Eric Salmon & Partners is pleased to announce the appointment of Jean-Etienne Boisseau as Chief Executive Officer.

 

Read the full Press Release here.

Our Global Board and Governance Advisory Practice co-hosted this event alongside the FT Board Director Program.

Moderated by Tim Robb from our UK office, the panel discussion featured Diana Breeze, Group HR Director at Bunzl plc and Non-Executive Director (NED) at Topps Tiles plc; Devyani Vaishampayan, NED at Norman Broadbent plc and Mazars UK LLP; and Neil Hayward, Chair at Horseracing Industry People Board, NED at the National Skills Academy for Rail and at Applied Monitoring, and a Board Director at Skills Union Pte. Ltd.  During the session, we debated the value HR Directors bring as Non-Execs in the Boardroom with the panel kindly providing valuable insights on the subject, and how to successfully make the transition from executive to non-executive. Attendees included CHROs and HRDs from our client base, across the FTSE350, privately held, and Private Equity markets.

We would like to thank our panellists and guests -NEDs, CHROs and HRDs, for joining us and for their contributions.

For further information, please contact Tim Robb.

trobb@ericsalmon.com

The study conducted by Eric Salmon & Partner’s Board and Governance Advisory Practice in cooperation with European Women on Boards (EWOB) sheds light on the practical experiences of seasoned chairs from leading European companies, offering valuable insights into fostering inclusion and diversity.

Click to read the report

“And when the widespread use of AI tools threatens to lower companies’ unique competitive advantage, that is when the creativity of the illuminated human mind will make a difference. This is a scenario that will require managers not only to initiate a dialogue and build a relationship with technologies that are constantly mutating, but also to look up and aim for objectives that had been previously unimaginable.” Massimo Milletti.

Read original article in Italian

Read English translation

 

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

 

             

SDA Bocconi and Eric Salmon & Partners proudly announce the signing of a strategic partnership agreement aimed at establishing the  “Osservatorio Donne Executive Corporate Governance Lab di SDA Bocconi “. Spearheaded by Professor Alessandro Minichilli of SDA Bocconi and bolstered by the expertise of Eric Salmon & Partners’ consultants, Laura Fabbro, Simonetta Cavasin, and Honorary Chairman, Massimo Milletti, the initiative is set to monitor the advancement of female representation within the Executive Committees of both listed and a substantial selection of unlisted companies over a comprehensive three-year timeframe.

 

Read the full Press Release here.

 

Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash

Setting the vision, giving stability: the CEO’s human touch

Thomas Schulz is the Group CEO of Bilfinger, a prominent global provider of industrial services, striving to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of clients within the process industry.

In this interview with our colleague Simone Maggioni, Thomas talks about CEOs adapting to change,  initiating cultural shifts, and driving stakeholders to share a common vision, building trust through a collaborative model.

 

 

Read the full interview

 

Eric Salmon & Partners is pleased to announce the appointment of Paola Calderini as Managing Director of Italy, overseeing operations in Milan and Rome.

 

Read the full Press Release here.

Iris Braun is a visionary entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at share GmbH in Berlin.  She epitomizes the intersection of social entrepreneurship, business acumen, and sustainability.

Her professional journey includes serving as the Technical Lead at IFMR Lead and Harvard University in Chennai, India, where she conducted empirical research on financial development in emerging economies, with a particular emphasis on India. Prior to her foray into social entrepreneurship, Iris contributed her expertise as a consultant to The World Bank and the German Ministry of Economics.

Beyond the numbers associated with her economics background, Iris’s extraordinary energy is evident during her interview with our colleague Astrid Jakubass. Her multifaceted personality, coupled with her boundless energy and ongoing personal development, exemplify a commendable woman excelling in balancing various aspects of life and work.

 

Read the full interview here.

 

Photo by Iris Braun

 

In a significant milestone in its 33-year history, Eric Salmon & Partners, proudly announces its B Corp certification. This achievement underscores the firm’s unwavering commitment to sustainability, responsible business practices, and ethical leadership.

Read the full Press Release here.

Wahab Yusoff is a Board Member, Advisor, Investor and Technopreneur, serving at commercial and public sector boards in Singapore such as Changi Airport Group, the Energy Market Authority, and National Arts Council amongst others.

In an interview with our colleague Wai Leong,  Wahab observed that public sector boards -while unsurprisingly focused on governance, can also be innovative. He also confirmed that boards are addressing many more disruptive topics compared to the past – and, as other interviewees have mentioned, there is an onus on board directors to get up to speed on many disparate things, including Technology.

Wahab believes in the benefits of diversity but it should never be at the expense of competence.

Read the full interview here.

 

Five Questions Wahab Yusoff.pdf

 

Photo by  Laurin Steffens-Unsplash

Gavin Adda is CEO at Peak Energy Asia (part of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners) and Board Director at Lindström.  He is also Co-Chairman of Sustainability Committee at European Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.

Gavin has unique insights from his experience with a private family-owned business as well as a joint venture comprising representatives from corporate shareholders. Nonetheless, the observations he shared with our colleague Wai Leong, are pertinent to all board directors, whether in listed companies or not.

 

Five Questions Gavin Adda.pdf

 

Photo by  Laurin Steffens-Unsplash

 

Communication is key to building corporate culture

In this new interview, Simone talks to Arnd Franz, CEO of Mahle Group, about the CEOs role in shaping stakeholder value, corporate culture and strategic goals.

Arnd recognizes that it is not all about delivering profit but also about contributing to sustainability.

 

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Nicola Winter is a remarkable German pilot and reserve astronaut, known for her exceptional contributions to both military aviation and space exploration. Her journey unfolds as a story of determination, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Winter’s multidimensional career also encompasses her role as a keynote speaker on topics such as leadership, empowerment, and crisis management.

In an interview with our Consultant Lutz Tilker, she shared some insights into her journey and the key factors that contributed to her success, her definition of leadership, and essential qualities for effective leadership in any industry.

 

Read the full interview here.

 

Photo by Nicola Winter

 

Rajeev has been CEO at Nokia and Inmarsat as well as board director in companies based out of Asia, Europe and the United States. He has worked with listed global companies and those driven by private equity.

In this interview with Wai-Leong, Rajeev stressed that board members need to be responsible for continually upgrading themselves, especially on technology, which has been pervasive and continues to be disruptive.

 

Five Questions Rajeev Suri.pdf

 

Photo by Lauin Steffens on Unsplash

We are pleased to present the fifth in this series of interviews with board directors. Supriya Sen, Non Exec board director, investment committee member and advisory board certified chair. She has worked for a wide range of organizations covering diverse industries and geographies.

Supriya feels strongly that boards should address strategic and vital issues, pushing management forward. Boards should be serious and structured in ascertaining new skills/knowledge needed and the gaps in the collective capabilities of the present board.

“The board needs to be refreshed and fit for purpose whether the main topic is strategy, operations, or human capital.”

 

Five Questions Supriya Sen.pdf

 

Photo by Lauin Steffens on Unsplash

İpek İpekçioğlu is widely recognized as one of the Berlin club scene’s most prominent DJs. Well known for her live collaborations with various musicians, as well as her contributions to theatre, opera, films, and documentaries. Her work delves into social-political issues inherent in everyday life, and she adeptly incorporates them into her musical productions.

Beyond her artistic pursuits, İpek is an event manager and a committed activist. Her multifaceted contributions extend far beyond the realm of music, making her a prominent figure in both the artistic and activist communities.

Her advice to leaders is noteworthy, advocating a shift away from conventional paradigms, urging the consideration of local residents, women, and immigrants, irrespective of their origins. She emphasizes that evaluations should be based on qualities and impressions, rather than superficial considerations, with a focus on a person’s character or likability as the ultimate determinant.

 

Read the full interview here.

 

Photo by Melis Özdil Christin

 

Best Practice for working with regulators

In partnership with EY’s Christopher Schmitz, our consultant James Isaacs co-hosted a dinner at the heart of Berlin’s fintech community to discuss fintech entrepreneurs and regulatory best practice.

Leveraging the combined knowledge and networks of Christopher’s fintech strategy consulting team, our distinguished speakers shared their individual perspectives.

Guests came from local areas and also from Munich, London, Utrecht, and Romania.

 

Read James’s full article here.

 

Main photo by Andreas Niendorf at Unsplash

Kimberly Maucher-Lynch’s multifaceted nature extends beyond her professional accomplishments, revealing a rich tapestry of passions and principles that define her. Growing up in a bi-racial family, she navigated the complexities of identity, shaping her into an intentional individual who stands firmly for her beliefs.

HR Thought Leader, Board Member, Social Impact & Innovation Expert, and Advisor, Kimberly ‘s journey and insights underscored the significance of adaptability, openness, inclusivity, and a clear sense of purpose in achieving personal and professional success. Her interview serves as an inspirational guide for individuals striving to make a positive impact in their respective fields.

 

Read the full interview here.

 

Photo owned by Kimberly Maucher-Lynch.

 

Our Global Board and Governance Advisory Practice hosted another “Board breakfast” in London, continuing a series of events for Board members and our Clients, organised by our UK office.

We led a discussion about Private Equity portfolio company Chairs, looking at Chair profiles and attributes linked to value creation. Guests agreed that there was a strong case for an independent Chair in most circumstances, selected for their experience, stakeholder management skills, specific sector and situational understanding.

