The United States is experiencing unprecedented numbers of transitions in the C-Suite in part due to the retirement of baby boomers. There are significant risks to our economy and to organizations if these transitions do not occur in a strategic, well-thought-out manner. These risks include:
1. Decelerated organizational growth caused by unmitigated risks or a lack of strategic alignment.
2. Unsustainable defined benefit retirement plans.
3. Negative social impact on local communities if new leaders do not share the long-term values of an organization such as investing in the local community and economy.
How can current leaders prepare for this tsunami of volatility and change? How can organizations innovate at the level that is now required while simultaneously introducing new leadership?
How can new leaders absorb their significant responsibilities and guarantee the organization can sustain success? The solutions to these challenges are simple but not easy. These solutions, while simple, do require building a strategic framework for a well-thought-out process that includes experimentation, reflection to capture learnings and then more experimentation.
A successful transition at any level requires numerous iterations of these simple steps.
Here are the three required components for a successful C-Suite transition:
1. A collective mindset is required, one that allows every leader to focus equally on both the current reality of the environment from a variety of perspectives (not just historical financial and productivity metrics) and the Vision and Growth Plan. A balanced perspective is formed based on metrics, data, and substantive stakeholder input. If leaders focus only on the current reality, the pace of change, the required innovation, and the challenges to manage human capital, they can easily be overwhelmed by the magnitude of these challenges. If they only focus on the Vision and Growth Plan without putting them in the context of the current challenges, leaders can be in denial or even delusional about the gap between where an organization is and what is required to take that organization to the next level of success during volatile times.
2. A current leadership team that is high performing and shares a commitment to not only the organization’s success but to each colleague’s individual success is absolutely required. Without this level of commitment, decisions can be made that have unintended negative consequences to another part of the organization. With this level of commitment, win/win solutions will emerge. This shared commitment requires an investment of time. Win/win solutions are not attainable without the time to thoughtfully align around decisions.
3. Having the right leaders with the right strengths in the right roles is fundamental. Many leaders today have been promoted because of their ‘individual contributor’ skills and expertise. While being an expert accountant or auditor or engineer is a tremendous foundation on which to build a career in leadership, our pace of change requires leaders who are committed to successful executive transitions and who are
• good communicators,
and most importantly can bring out the best in others so they build cultures where stakeholders at all levels feel engaged, empowered, and encouraged.
For more thoughtful articles that reflect this, please see:
“The good news is that accelerating change, creative destruction, and new business models are all opportunities for the venturesome. A unifying theme as the economy transforms is that in almost every business, barriers to entry are coming down. Opportunity is more widely available than ever. Every person and every organization can possess the 21st century’s most valuable assets:
• openness to new ideas,
• ingenuity, and
Why Every Aspect of Your Business
is About to Change
October 22, 2015
If you want to drive your company’s transitions in a strategic, proactive manner, bring in a trusted advisor beyond the normal scope of investment bankers, CPAs and attorneys. It is important to help keep the “people part” of the merger or acquisition on track.
We strongly encourage you to bring in experienced professionals with a track record of accelerating growth during transitions. If you have any questions or if we can be of service, we may be reached at 602-266-1961 or via our website at www.HalpinCompany.com
About Katharine Halpin
Katharine Halpin has been facilitating transitions in organizations of all sizes since 1995. She founded The Halpin Companies in an effort to fill a void she saw everyday in her CPA career. “Transactions fail to accomplish the forecasted goals simply because no one is focused on getting the right people in the right roles driving the right results right away.”
She has amassed a suite of tools and methods to exponentially increase the value of an organization by actually leveraging the transition. Many of the clients of The Halpin Companies have realized growth of 200% to 300% as they prepare for a transaction and move powerfully through the transition.
For more information or to discuss this in more depth, contact Katharine at (602) 266-1961 or [email protected]