Plutarch: Thoughts on People Management
How to Get Lasting Value from a New Senior Hire
It is tough getting an externally sourced senior leader to live up to the hopes of everyone involved.
A new hire is likely to have a significant impact. Reputations, commercial success, cultural consequences, and personal lives are often at stake.
Matching personality and culture, anticipating the impact on leadership team dynamics and prioritising a willingness to put organisation aims over personal agendas significantly increase your chances of success.
Personality and Culture fit
Certain personalities are challenging to integrate into a business, full stop. Many more are difficult to fit into organisations whose culture does not suit them. Understanding what works for you and your business or perhaps more importantly, what does not, is very important. Interviewers with a well-developed sense for what works in an organisation can often quickly pick up if there is an issues with a potential new hire’s style. Unfortunately, it’s also often the case that interviewers are not that well placed to identify a culture fit issue, due to lack of experience or commitment or awareness. This can result in sub-optimal decision making.
Leadership Team Dynamics
The search part of recruitment processes, of necessity, focuses on technical and leadership experience of a particular function or process. If the senior management of the business is to add up to more than the some of its parts, however, consideration should be given to their presence and contribution amongst other leaders. Will their preferred team role exacerbate any negative tendencies in the dynamics of the leadership team or mitigate them? Are there any obvious team role preference clashes amongst the leadership team that will need management or is any attempt likely to end in failure? Tissue rejection is a real risk if this is not considered.
Doing the Right Thing
To even make it to interview, candidates should have shown the ability to outperform in their role. This level of success does not, however, automatically come with the ability to strongly contribute to wider organisational aims. Subtle values and preferences matter; a desire to listen and evaluate the agenda of colleagues on a leadership team, then choose a response that best serves the organisation, a preference for a truly collaborative approach that allows different functions to outperform together. These things make a big difference. Sometimes these attributes are derided as ‘political’ style or even as a lack of assertiveness but they can be fundamental to establishing a thriving leadership and culture in an organisation.
How Hunter-Miller can help
A Senior Hire Psychometric Assessment will align desires and expectations into a defined purpose and mitigate the risks involved.
If you would like to find out more about our services in this area, do get in touch.
Plutarch in no way claims to offer comprehensive statistical reports – the absence of numbers reveals that much, and individual confidentially remains his priority. Nonetheless Hunter-Miller's vast network offers compelling anecdotal evidence, and some occasionally interesting insights.
What would you be interested to know? Get in touch.