Attendees reflected a combination of senior Private Equity clients (both Deal Partners and Talent Directors), with many successful PE portfolio Chairs, several placed by Eric Salmon & Partners global Board and Governance Advisory Practice.

Many thanks to our guests for joining us, and for their contributions.

For further information, please contact Hagen or Tim.

hschweinitz@ericsalmon.com

trobb@ericsalmon.com

 

From her early professional foray into the Brussels office of Telecom Italia, Claudia embarked on a path that would lead her through some of the most prestigious consulting positions, including roles at industry giants like Cap Gemini and Boston Consulting Group.

Italian born, she later acquired French citizenship and entered the French administration, where she made vital contributions.

Claudia Ferrazzi’s remarkable journey through the realms of culture, leadership, and diplomacy is a testament to her unique blend of talents and experiences.

 

Read the full interview by Raoul Nacke here.

 

Photo owned by Claudia Ferrazzi.

Dr. Jennifer Scheydt’s professional journey has been marked by a remarkable commitment to innovation and sustainability in the construction and building materials industry.

As Head of the Engineering & Innovation at HeidelbergCement AG she prioritized sustainability and resource efficiency, reflecting her commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of construction materials.  Under her guidance, the department achieved several ground-breaking innovations, including the printing in 3D of Germany’s first concrete house which -in collaboration with various partners, was recognized with the German Innovation Award in 2021. 

Jennifer is Director Concrete & Surface Technology at BMI Group and Board Member at the Institute for Construction and Environment (“IBU”). As part of the AiF e.V. -Germany’s industry-supported network for the promotion of research, she has become an expert in the field of economics where she promotes entrepreneurial innovation for the  benefit of Germany’s small and medium-sized businesses.

In an industry that can often be set in its ways, Jennifer brings a refreshing disruption.

 

Read the full interview by Steffen Ehrke here.

 

Photo owned by Dr. Jennifer Scheydt

Nike Lorenz is a prominent young German field hockey player.  She represented her nation at the 2016 Summer Olympics but it was during the Tokyo Olympics on July 25, 2020, that she garnered international attention when she added a rainbow-colored band to her attire, making a profound statement in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

In addition to her achievements on the field, Nike Lorenz serves as an ambassador for two significant climate initiatives: the “Sports for Future” movement and the Sports4Trees campaign. Notably, she has emerged as one of Germany’s leading climate activists within the realm of sports.

Nike Lorenz was interviewed by Steffen Ehrke, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners, Germany.

Read the full article here

Photo owned by Nike Lorenz

Megha Malagatti was interviewed by Raoul Nacke, CEO and President of Eric Salmon & Partners for our Female Voices series.

Megha’s remarkable journey from India to the executive committee of a French luxury brand is deeply intertwined with her background in India. Specifically her upbringing within the Indian context of diversity including social caste system and her dream which became her passion to be part of the luxury world.

After completing her degree in engineering, Megha initially embarked on a career in the tech industry. Yet, there was a deeper calling she couldn’t ignore. Her passion for fashion had always burned brightly. This duality sparked the idea of pursuing an MBA in Paris —a gateway to the world of business and fashion.

Paris liberated Megha to rediscover her true self, fostering confidence, resilience, and a profound sense of responsibility.

 

Read the full article here

Photo, Megha Malagatti’s own

Discover the Inspiring Journey of Souad Massi: The Voice of Female Leaders

Explore our exclusive interview with Souad Massi, a highly acclaimed artist known for her enchanting voice and unique fusion of musical genres. Born into a modest family in Algiers, Souad’s artistic journey led her to captivate audiences worldwide. With a strong belief in freedom, justice, and tolerance, Souad’s songs convey powerful messages of love, altruism, and bravery. As a bridge between cultures, she inspires us with her talent and dedication to artistic expression.

In this insightful interview, Souad shares the key factors that contributed to her success and how she defines leadership. Drawing from her personal experiences, she emphasizes the importance of authenticity, sincerity, and the courage to listen to oneself and others in effective leadership.

Souad also opens up about challenges she encountered in her career and the strategies she employed to overcome them, offering valuable lessons for leaders facing difficulties. Her resilience, grounded in meditation and genuine audience engagement, helps her navigate through even the most challenging times.

As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Souad embraces her platform to empower underrepresented groups, especially women, both within and outside the music industry. Through mentorship programs and collaborations, she celebrates the richness of global musical heritage and breaks cultural barriers.

Inspirational and thought-provoking, Souad Massi’s journey serves as a profound reminder of the power of authenticity, empathy, and introspection in both artistry and leadership. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of Souad Massi and uncover the connections between art, leadership, and personal growth.

Read the full interview here

Photo by © YANN ORHAN | Design & production 2022

The conference, organized in collaboration with the Corporate Governance Center foundation (CGC), Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and Commercial Law Development Program, Office of General Counsel, United States Department of Commerce (CLDP), attracted esteemed participants from the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, and the United States, facilitating a valuable international exchange of ideas.

Distinguished speakers such as Aradhana Khowala (Aptamind Partners, Great Britain), Charlotte Gustavsson (Swedish Academy of Board Directors, Sweden), Ekaterina Lysova (CIPE, United States), Ingrid De Poorter (ING Belgium and imac international, Belgium), Kristen Anderson (European Women on Boards, Italy), and others shared valuable insights on critical aspects of sustainable corporate governance, including corporate sustainability, cyber security, AI, integrity, and anti-corruption compliance.

The conference addressed significant topics like criminal liability of legal entities, anti-corruption issues in the business sector, and declaration of real beneficiaries, fostering a comprehensive understanding of modern challenges and opportunities in sustainable corporate governance.

With over 140 attendees, the event served as an exceptional platform for business leaders, policymakers, academia, civil society organizations, and international experts to engage in fruitful discussions on crucial aspects of sustainable corporate governance.

At Eric Salmon & Partners, we take pride in our global presence and commitment to empowering organizations with cutting-edge knowledge and expertise in corporate governance. Hagen Schweinitz’s workshop exemplified our dedication to fostering robust and sustainable governance practices worldwide.

Our Global Board and Governance Advisory Practice hosted another “Board breakfast” in London, continuing a series of events for Board members and our clients, organised by our UK office

Over 20 guests from different sectors attended the event, representing a breadth of diverse experience across Boards from FTSE main-market and AIM listed companies, Private Equity funds and their portfolio, and family-owned businesses.

We facilitated a lively debate around the theme “Nomination and Remuneration Committees” based on our ESP-INSEAD Board Study.

Many thanks to our guests for joining us, and for their contributions.

For further information contact Hagen or Tim.

hschweinitz@ericsalmon.com

trobb@ericsalmon.com

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Supply chain management is emerging from a back-office function to become a strategic differentiator for businesses. Successful managers are boosting profitability and their careers. It is now a route to the chief executive role itself.

 

Read the article here.

 

Photo by Sid Suratia on Unsplash

This time, Jean-Michel interviews Dominique Mockly, CEO at TEREGA.  

Dominique is a specialist in National Defence, the aerospace and energy industries. With experience gained from holding several high level positions in top French corporations where he has built important international relations. He is also the author of several books.  In “L’entreprise Cerveau” (” The brain company “) published in 2015, he underlined “the importance for a company to be risk management oriented, to be quick in the deployment and flexible”.

 

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

 

The Hand Project was a team building exercise organized by handproject.org during the firm’s 2023 Spring Conference in Berlin.  This is a charity that helps people who have lost a hand due to conflicts of war, or accidents involving machinery and focus on areas of Africa.

Participants were divided into groups of 3-4 to assemble a hand, with some tricky elements such as fitting the fingers. In addition,  they had to decorate a canvas bag with coloured pens and a personal note to the recipient of the hand. The winning team was the first to finish assembling.

During the presentation of the exercise our teams found it specially moving watching the reactions of people being fitted with their prosthetic hands.

“It is amazing to see the transformation on each individual.  See their joy, sense of freedom and new independence”

“It was an amazing experience”

“What an experience to be part of this charity, helping to transform lives”.

Wai Leong’s fourth in a series of interviews with board directors, this time with Colin Low who has sat on boards in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Colin reiterated that boards are ultimately accountable and, given the challenging environment, board directors have to be committed to know the business and to upgrade themselves.

Colin is among a few in Asia who have been certified by the Diligent Institute in Climate Change and in Cyber Security.

 

Five Questions Colin Low.pdf

 

Photo by Lauin Steffens on Unsplash

 

 

In this new interview, our Partner Jean Michel Riou talks to Yann Leriche, CEO of GETLINK. 

With an extensive career which includes the public sector, road infrastructure, construction and operation of public transit systems, Yann talks about key topics such us:  diversification in energy, delivering services in a low carbon manner and role evolution, amongst other.

 

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Nils Stahl on Unsplash

Hagen Schweinitz and Tim Robb of Eric Salmon’s Board and Governance Advisory Practice hosted a breakfast roundtable for Consumer sector Non-Executives in London.

Guests reflected our diverse client base – with Board members from the UK, US and European mid-market, across listed, private-equity backed and family-held structures.

We facilitated a wide-ranging and lively debate following our overall theme ‘Building Better Boards’, with segments on Composition (getting the right skills into the Board for the current and future strategy / markets); Customer experience; Digital & AI; Succession planning; Governance and Regulation; and Board evaluation.

