of environmental and social impact and more and more demanding employees.

Realizing such objectives begins with leaders who demonstrate a wide and evolving range of competencies. Initially, sustainability leaders must be persistent champions with the change-leadership skills to establish sustainability as a strategic priority with commercial significance. As the business opportunity is recognized and embraced, sustainability leaders must effectively collaborate with and influence key stakeholders to translate the sustainability vision into embedded practices.

Executives who truly understand sustainability and do all those things well are rare. At Egon Zehnder, we take sustainability seriously. Our focus is talent. We help companies differentiate themselves through their values to attract, develop, and retain the brightest and most creative leaders with the full range of competencies required to establish sustainability as a tangible and enduring competitive advantage.

Deep Expertise

The consultants in our worldwide sustainability practice bring extensive functional and industry experience as well as access to a global pool of top talent. This puts us in a unique position to support you in recruiting, assessing, and developing the leaders who will build your company’s sustainability performance and profile – whether you are a global multinational or a start-up. We know where and how to find executives who display the change-leadership ability, long-term strategic orientation, persuasiveness, and international experience to meet the highest expectations of boards and CEOs. Our knowledge is your power.

Powerful Teams

Because our consultants work with senior management teams across industries, we understand that success depends not just on the right leader, but also on the right teams to support that leader – contributing singular expertise while maximizing collective impact. We work with you to appraise and develop your company’s existing sustainability leaders and benchmark their competencies against the world’s best. 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.

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.

Crucial Connections

We are in close contact with top sustainability 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.

Trust-based Negotiation

Our consultants develop trust-based relationships with candidates, gaining a close understanding of their requirements and concerns. So as your search progresses toward the hiring phase, we are ready to serve as problem solvers and facilitators. Our fixed-fee policy ensures that we can play this sensitive role with no conflict of interest.

Accelerated Integration

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.

Executive Assessment and Development

Beyond executive search, we offer Executive Assessment and Development services designed to help you link specific talent management effort directly to your business strategy. Our proprietary approach to Executive Assessment and Development includes appraisals and benchmarking of your senior managers’ competencies, experience, and growth potential. We assess 10,000 executives a year in this way, working with you to develop your leaders, maximize the effectiveness of your senior teams, and plan and support succession for key roles. Our focus on Diversity and Inclusion helps you nurture diversity at the board and executive level – and translate it into business value.

Assured Results

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. Our goal across all our services is to 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.

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