The CEO (or the most senior leader in the affiliate) is the most important influencer in the organisation. Given it takes up to 12 months for most executives to fully ‘deploy’ their role effectively, this can be a real handbrake on the organisation if that person is the new CEO.
Help them to understand the reality of the role
Unless the CEO is the founder / co fonder of a start up organisation, first time CEO’s have most likely been promoted to this role from a COO, CFO or Commercial head position that reports to a CEO. Running a commercial business is different from a whole organisation and nothing really prepares the first time CEO for this level of responsibility. Leaders promoted from within who once prided themselves on their ability to meet lots of customers, staff, stakeholders now find themselves stuck in meetings. As CEO there are different roles to play than at any other level in the organisation.
Help them to navigate complexities that emerge
The level of complexity of the operating environment for modern CEO’s has risen dramatically even when just considering technological changes, span of accountability, decreasing rates of employee engagement and short CEO tenure.
When the Fortune 500 was launched in 1955, according to a 2013 BCG report, CEOs had between 4-7 KPIs to achieve each year. Today the same CEO will have between 25-40 KPIs. Employee engagement scores in the 1990s, according to sources such as Gallup, were in the 60th percentile. Today they measure in the 40th percentile and, in many countries, are dropping. This creates the challenge of harnessing the energy of an increasingly disengaged workforce. The relatively short span of CEO tenure heightens
Help them to develop dialogue before embarking on change
There are two main outputs for the first time CEO if they spend time in fully understanding the organisation, its environment and its capability. The first is honouring and understanding the past. The second is to embrace the future. Doing both in a way that extends dialogue is an area that many CEO’s seek help in mastering.