Many thanks to our guests for joining us, and for their contributions.

For further information contact Hagen or Tim.

hschweinitz@ericsalmon.com

trobb@ericsalmon.com

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

In Wai Leong’s third in a series of interviews with board directors, he had the privilege of going through five questions with CHONG Chye Neo.

She brings the perspective from having served on boards of companies listed in Malaysia. In her straightforward fashion, Chye Neo stressed that boards must be substantively diverse and not just having single token representatives. She also pointed out the importance of a good chairperson who will ensure minority voices are heard as well as good management papers (and tools) to ensure effective debate. Chye Neo also raised the point of board directors not always having deep experience of the company’s industry sector and the open question of how to measure true board effectiveness and to improve performance. Boards do serious work and perhaps directors need to dedicate more time for continual learning as well as to embrace more brutally honest evaluation processes.

 

Five Questions CHONG Chye Neo.pdf

 

Photo from Unsplash

Shared goals, bonds and strategies

In the fourth interview from “Lessons from the top” our Partner Monika Stoiber interviewed Paolo Recrosio, CEO Berlin Packaging EMEA.

Paolo has headed up these businesses in Europe since 2018.  He believes success is about creating shared goals, bonds and strategies. Consensus building from the top definitely has a role to play in the 21st century business, in this interview with our partner he sets out his aims.

Read the full interview

 

Photo by isumi-daizy on Unsplash

The importance of service leadership

In our third interview from “Lessons from the top” our Senior Partner Simone Maggioni interviewed Luca Savi, CEO of ITT Corporation.

It is uncommon for an Italian to head up an iconic American company. So, there is a lot we can learn from this chief executive. Luca Savi also has extensive global experience in key leadership roles having held several top positions in Italy, China and the U.S. From Fiat to Royal Dutch Shell,
Honeywell to Ferruzzi-Montedison Group, this business leader has an enviable resume.

He believes business leaders need to primarily focus on creating a mindset of service.

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

 

LLMs in Healthcare; is this the penicillin moment?

Eric Salmon and Partners recently organised a virtual HealthTech event with business leaders across Europe and USA. We would like to thank David Champeaux, Suja Chandrasekaran, Julien Coustaury, Claudio Giuliano, Troy L. Hilsenroth and Milind Kamkolkar for their attendance and contribution to a lively dialogue. The objective of the event was to have an open exchange of experiences and insights on the impact of LLMs on the Healthcare ecosystem. Here are four key takeaways from the event and based separate discussions with some of the attendees.

Photo by Priscilla du Preez in Unspalsh

Read the article here.

 

Episode 2 “Opening doors”

In the second episode of the series James Isaacs, Managing Director London, interviews Reggie Nelson, Associate at Blackstone, author, podcaster and youth mentor.

Here is a young man that broke through the poverty cycle with limited resources but a whole lot of resourcefulness, character, tenacity and resilience….and he’s really likeable too.

ESP Fearless Leaders series Episode 2 – Article

 

Photo by David Billings in Unsplash

Trust, energy and purpose matter

In the second episode of our series “Lessons from the top” our Senior Partner Simone Maggioni interviewed Gonzalve Bich, CEO of BIC, to find out more on how leaders are facing today’s new challenges.

BIC is an iconic French brand synonymous with pens and writing itself, and Gonzalve Bich has been chief executive of the family firm for five years.

Gonzalve believes that, as things are constantly changing today and the role of CEO is evolving, it is crucial to “focus on trust, belief and energy”.

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Board director evaluations are reviews performed by a company’s board of directors to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of its members.

These evaluations help to ensure that the board is fulfilling its responsibilities in the best interest of the company and all its stakeholders.

Disclosures play an important role in the wider context of corporate governance as they provide stakeholders with important information about a company’s governance practices and performance.

 

Read full article here

Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi – Unsplash

We live in turbulent times: digitalisation and the sustainability debate are having a direct impact on the private equity market.  Two effects can currently be observed: private equity funds have more and more capital at their disposal, and digitalisation and the global sustainability debate are reducing the market of interesting takeover targets.

Read full article here

 

Photo by  Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

The second in our series of interviews is with Edward Lee, who has board experience in companies such as Indofood Agri Resources, Keppel Land and QAF (among others). Edward spent many years in the Singapore Foreign Service, serving as High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, Ambassador to the Philippines, and Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia.

 

Five Questions Edward LEE.pdf

 

Photo by Laurin Steffens, Unsplash

The INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre and Eric Salmon & Partners conducted a global survey of board directors on Nomination & Remuneration Committees with the overall aim to examine the emerging trends and understand how Committees’ practices are changing in a context of increased pressure and if they are trending towards convergence or divergence.

Click to read the report

Jose Luis Álvarez, Senior Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School.

Sonia Tatar, Executive Director, INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre and INSEAD Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise.

Hagen Schweinitz, Eric Salmon & Partner’s Global Board and Governance Advisory Practice and member of the board of INSEAD International Directors Network.

What we hear from CEOs

This Eric Salmon & Partners, ‘Lessons from the top’ is a thought leadership article based on interviews with Luca Savi, CEO of ITT Corporation, Gonzalve Bich, CEO of Société BIC, Gerrit Marx, CEO of Iveco Group and Benedetto Vigna, CEO of Ferrari.

 

Read the full interview

 

Photo by Jose Losada Unsplash

“For many people in governance positions there’s something scary about curiosity because the consequences aren’t predictable.”
Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners

Find out more in this article by Nicole Rütti (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Zürich.

Leadership Curiosity_NZZ

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Episode 1 “The art of unlearning”

In today’s uncertain, complex and rapidly evolving global economy, we need fearless leaders. Those CEOs that act with determination, discipline and commitment will help us innovate and disrupt the status quo. In this series we learn from high-profile figures on how to navigate the future. This time Eric Salmon & Partners’ Praf Vagh talks to Sunil Prashara in a wide-ranging discussion, some of which has been captured on video.

ESP Fearless Leaders series Episode 1 – Article

 

Photo by jaime dantas-unsplash

We had the privilege to discuss Five Questions with TAN Yen Yen, a Singapore-based independent board director who has experience on boards of companies from Asia, Europe and the United States.”

 

Five Questions: TAN Yen Yen by Wai Leong Chan.pdf

Photo from  Unsplash 

Many traditional insurance players are struggling to develop a talent pipeline. This is vital to serving the digital consumer and competing with insurtechs, so, what needs to change?

 

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Click to read the article

Top managers don’t just have to produce good figures; they have to make sure that digitalisation is running smoothly, employees and customers are happy, and the company is growing as sustainably as possible. How can it be done?

 

Read and download the Article here: 

Article in German

Article in English

Photo  by Marek Szturc Unsplash Photo Community

On April 28, 2022, Eric Salmon & Partners celebrated its 30-year anniversary of activity focused on executive search and leadership advisory services (succession planning in primis), by hosting a conversation with Alec Ross (author of The Raging 2020’s), Benedetto Vigna (CEO of Ferrari) and Nicoletta Romanazzi (mental coach, author of “Entra in Gioco con la Testa”). The title, “Think again”, was inspired by the book of Adam Grant. We aimed at understanding what kind of leadership is needed to exit this decade better than it started. This short article condenses the main concepts and arguments shared during the conversation.

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash
Click to read the article 

 

Eternally youthful

And they are always there. The young. Silent. Perhaps a bit too much. Evoked across the board on all the critical themes: pensions, climate change, employment, the pandemic.

Article in Italian by Massimo Milletti, published on Harvard Business Review Italia, March 2022 issue.

 

Read original article in Italian: HRB Eternamente Giovani

Read English translation: HBR Eternally youthful

 Published on See the source image

Photo by Devin Avery – unsplash

Sustainability is becoming many companies´ guiding principle. This development has to make itself felt in the corporate culture and leadership style as well.

 

Translation of an interview with Raoul Nacke, entitled “Das Wir dominiert das Ich” published in Handelsblatt on 02.12.21

 

Read English translation of the interview

Read original interview in German

 

Photo by Casey Horner from unsplash

Executives are not prepared for radical change but they have to deal with it.

 

Read and download the Article: “In unklarer Lage Führung zeigen” by Raoul Nacke, published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 14.06.2021.

Raoul Nacke,  CEO Eric Salmon & Partners

 

Read the Article in German

Read the Article in English

 

Photo by Shane Rounce (@shanerounce) | Unsplash Photo Community

During the pandemic, Germany’s Mittelstand caught up on its digital deficits. Now experts are warning against complacency.

 

Read and download the article:  “Den Kurs Richtung Technologie halten” featuring Raoul Nacke, published in Handelsblatt on 27.05.2021

 

Read the Article in German

Read the Article in English

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The private equity market is experiencing great popularity right now. That’s due to sustained low interest rates and the strong economic recovery. Investors are paying more attention to sustainability

Read and download the Article “Gunst der Stunde” featuring Raoul Nacke, published in Handelsblatt on 26.05.2021. Available in German or English.

 

By Raoul Nacke, CEO Eric Salmon & Partners

 

Read Article in German

Read Article in English

 

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

 

Market Insights Report

“We shape our buildings and, afterwards, our buildings shape us.”  Winston Churchill

• Arguably no other sector has the same societal impact on communities as real estate.

