A View From The Board – CEO Recruitment & Succession Planning
We conducted a survey of Board Chairs across the healthcare industry, research institutes, not-for-profit and human services sectors as well as Chancellors of Universities to establish how their boards are ranked in terms of commitment to CEO succession planning, how they have recruited CEO’s in the past and what they are looking for in a potential CEO.
2020 Board Chair Survey results
When asked to rate the importance of CEO recruitment and succession planning as a function of the board; 73% of Board Chairs list it as an essential function.
When asked what the attributes of a potential CEO or Chancellor are, Board Chairs listed the following as their Top 5:
- Integrity (88% listed as essential)
- Leadership Ability (85% listed as essential)
- Judgement (75% listed as essential)
- Alignment with organisation values & mission (73% listed as essential)
- Competence (73% listed as essential)
To hear firsthand from a board chair about CEO and executive recruitment, we spoke with Barbara Yeoh, the former Chair of Monash Health, about what are the key attributes to look for in the person, apart from technical skills and experience, when recruiting members of a senior executive team:
“I suppose I’m going to show my cognitive biases here or my unconscious biases. First of all, to me, I think it’s very important to be an inclusive leader. It’s not all about me if in the interview I thought it’s all about me, then I would be asking myself if this person was just driven by their ego, are they a hero leader, are they a control freak, are they charismatic but there’s not a lot of substance beneath that charisma. I think that’s probably the biggest red flag I have when interviewing for a leader. I’d also like to understand how their self-awareness impacts others.
The last thing I’d like to say is I love to come out of an interview feeling so energised and excited about a candidate. I think that is important because I think if they can make me feel that way, it’s important that they make staff feel that way. It’s important that they can effectively engage with stakeholders and make them also feel energised about the purpose and the vision which is the centre of the organisation”
Importance of succession planning
Succession planning is an important part of every business, but according to Stanford University, only 46% of organisations have a formal succession plan in place. Ccentric provides succession planning services to determine the leadership strength and potential throughout an organisation and how long-term leadership needs can be addressed. This involves steps such as:
- Identifying the competencies, skills and success factors required for key leadership positions.
- Assessing “bench strength” across various business units and functions.
- Designing development plans for high-potential leaders.
- Providing an executive coach customised for each person’s needs.
- Ongoing monitoring and evaluating of succession management initiatives.
Juliette Alush, Director of Leadership Solutions at Ccentric Group outlines why succession planning should be important to every organisation:
“Succession Planning is absolutely critical to an organisation’s success and similar to cultural change; it involves discipline, methodology and commitment. It essentially determines who will lead your business in the future and who will be the face of your organisation; setting the time and culture for serving your customers or your patients.
Organisations tend to rely on the market to deliver talent as they need it. In some instances that is entirely appropriate, however, succession planning enables organisations to have greater control over building their future workforce in a way that aligns to their culture, brand and corporate identity.”
For more information about how we can help plan and develop your future leadership pool, contact Wayne Bruce today.