• And on our environment? The built habitat is the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, at an estimated 30 – 40% of global totals.

As such, the varying approaches of real estate companies towards sustainable development have a significant bearing on global environmental and societal sustainability ambitions.

How companies choose to progress the sustainability agenda is largely driven by leadership, vision, strategy and culture. Keen to understand the shape of sustainability leadership in the real estate sector, Eric Salmon & Partners has been discussing these elements with leaders across real estate’s value chain: property developers, owners and tenants; asset managers and investors; lenders and advisors. We have endeavoured to gain insight and leadership perspectives beyond corporate manifestos and broadscale communications to understand the composition of real estate’s evolving sustainability leadership.

 

Key Insights

On the surface, a number of CEOs and Boards in the sector are publicly endorsing the transition to sustainable development and this is reflected in shifts underway in organisational structure and corporate governance.

 

Organisational structure

  • Often large institutional investors have incorporated Sustainability into their Research and Strategy functions.
  • Asset Managers and Technical Directors have additionally taken ownership of the function.
  • Large property companies and developers have frequently created Chief Sustainability Officer leads who are part of Corporate Affairs, Corporate Communications, Strategy or Innovation departments.
  • In some instances, a functional lead carries the Sustainability banner as adjunct to the ‘day job’. This is seen as a way to demonstrate the seniority of the role and its importance to the company.
  • Investor Relations and Finance are cited as key business allies in improving ratings, reporting, sustainable investing and overall governance.
  • HR is a key partner, owning the societal dimensions – human rights, diversity/equity and inclusion as well as health and well-being.

Although there was a noted desire to ensure sustainability was not ‘owned’ by one Sustainability titled leader but was woven into the business, many companies have nonetheless set up a Sustainability function to secure action and ownership of the agenda, by all.

With the exception of those individuals who have Sustainability as an adjunct to their core roles, the Sustainability leaders in organisations observed rarely report into CEOs directly. This is not unusual and is the case in most sectors.

 

Performance Management

 Advanced players have already integrated sustainability metrics into their decision-making and performance management processes but this remains relatively new.  Furthermore, we noted a bias towards the environmental dimensions of ESG rather than the social.  This said, nearly all leaders noted work underway, particularly in partnership with HR departments, on diversity/equity/inclusion aspects.

  • Approximately 50% of companies we spoke with have already started to link sustainability KPIs to performance pay or will do so for the first time in 2021 for top tier management.
  • From our discussions, it is likely this figure will increase to around 80% of the companies surveyed over the next 18 to 24 months. Moreover, it is expected that KPIs will be incorporated into annual performance objectives for a much larger part of the organisation.

Progressive CEOs heralded the inclusion of metrics into annual targets as a key to assessing leadership potential today and in the future.

 

Corporate Governance

Along with the relatively new establishment of ESG and Sustainability committees at executive level, we observed a growing number of organisations instituting committees at Board level.

Sometimes bridging both sustainability and the more historic corporate social responsibility, today’s Executive Committees are delving more deeply into the overall sustainability agenda and we anticipate a similar impact at Board level.

 

Enablers and Challenges to Sustainability Transition

A number of enablers emerged: some biased to risk mitigation and others more positive:-

  • CEO/leadership team’s sense of personal belief and purpose
  • Talent acquisition and retention, with emphasis on the younger generations who expect a company to do its part and effect change
  • Route for innovation and competitive advantage
  • Opportunity for partnership and collaboration, driving more meaningful Client engagement
  • Clients’ expectations, forcing the bar to be raised
  • Regulatory demands, on the rise and set to continue
  • Expectations by the investment / finance sector
  • Prospect of litigation and the possibility of obsolescence or ‘stranded assets’

This said, in practice, a number of challenges evinced themselves that distract or impede the rate of change in the real estate sector:-

  • Diversity of client bases and asset types, each with their own sustainability agendas
  • Commercial pressures, striking the balance of short and long term requirements
  • Technology /AI / digitisation and the ability to deliver sound data and analytics to drive change
  • Taxonomy and frameworks for reporting which is not limited to the sector under study
  • Leadership skill and the understanding that seeing through a sustainability agenda takes a shift in mindset, plus courage and patience

Moreover, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach; no blueprint for success:-

  • The sustainability agenda touches nearly every part of an organisation
  • The complexity and dynamism of the agenda means no one individual–or organisation–can have all the answers
  • The interwoven tapestry of players across the real estate value chain requires to collaborate beyond their own companies

 

Closing Words

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced how fragile both the planet and humanity are.  Real estate actors, whose actions impact our lives and our communities, have a critical role both singly and collectively in building a sustainable future.

The foundation for this transition is an evolving leadership which brings systemic thinking coupled with innovation and creativity; powerful communication which inspires; openness and inclusion that engenders collaboration; authenticity that imbues belief; and hearty ambition for one’s own company and others.

This new breed of leader is one who can see beyond here and now, understanding not only sustainable business but also that our sustained existence relies on a sense of urgency as well as bold action.

 

 (This is an extract from a longer report: https://sustainablematters.net/3nQ7vKw)

Image from Unsplash

Sophie Landale, Eric Salmon & Partners Real Estate Executive Search & Leadership Advisory Practice Lead – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophie-landale/

Nina Glass, Eric Salmon & Partners Leadership Advisory, Sustainability & Change Practice Lead – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nina-glass/

 

Il libro raccoglie 17 articoli pubblicati su Harvard Business Review dal 2012 ad oggi. L’autore, che da trent’anni esercita la professione di head hunter, analizza gli impatti che i vari avvenimenti economici hanno avuto negli ultimi decenni sulla classe manageriale. Come sono mutati i percorsi di carriera, il cambiamento delle regole del gioco dettato dalle crisi, lo sviluppo di nuovi profili di leadership, l’evoluzione della cultura aziendale. Gli articoli partono da una ricostruzione dei fenomeni che sono alla base dei cambiamenti, da una lettura del loro vissuto da parte del management, per poi delineare possibili evoluzioni dello stile di gestione delle aziende. Ricorrente è il tema dell’importanza dei valori, del ruolo sociale dell’impresa e della sensibilità del management in tale direzione.

Once they are in their new job, the honeymoon period for managers is short. Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners shares tips on how executives can get off to a successful start with their new employer.

Translation of the German article „Die sechs größten Stolperfallen für neue Führungskräfte – und wie man sie umgeht“ 

Featuring experts including Raoul Nacke, published in Handelsblatt online on 20.02.2021

Photo by https://unsplash.com/@jessicamaephotographyga/portfolio

Read the Article in German

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The book gathers together 17 articles published by the Harvard Business Review since 2012. The author, who has been a professional head hunter for 30 years, analyses the impact of various economic events on the managerial class over the last few decades. He explores the transformation of career pathways, the changing rules of the game dictated by crises, the development of new leadership profiles, and the evolution of corporate culture. The articles first reconstruct the  phenomena underlying these changes, offering an interpretation of how they have been experienced by management, before outlining how different styles of company management might evolve. A recurring theme is the importance of values and the social role played by a business, as well as the sensitivity of management to this trend.

The pdf download link can be found below:

Many supervisory boards are lacking in digital expertise. That makes it virtually impossible for those entrusted with the governance of the company to instigate and monitor the necessary transformation of the business model. Published in the Handelsblatt, based on an interview with Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners.

Article with original title: „Governance – Mit der Zeit Schritt halten“ published on December 2, 2020.

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The 2021 ranking of the Best Executive Search Firms in France is out! We are honored to announce that Eric Salmon & Partners has secured a place in the highest ranking.

This ranking of the best Executive Search firms has been executed by Statista for Les Echos, one of the key financial daily newspapers in France. An in-depth survey of nearly 6000 participants has led to this ranking evaluating the overall quality of services such as communication, client evaluations, speed execution of the assignment, the quality of the candidate selection and job offer amongst many other criteria.

Ranking (sorted alphabetically) published by Les Echos on November 30, 2020.

Click here to see the complete ranking

Image source: unsplash.com

The corona pandemic has given our health, economic, social and political framework a thorough shake-up. Together with the increased pace of digitalization, this development is putting companies – and especially their executives – to the test. Published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (special supplement “Zukunft Mittelstand”) written by Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners.

Article with original title: „Der Geschäftsführer im ‘New normal’“ published on October 13, 2020.

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In the job-hopping world of Asian financial services, too many bankers treat resignation as an impersonal box-ticking exercise. Fabrice Desmarescaux, Partner & Head of Leadership Advisory at Eric Salmon & Partners, gives in this article suggestions to ensure a smooth transition and leave in style.

Article “Bankers in Hong Kong and Singapore try to avoid disaster when they resign” published by eFinancialCareers on October 13, 2020.

Click to read article in English

Sustainability Leadership calls for a clear understanding of commercial implications while at the same time focusing on environmental and societal impacts of the business. Such leaderships are needed in driving forward ‘future fit’ businesses for a sustainable future.

Join this webcast with Nina Glass, Sustainability & Change Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners, and learn about the current developments and possible evolutions at the executive and non-executive level. Webcast will be moderated by Demet Tunc, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners.

Register your complimentary virtual seat here.

Organized by The Conference Board, supported by Eric Salmon & Partners.

Many leadership teams are now stuck in ‘Groundhog Day’. How do leaders step out of the traditional planning and execution logic to achieve a better outcome?

Join this webcast with Fabrice Desmarescaux, Head of Global Leadership Advisory Practice at Eric Salmon & Partners, and learn practical tools to embrace complex matters. Webcast will be moderated by Demet Tunc, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners.

Register your complimentary virtual seat here.

Organized by The Conference Board, supported by Eric Salmon & Partners.

Immune, for 75 years, from collective tragedy, the post-war generation could have been remembered for this rare historical characteristic. Living in this drama is like actors in a film without a script. This drama has been a tough assignment for everyone. Even more so for those who have found themselves, on a daily basis, having to take decisions without the support of data, or history, or intelligent algorithms able to offer guidance in the total darkness of an unfathomable future. Published in the Harvard Business Review Italia (Oct 2020), written by Massimo Milletti, Partner at Eric Salmon & Partners.

Translation of the Italian article, original title: “L’ineludibile metamorfosi” published on October 2, 2020 .

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There is an increasing demand for experts on shaping new ways of working and driving leadership journeys. Experienced career changers are most welcome. Published in Handelsblatt (June 2020, Nr. 116) , based on an interview with Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners.

Translation of the article on leadership consulting, original title: „Chance zum Comeback“ published on June 19, 2020.

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CIO and CDO have become crisis managers in the corona crisis. Suddenly digitization, transformation and home office cannot go fast enough – with an impact on the “remote” management style. Managers have to practice the discipline of “Remote Leadership”, because agile and flexible collaboration in cross-functional and decentralized teams is an essential factor for success and survival, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A joint interview with Lutz Tilker, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners, and Dirk Altgassen, CDO / CIO of Etex, a group of global industrial companies for Building materials, published in Computerwoche Online.

Translation of the German article, original title: „COVID19 erzwingt Digital Leadership“ published on August 3, 2020.

Click to read article in German

 

Classic MBA-decorated executives are no longer the gold standard. What is needed are managers who act quickly and courageously, integrate talents and are both tech-savvy and team-minded. Published in Computerwoche Online (07/2020), written by Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners.

Translation of the German article on the assessment of team performance, original title: „Der Star ist das Team“ published on July 27, 2020.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has made obvious the complexity of our world. Almost overnight, our forecasts and budgets for 2020 became obsolete and we realised that we had no way to produce accurate predictions. Governments and businesses had to play catch up having failed to recognise the early signals.

The consequences are there for all to witness and suffer – billions told to stay home, businesses closed, supply chains disrupted, airplanes grounded, and essential products such as face masks or hand sanitisers unavailable. The business world needs a new leadership approach that fully appreciates the complexity of our environment while approaching it with humility, an open mind and discipline.

Groundhog Day

Most leadership teams have a deterministic view of the world. We simplify problems and reduce them into manageable parts. We make assumptions, leverage our experience, bring expertise when needed, and generate one view of the future: forecasts, budgets and performance metrics. At this point, we feel good because our craving for certainty is satisfied.

Unfortunately, many situations in today’s world do not lend themselves to a deterministic approach. They are simply of a different nature: No matter how much analysis, experience or expertise we throw at them, we are no closer to understanding the dynamics at work.

In the face of complexity, our predictions are worthless, just like our 2020 budgets were. And after responding competently but tactically to the crisis by conserving cash, reducing expenses, seeking new sources of revenue and protecting employees, many leaders are now re-enacting the movie Groundhog Day, desperately revising budgets and forecast week after week in a desperate attempt to predict the unpredictable.

Four simple practices can help leaders make sense of the world and navigate this complexity.

Recognising complexity

The first practice consists of recognising complexity when we face it.

This is more difficult than it sounds. Indeed, leaders are paid to solve problems and produce answers – and they would often rather make one up than admit ignorance. We make predictions with the greatest confidence, even without much evidence to support them.

We also fall victim to many cognitive biases, such as overconfidence (for example, all players in a given industry simultaneously believe they can grow their market share), focusing on positive outcomes (such as believing that a vaccine will be found), or ignoring “fat tails” – extreme outcomes with higher-than-expected probability – such as social unrest or geopolitical shifts.

Simple questions, such as “Are we sure?” or “Do we really know this to be true?” should become the mantras of leadership teams to fight overconfidence and groupthink.

We should hence be constantly reminded of these human biases. In the face of any uncertainty, let us ask ourselves whether more information, experience or expertise will help us find the answer, or we are simply facing irreducible complexity. Arguably, the drivers of tomorrow’s business depend on sanitary, economic, social and political conditions that no one can foresee today.

Embracing complexity

The second practice simply consists of acknowledging that we do not know. It demands courage but is surprisingly liberating. Practicing “Not Knowing” is a central tenet of several Eastern spiritual traditions and is the precondition to remove ignorance.

This practice is challenging for leaders because we are so conditioned to solve problems. We believe that we should know, and not knowing is akin to being deficient. When we coach executives, we have them look us in the eye and repeat “I don’t know” until they finally release the tension that comes with having to be omniscient. In the face of complexity, we are stronger when we recognise that we do not have to know.

With this humble posture, we become more open to new perspectives and we adopt a learning mindset. At this point, we are ready to embark on the third practice.

Imagining possible futures

Predicting the future is futile; imagining it is fertile. This is fundamentally different from the simplistic best case – worst case scenarios which lure us into complacency and a false sense of certainty.

It is going beyond the stale, deterministic groupthink and imagining a fresh and wide range of possible futures, some plausible, others more dramatic.

Possible futures should include benign linear extrapolation of the present as well as significant shifts such as economic depression, social unrest, geopolitical tensions, regulatory changes, or technological disruptions. Some scenarios will be optimistic, others dark. They all force us to consider our response under many different alternatives.

We use three approaches to imagine possible futures:

1. With our teams: To expand the range of ideas, leaders can enrich their thinking by inviting new points of view: front-line employees, suppliers, or customers, for example. Often, we will benefit from a dialogue outside our comfort zone – with an artist, an elite athlete, a group of students, a poet or even a spiritual guide.

2. Away from our teams: We encourage leaders to spend time offline in solitude and silence. Drawing from the spiritual traditions, a retreat is time we spend looking inward and connecting the dots. By breaking up the routine and spending time reflecting on the “why” rather than “how”, we see new patterns. We do not need a monastery for this. We can simply go for a quiet walk in nature, move away for a couple of days, or even spend a couple of hours in a coffee shop where anonymity works as a powerful substitute for solitude.

3. With horizontal communities: Vertical organisations are too slow for today’s world. Instead, we can engage with horizontal networks such as communities of practitioners, industry associations, predictive markets, or we can conduct instant employee surveys to tap into the collective sense-making to supplement our own.

With an expansive sense of possible futures, we can move to our last practice.

Emphasising preparedness

In an unpredictable, complex world, we cannot know the future, but we can prepare for it. To do so, we must act with two simultaneous horizons in mind: the very short-term (less than one to two months) and the medium term (12-18 months).

Very short term, the world may still behave linearly in a predictable manner. We relentlessly plan and execute at full speed. Any decision – marketing campaign, product launch, expense reduction – must be measured by its impact over the next few weeks, not months. We navigate by sight, from one milestone to the next.

Medium term, we prepare for the possible futures imagined earlier and launch small bets or safe-to-fail experiments that have a small cost and high option value.

Most leadership teams are confident that they will know what to do when whatever situation arises. The recent months have showed the limits of this approach – communication is inconsistent or incoherent, actions are not coordinated, and under stress, breakdowns occur everywhere.

To improve short- and medium-term planning, teams can adapt methods pioneered by elite military operatives:

Red Team – Blue Team: A debating approach in which one team defends one course of action and the other finds all the possible arguments to prove that it cannot work. This helps prevent groupthink.

Pre-mortem: With a chosen course of action in mind, the team now imagines that 12 months have passed, and we have failed spectacularly. The team debates all the possible reasons why we failed.

Debriefing: Upon completing each project, the team reviews what was and was not done well. This approach is conducted with an intention to learn and not to blame. Making mistakes is part of learning and the antidote to paralysis when there is a crisis.

Small controlled experiments: Like pilots, they are frequently mentioned but rarely executed well. The experiments must be cheap enough to allow gaining information at low cost, and failure is inconsequential. The experiments should have a control group to sense what inputs may lead to what outputs.

Simplification: Over time, organisations become more convoluted, and entropy increases inexorably. Bureaucracy crops out of nowhere. This creates rigidity, lack of reactivity and the inability to perceive weak signals. Crises are a wonderful time to simplify processes.

TOWARDS A GREATER SENSE OF PURPOSE

These four practices of recognising and embracing complexity, developing new perspectives, and emphasising preparedness, will allow leaders to be more serene in the face of complexity. By engaging their teams in this way, we also discover who is critical yet constructive, open-minded and ready for the future.

In complex times, there is no need to waste time on precise goals. They are bound to change with circumstances. Instead, we can find a sense of purpose in practices and daily routines. Achieving excellence, relentlessly questioning our assumptions, cultivating resilience, diversifying our points of views, training, challenging each other, and serving clients, is more purposeful and meaningful than a grandiose vision.

The new leadership that we advocate is a journey, not a destination. Please enjoy the ride!

Fabrice Desmarescaux heads the global leadership advisory practice at Eric Salmon & Partners, a leadership and executive search firm. Jean Drouffe is CEO of AXA in Singapore and has held senior leadership positions in Europe and Asia for the last 15 years.

Source: Article on Singapore’s The Business Times

The Covid-19 crisis has shown us that many facets of leadership will need to change to master the post-Covid-19 world. Chief Digital Officers (CDO) play an utmost important role to initiate and drive the necessary digital innovations that companies now need to be successful in the way going forward. The lockdown has given society a crash course in the importance of digital acceleration in this growing virtual world.

The article lists the key takeaways about effects of working in times of Covid-19 and what it means for the future. It is now up to corporate managements to find the right balance for changes in technology, leadership and its management.

Read the article (in German) here.

Private Equity funds are now being confronted with a multifaceted uncertainty concerning the future performance of their portfolio companies. The German Venture Capital Magazine (05/2020) has published an article on the assessment of team performance, written by Raoul Nacke, CEO of Eric Salmon & Partners.

Original title: „Die Leadership Journey – Auf das Zusammenspiel im Geschäftsführungsteam kommt es an.“

Click to read article in German

Click to read article in English

 

Source : Les Echos

Source: La Lettre A (article in French)

© Photo: Naval Group

Source: Capital avec Management (article in French)

Source: Les Echos Capital Finance (article in French)

© Capital Finance / Shutterstock

“What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.”
–Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 

“I can’t seem to find meaning in my job anymore”.

This is often what my clients say at the beginning of a coaching relationship.

It seems that when we have achieved career success, we may wake up one day to a nagging feeling that whilst our hard work has brought us everything we wished for—power, financial independence, recognition from peers, social status—we still long to find meaning in what we do.

For some, the wake-up call can be brutal: falling sick, losing our job, the death of a close relative, or a divorce. For others, the dull and painful feeling that we are wasting our life grows until we can no longer ignore it.

When this happens, we may feel lost. We used to think that we had our lives all figured out, but apparently, we don’t. Worse, we don’t know where to turn to for guidance. Those closest to us don’t understand us and they mock us gently: “You’re having a midlife crisis. It will pass.” Or “Don’t be stupid. Look at all you’ve achieved. What are you complaining about?”

Deep inside, though, we know that it won’t pass until we find our true purpose.

This is simpler said than done. Perhaps, we can buy that red convertible, or seek a younger romantic partner. This may buy us a few years, but most likely, material and physical pleasures won’t fill the void. Our soul cannot be bribed so easily.

How, then, can we start our quest?

Here is some guidance that I offer to my clients:

1. We can only hear the faint voice of the soul when we listen carefully. To do that, we must first be in a quiet, silent space. There is no way to hear the soul when we are hyperactive, multitasking, rushing from one meeting to the next, and constantly disturbed by our beeping gadgets.

The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out.

—Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

2. Our past often reveals the secrets of the soul. As a child or a young adult, what did we enjoy doing? What places or people attracted us? At the time, we may have followed a path that seemed reasonable; we prioritized money, the social norms of our culture, or we were influenced by our parents to do so, and we buried our dream so deep that we can’t even remember what it is. But the dream still lives, shining ever so lightly like a glowing ember buried deep under layers of ashes.

Discovery literally means uncovering something that has always been there but was hidden from sight by the “blinkers of habit”.

—Herminia Ybarra, in Working Identity

3. We can align to the path of energy that, like a compass, we feel in our bodies. The truth can often be sensed in the body and the heart before it reaches the head. What activities, what people, what places, energize us? We can journal about this at the end of the day. When we look back, what and who gave us energy? Over time, we read our impressions again and start seeing the pattern of our soul.

Of course, it sounds funny, but I start from the conviction that man has also a living body and if something is true for one side, it must be true for the other. For what is the body? The body is merely the visibility of the soul, the psyche; and the soul is the psychological experience of the body. So it is really one and the same thing.

–Carl Gustav Jung, Jung’s Seminar on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra

4. As we mature, our purpose is less about doing and more about being. As long as we believe that endless activity and accumulating stuff, will bring us the fulfillment we seek, we are bound to remain firmly anchored in the material world and ignore the spiritual in us. But intuitively, we discover that fulfillment cannot only be material; if it were, the rich, the famous, and the powerful among us would be also the most content. How can we surrender to what is greater than us, so that instead of asking ourselves what we want from life, we ask what life expects from us?

It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly.

—Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 

By Fabrice Desmarescaux, Managing Partner at Eric Salmon & Partners’ Singapore office

Source: LinkedIn

© Photo: James Donovan

Source: Les Echos Executives (article in French)

Source: L’Opinion (article in French)

Based on examples from the financial industry, Fatih Pekbas explains in this article the current issues especially executives are facing. Digital leadership competency is becoming a crucial factor for the successful handling of current challenges. Only with executives who possess the required future-oriented skills, will companies be able to achieve a visionary and result-oriented digital change.

Source: Börsen-Zeitung (article in German)

Singapore’s government has identified the tech sector as an engine of growth. Over the years, the government has created a pro-business ecosystem that enhances innovation and supports VCs, PEs and angel investors. Having lived and worked in the Valley, I get asked, very frequently, “What is Silicon Valley’s recipe for success?” As I reflect upon my time spent in the Valley, my network and the reasons behind the success of my family there, I think the biggest differentiator lies in mindset.

When we first moved to Santa Clara, we were invited by my aunt and uncle to join them in their weekly hikes. They have been living there for 45 years. Every Friday, the “hiking gang”, as my children called it, would meet at 5 pm and hike up Mission Peak. As a Singapore born & bred mother, my first thoughts were about the potential risks and failure my sons, aged 5 and 10, would face during the 3.5 hours arduous hike up 2000 ft out in the rough elements. I thought about the harsh dry heat of 35 degrees Celsius, the dry and rocky trail, rattle snakes and the risk of bulls attacking hikers. My thoughts changed, when my uncle talked about the hike positively. He said that the kids will learn to appreciate nature, deal with the challenges of wildlife or weather, build endurance and learn to engage with the other hikers. All of this is hard to teach in a classroom. He also shared what the view would be like close to the top of Mission Peak; a panoramic view of the Bay Area, and on a clear day the view of the Sierra Nevada ranges and an immense sense of accomplishment. Such positivity motivated us to join in the hike. By the end of that summer, we were seasoned hikers and loving it.

My younger son, fearless and not for a second thinking that he was so much younger than the hiking gang, enjoyed every second of the hikes and would be the first one to the top. After every hike, we used to meet at the neighbourhood pizza restaurant. During dinner, we used to be amazed listening to the hiking gang as they talked about their failures and successes. They were the microcosm of success in Silicon Valley. The uncle, who was laid off as part of a restructure, did not waste time being negative. With a loan from a friend, he started manufacturing shampoos and creams and is now one of the largest suppliers in California. The uncle who moved from UK and started his own business of making precision engineered parts for bio-medical clients. The uncle who started a private investment fund focusing on early stage start-ups. Listening to their stories we realized how being in the Valley enabled them to be successful. It was all about risk taking, being open to failure, new ideas, talent from around the world and availability of capital. They gave up the general security and stability of the corporate world and with gumption, positivity and leveraging off their network took the plunge. The three of them have achieved success that they had never dreamed off.

My mindset has evolved. More and more, I think of possibilities and the fact that failure is never a bad thing. If you keep trying and adopting new ways you will succeed. As I spoke with my team and network that worked at start-ups and larger tech firms, I saw the value built by being in an environment that is empowering and lacks the stodginess and formality of hierarchy. In this sort of an environment, the value created by employees comes from higher engagement, nimbleness and minds that work more innovatively and creatively.

So, the recipe for success is in the mindset of:

  • Positivity, bravery, boldness
  • Risk taking
  • Resilience – keep trying until failures become successes
  • Creating collaborative networks and leveraging these for help
  • Thinking of solutions and not obstacles

As I returned to Singapore, I was amazed by the start-up scene and the framework that has been set in motion. Singapore’s government has an admirable strategy for attracting top tech companies, investment capital and top talent. A change in mindset needs to become part of the Singaporean DNA and most of it begins at home and in our schools.

As Robert Frost wrote:

“Two roads diverged in the wood, and I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.”

 

by Brindha Bal, partner at Eric Salmon & Partners’ Singapore office.

Source: Linkedin

 

Source: Les Echos (article in French)

© Photo: Unédic

Artificial intelligence has developed impressively in recent years. And Artificial Intelligence is already taking on leadership roles, for example in security and data analytics. Will AI also assume management functions and thus replace directors and vice-presidents? A short outlook is given in this article.

Source: Computerwoche (article in German)

In the rapidly changing world of retail, what are the skills that a future chief executive needs and what roles are desirable as they make their way to the hot seat?

 

Source: Retail Week 

The sweat on the brow of the last years had – at last — dissipated.  The body and mind had relaxed.  He’d been thinking he had it all sorted.

Then he had a grand awakening.  Leafing through a research paper he saw the summarised figures:-

  • Baby Boomers (born 1945 – 1964) – c. one quarter of the world’s population
  • Xs (b 1965 – 1980) – c. 1.4 billion population
  • Millennials (b 1980 – 2000) – c. 1.7 billion population
  • Gen Zs (born 2000 onwards) – 2 billion to 2.5 billion

Stunned, he and many of our other clients here at Eric Salmon & Partners have just started to address this generation coming into the workforce, and right they are to pay heed given what the pointers tell us:  indeed, a dramatic workplace evolution is likely to be prompted by this largest and newest generation, Zs.

Gen Z Lens

What’s most important to grasp is there is a notable shift in how Gen Zs view the world:-

  • First generation born in an ‘always connected’ world
  • Raised by mostly Gen X parents who emphasised family and tried best to give a positive childhood experience but with a more frugal existence than many Boomers were able to provide

Call them ‘mini Atlases’ with the world on their shoulders, Zs have faced some really hard-hitting conditions:  polarised politics, social media pressures, technologies which bring opportunities but threats as well … and a tough world economy with a rapidly changing labour market.

This means they have interests and an approach to work that differs from any group before them:-

  • Your average Z talks about dovetailing work with their passions, rather than ‘career’
  • Recent research has shown 75% of Zs in teen years want to convert hobbies into full time jobs
  • Well over half suggest something entrepreneurial would be the ideal
  • “Making a difference in the world” matters. A lot

The ‘So What?’

A key ‘so what’ implication for CEOs and Executive business leaders who are looking at the next generation of talent is that if you aren’t a small, more nascent, cool entrepreneurial venture with values which reflect Z’s society-centric fervour then perhaps you’d best start acting like one…or at least taking on some of that shine:-

  1. Being Real: Research conducted by Gen Z Think Tank Irregular Labs showed that two thirds of Zs feel being true to one’s values and beliefs makes a person cool.  For the average Baby Boomer or X Gen (and, arguably millennial), confidence and abilities were mission-critical, whereas authenticity is atop Z’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Congruence and consistency with Gen Z values and behaviours is key to engage Gen Zs, and that needs to be across both public and private spheres:   for this generation, the worlds of work and leisure are not viewed with a bifurcated lens in the way they were for previous generations.

  1. Feeding the Fire: Trend Analyst Howard Saunders remarked that “True digital natives, raised on smartphones and with social media have ‘on demand’ expectations for everything.”  Research also indicates that they have a marked impulsive nature.

Trying to structure a business to absorb these new mores can lead to heartache for a CEO when other, older, members of staff still add value through more traditional structures.   However, trying to understand these new values – with a view to tapping into the ‘on demand’ and impulsive nature of Zs — can lead to a big plus.  A plug-and-play flexible business model levering freelance, consultancy, interim/temp can engender a stimulating, creative atmosphere while also being cost-efficient in the right circumstances. At the same time, the organisation can feed the fire Zs have for more explosive, short, sharp and diverse stimuli.

  1. Managing the Operational Needs: There are also the pragmatic, operational points to consider.  In the UK, for example, nearly 100% of Zs are online / on mobile for at least an hour a day; and nearly half are connected 10 or more hours a day, receiving close to 3,000 text messages per month.  The average Gen Z has a rather umbilical attachment to the smart phone; more than even the millennial predecessor.

What can today’s CEO do?  Well, as they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  As Gen Z Analyst and Commentator Tiffany Zhang at Zebra IQ remarks, Zs “constantly talk”, so as CEO, one should get social, too.  Get Gen Zs on side via their language.  Use their media and use it often.

  1. Telling and Selling: As remarked upon earlier, Zs want to feel the authenticity in messages.  For the CEO who’s focused on attracting Zs, this means the need to tell and sell the story, because Zs love storytelling.

And, in the same way that this ‘Gram’-centric generation respond to edgy campaigns with visual tactics in their social media channels so, too, will they respond to a CEO who is using visual displays to get the word out.  Promotion of an uplifting and positive message is important; something which taps into Zs interest in feeling part of the collective, connected, ‘making a difference.’

  1. Allowing for A Social Consciousness:  Gen Zs are self-starting and hard-working (more so than millennials, so says the research!) and want to stand out, expressing their individuality.  Zs accept social and cultural diversity as a norm.  Zs have a verve far beyond what preceding generations have when it comes to social and ecological consciousness.

CEOs who respond with powerful storytelling which ‘tells and sells’ authentically — while empowering Zs to take on environmental and social projects in parallel with their day-to-day work activities — will be best in creating ‘followship,’ a most valuable characteristic for any commercial or social enterprise.

Tackling Gen Z as an audience won’t be a walk in the park for many Baby Boomer or X Gen CEOs and business leaders but Zs are entering the workforce, come what may.  So one might as well be ready — in mind and heart — to entice these new kids on the block.

 

By Nina Glass, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners’ London office

Source: Le Parisien (article in French)

Dix ans après son arrivée en Belgique, le cabinet de chasseurs de tête a connu le meilleur exercice de son histoire.

Source: La Lettre A (article in French)

Source: Challenges (article in French)

Spezialist für Digitalisierung in den Bereichen Financial and Professional Services seit Jahresanfang an Bord

Source: Challenges (article in French)

© Photo: DCI

Specific skills are scarce in the medical technology industry across a variety of functions. Some companies find creative solutions for solving this problem. In any case you should:

  • Embed recruitment into a long-term human resources strategy
  • Focus on employer branding
  • Implement a modern media presence that includes social media
  • Identify and approach talents early on
  • Focus not only on recruitment, but also on retention

 

Source: Medizin&Technik (article in German)

The leading German business magazine “Die Wirtschaftswoche“ has – in co-operation with the IUBH (International Business School Bad Honnef) – evaluated the performance of Executive Search firms active in the German market.

Eric Salmon & Partners is amongst the top performers in four industry categories – Consumer / Retail, IT / Telecommunications, Medical Technology & Healthcare and has achieved a *****-rating for excellent quality.

Source: Wirtschaftswoche (article in German)

Last month, I went on a five-day personal retreat. I wanted to live off the grid in quasi silence for a few days and take time to meditate, reflect, read, write, and contemplate in nature. I opted for the DIY option and a friend (thank you Thierry for letting me stay at your mansion in your absence) offered me his beautiful, sea-facing house in northern Brittany. All I needed was to buy a train ticket and to pack warm clothes, good books, walking shoes, and a notebook.

After recording an unapologetic out-of-office message, I settled down in my luxurious cave and spent the next five days in silence only interrupted by short, functional exchanges to resupply at the bakery (excellent tarte aux pommes), the Tuesday market in Trebeurden (organic fruits and vegetables for about one-tenth of the price in Singapore), the wine merchant (this is a retreat, not a rehab), or the local crêperie. For hours on end, I would contemplate the tide and the beach, the wind and the waves, the birds and the rocks, the clouds and the rain, the sun and the stars.

The symbol of the retreat is powerful. We leave the external world and its busyness, noise, urgency, and deadlines. We leave friends and family behind to enter our inner space. Emails, calls, and messages become irrelevant when we listen to the call of the soul. We reconnect with nature, synchronize with the sun, smell the rain, walk barefoot on the grass, eat only when hungry, and sleep when tired. We tune in to our body. We observe and become familiar with our mind. We distinguish signal from noise. The retreat is not a withdrawal. It is more a return to an abode of belonging, of acceptance; to the place we were before we decided to wear our stage costumes and start performing.

Armed with infinite time and silence, we can reflect on the questions of our life, the questions that we never have time to think about because there is always a meeting to attend, a call to return, a client to appease, a picture to post, a family member to please. Do I find satisfaction and fulfillment in what I do? What am I pursuing – money, status, power? Am I living to my full potential and what am I neglecting? What relationships do I need to nurture? Who do I need to say thank you or I love you? What am I most afraid of? What am I most attached to? What weight am I carrying? Who am I trying to impress? As I go deeper into my soul, what is unfolding right now?

Sometimes, we have known the answers for a long time, but never wanted to accept them. Sometimes still, we must peel through layers and layers of conditioning and habitual patterns to have a glimpse at the truth inside.

I spent five days walking along the rugged coast, watching sunsets on the beach, eating slowly, meditating, practicing yoga, and journaling. I took the train with mixed feelings, happy to return home and sad to leave such a beautiful place behind. And on the plane back to Singapore, I responded to emails and realized that the world had not stopped in my absence.

 

By Fabrice Desmarescaux, Managing Partner at Eric Salmon & Partners’ Singapore office

Source: LinkedIn

© Photo: Ploumanac’h, Côtes-d’Armor, France, on 25 October 2018

Executive Grapevine’s Editor Dan Cave interviewed Nina Glass, Consumer Specialist, Eric Salmon & Partners (published 12 October)

A little more than a week ago, 28 September, GfK published the September’s Consumer Confidence Index for the UK, with measures indicating a less-than-bullish position – to put it mildly.

Negative figures are never encouraging to see for those in consumer-facing sectors, and figures as marked as -27 for sentiment about the general economy over the next 12 months, as Nina Glass, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners says, “hit one squarely in the face.”

Luckily, Executive Grapevine got to sit down with Glass to find out what this means exactly – with confusion and uncertainty being the first points that she sees.

She said: “Interestingly, shopper sentiment about personal finances over the last 12 months and year ahead were still within positive ranges, down three points, but still at +1 and +5 respectively.

“These figures reflect confusion or, in Bank of England speak, the uncertainty in the UK economy. Indeed, it is only another seven months until the UK is expected to take the leap and depart the EU. Brexit is now well and truly looming on the horizon.”

Nina adds that with so much uncertainty, trust is set to become its own currency as consumers try and parse what’s good and what’s not on a shaky consumer landscape. With Millennials set to become the biggest spenders, it’s a group that well-known brands, businesses and start-ups will have to appeal to.

Nina explains: “Millennial spending power is set to overtake Generation X in 2020. They are a critical economic base – 1.8 billion people worldwide and 13.8 billion in the UK. And what do we know about Millennials? We know they have grown up in a world which to them is unlike that of the post-war, “anything is possible” Baby Boomer Generation where life was rosy and somehow ‘easy’

“There is an intrinsic pessimism exuded by this generation – a sense that one cannot change certain things – and, with it, a marked downturn in that important attribute of trust.”

In a study reported recently in the Financial Times, it was found that only 19% of Millennials believed others could be trusted compared with 40% of Baby Boomers and 31% of X-Gens.

Nina added: “It’s a big part of the reason why Influencers have become so much a norm ‘go-to’ for Millennials. The Telegraph recently published an article highlighting a few of the world’s leading lights in the ‘influencer” category, including Niomi Smart whose “fanbase is as large as the population of Ireland, with 1.5 million Twitter, 1.6 million Instagram, and [1.6 million] on YouTube.” The Influencer is perceived as ‘real,’ ‘authentic,’ someone who purports to be a person to believe in and trust.

“So too, brands with a strong social responsibility, healthy lifestyle, and attention to the environment stand out from the crowd for Millennials. This doesn’t mean expensive products and services: indeed, the shared economy, built largely by Millennials, is based on the lower rather than more expensive. And it doesn’t mean big. Millennials feel affinity with little brands, local brands, brands that care.”

“What is also clear is that it is a consummate time for businesses to reinforce their authenticity, create a belief, engender a sense of belonging to the community. We see it with local butchers and bakeries popping up in some of the UK’s village high streets. There’s no reason that companies shouldn’t do more on a wider scale to tap into these consumer needs.”

They are the brands that this soon-to-be-all-powerful consumer demographic will spend their money with – because they’re trusted.

There’s a lesson in here from which all businesses could learn.

Email:                   nglass@ericsalmon.com

Switchboard :    +44 207 529 1200

Direct Dial:         +44 207 529 1206

German companies try and claim to be global players but forget to integrate other cultures into the leadership circle. A first step towards this could be the establishment of a leadership program focussing on international managers to bind qualified leaders to the company in a sustainable way. This is also worthwhile for small and medium-sized companies who should aim to become insiders in Asian markets in the long term. Additionally it is necessary to not only just fill international leadership positions for the present requirements but to recruit also taking into account future global leadership needs.

Source: Asia Bridge

More and more companies establish talent acquisition teams – many of these cannot match the high expectations they are faced with. This article sheds a light on the main root causes for this and discusses how Talent Acquisition should be positioned in the organization in order to be able to deliver sustainable value.

Source: HR Performance (article in German)

In 2014, Oxford University published a report on what the most likely jobs to be automated were. Unsurprisingly, jobs perceived to be less skilled were most at threat. Telemarketing came top of the list with a 99% chance of automation. At the other end of the scale, recreational therapy is thought of as the job with the least risk from being automated with a 0.0028% risk. Perhaps surprisingly, CEOs weren’t the least under threat. Chief Executives came 631st on the 702-strong list. Enough to prick the ears, not enough to worry – at least not for now.

Source: Executive Grapevine

As we swiftly enter the world of automation, obviously there will be a profound impact on society and businesses. As the AI revolution continues to unravel at high velocity, there will be significant impact and change in the leadership models in public and private enterprises. It is evident that AI will play a pivotal role in supporting the quantitative leadership elements and decision making. This is because by its very nature – the AI playbook will commoditise the data based elements of leadership. Based on our discussions with business leaders in the old and new world there will be an even greater emphasis on the softer leadership. Beyond IQ and EQ, a new set of quotients will become more prominent as automation gathers pace. Here’s our take on what ‘leadership quotients’ will make a difference as we continue the path to singularity:

Compassionate Quotient (CQ): Jeff Weiner CEO of LinkedIn is a big proponent of this and did a great talk on this recently in a graduation speech at Wharton. In the workplace CQ is about empathy but with real action. He describes it as aspiring for compassion – which he describes as walking a mile in the other person’s shoes; and understanding their hopes, their fears, their strengths and their weaknesses. And it means doing everything within your power to set them up to be successful. In an AI based world not only will CQ drive team performance but also company performance.

Modesty Quotient (MQ): With the speed of business model and technological advancement traditional hierarchies are being stripped away into flatter and more network based structures. This means leaders need to show a much higher level of humbleness and engagement. This may require the business leader to gain external advice and help internally by engaging more freely with individuals in the organisation who are a few levels below them. This approach is natural in many of the global internet titans but somewhat lacking in the more traditional companies.

Pivot Quotient (PQ): In the world of automation an organisation needs to be responsive, innovate and quickly needs to adapt based on competition and market opportunities. This is not particularly radical given many organisations have strived to do this for many years. The difference now of course is the sheer velocity of the pace of change driven by AI making the notion of pivoting critical. For business leaders this means listening more effectively, removing the ego and better communication and engagement with shareholders and the workforce when making a drastic change. It’s tough for CEO’s – particularly in publicly quoted businesses but they must show real character in taking the risk and remain firm when making a course correction too.

Social Quotient (SQ): In the AI world, Leaders and their organisations will be defined by the role they play in supporting society as the full force of automation kicks in; particularly as it relates to job displacement. There will need to be greater levels of education, training and re-deployment strategies which will require specific attention and investment. There will need to be better collaboration between policy makers and boards of corporations to inhibit any of the negative impact of automation. Leaders who are socially aware and are impactful will gain greater trust from their workforce potentially leading to a happier and productive environment.

With all this said, this may not significantly alter what are in many ways seen as rather an intrinsic set of leadership models to what already exist. However, the big difference is that there is an even greater emphasis on the softer (versus the hard or quantitative) leadership traits which include taking empathy to a newer level, demonstrating humbleness, being steadfast when pivoting and finally being socially aware and creating a much better level of engagement with the workforce. We are in a journey and these quotients may change and evolve as things develop so let us know what you think and happy to hear your views.

 

By Praf Vagh, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners’ London office

Source: Executive Grapevine

Before Christmas, I had the privilege of being invited to a Porsche SE round table event hosted by Philipp von Hagen (Board Member) on the role of automakers in a digital/autonomous world. As a car enthusiast and given my work in tech/digital, how could I refuse! Thank you – Philipp for inviting me. With a diverse set of attendees including leaders from software, digital media and car OEMs – it was fascinating, thought provoking and at times a striking set of discussions. Here are four key takeaways from the session and subsequent discussions:

Cars will talk to each other to increase safety

Globally with 4G and soon 5G, cars are rolling mobile devices and wireless hotspots. Soon, vehicles will be connected to each other (V2V) and to infrastructure (V2I). When there is danger and a possible collision, every vehicle close to the source will know this. Given the receipt of advanced information, the car will be able to take control of its braking system. VW will launch this in 2019 and the Cadillac CTS already has this capability. Kymeta is creating a V2V platform using satellite technology and has closed over $200M in funding from Bill Gates amongst others. Volvo’s stated aim is to eradicate accidents by 2020. With all these endeavours, we expect safety to drastically increase.

Collaborate or become obsolete

Auto makers collaborate within a complex ecosystem. However, relationships have been predominantly of the supplier-provider type with a focus on cost control. Car manufacturers are quickly integrating suppliers into a true partnership to speed up innovation. We have seen Volvo partnering with Uber and BMW with Amazon to integrate alexa into the head unit so you can ask for news and weather reports. Toyota has launched an artificial investment fund to invest in the next generation of in-car digital technologies; what is interesting is that they are co-investing with their competition.  As cars get smarter and more autonomous, on-the-road services such as shopping or content will be offered as standard. Those auto makers who master the art of collaboration – particularly with tech companies – have a bright future.

Culture change fatigue can kill – so communicate, engage and invest

With young auto rivals such as Tesla, NextEV and Faraday Futures leading the industry disruption, traditional OEMs must battle to remain relevant. As they embrace the digital and green revolution and create new services, they need to retool not only their assembly lines but also their workforce. Transformation fatigue and fear of new technologies, in an industry that has already seen so much restructuring, can paralyze a company. The leaders who engage, communicate, invest in retraining the workforce and when needed, appoint the right external talent, will gain a competitive advantage and survive.

Data could help oil the profits

We know data is becoming the new oil and for the auto industry this could create major growth opportunities. Data is anything related to vehicle speed, images from dashcam, transactions, usage of in car services and location. Then there is the data linked to the car health itself based on the numerous sensors in the hardware which will accurately inform what is happening and monitor performance. Tesla collects terabytes of data from its vehicles and uses machine learning to improve predictive maintenance, self-driving capabilities and the driving experience of its cars. As long as car OEMs do not breach any privacy laws and security is lock tight, they have significant moneymaking opportunities by harnessing the data.

The car industry is going through unprecedented changes and it is not clear who the winners and losers will be. Fuelled by the highly competitive nature of finding the right leaders to drive the change – it should be an incredible ride! Have a great 2018 and please do send me your thoughts.

 

By Praf Vagh, Consultant at Eric Salmon & Partners’ London office

Source: LinkedIn