Finding world-class talent requires a partnership with a trusted outside advisor. Visit TRANSEARCH International to discover our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition.

Recruiting, Onboarding & Building a Team in a Virtual World

A handshake has been the unwritten seal of a deal for centuries. But in this new virtual world, a firm grip signifying 'you are hired' to a new CEO is no longer the norm. In fact, the whole process of recruiting and onboarding top talent has fundamentally changed.

How can organisations and C-suite candidates use the new normal to be successful? Frank Galati, Managing Partner at TRANSEARCH Toronto, describes one candidate's journey.

Read "Recruiting, Onboarding & Building a Team in a Virtual World" leadership insights

Project: Core Strength

"It's no longer candidates who are nervous at interview; it's now hiring managers who are anxious about identifying the character traits they'll need to survive and thrive beyond the impact of COVID-19. This is as true for Boards and CEOs as it is for recruiters and line managers."

This study uncovers the employee attributes that will enable organisations to thrive in uncertain times.

Read "Project: Core Strength" leadership insights

Purpose & Progress

"A strong and inspiring purpose motivates employees to stay, to persevere, to go the extra mile. It becomes the 'why of work' that attracts and retains because they are engaged with the vision, programs, social impact or the kind of ecosystem the business is in. They are proud of the product or service, and that makes them stay." - David Wongso, Managing Partner, TRANSEARCH Indonesia.

David contributes valuable insights to this AESC executive talent article on the purpose and progress.

Read "Purpose & Progress" leadership insights

The Leadership Weave

Unfolding seasons

Nature's plan lies not within any single season but in its unfolding unity. Each season is a special time, but it is the whole that yields nature's wealth. So it is with leadership. Leadership that defines the mission is of the head (winter). Leadership that generates movement is of the hand (spring). Leadership that builds through mastery must touch people's hearts (summer). Leadership that provides meaning has to encompass the spirit (autumn).

Only when all of the seasons are "full," only when each unfolds one unto another can leadership bring about a transformation. Only when the leadership weave is complete can leadership be the difference that makes a difference. For people to give of themselves they need to feel that to change is to step into the light. For people to be deeply committed, they have to believe that the journey they are being asked to take is one that has personal meaning.

Leadership balance

What people are yearning for are leaders who can not only address the head and deliver the hand, but also engage the heart and enrich the spirit. There is overwhelming evidence to support the contention that many of us are well versed in the head and hand. None of us can become masterful leaders, however, until we complete the weave.

In today's turbulent times we believe strongly that to lead is to employ the head; empower the hand; engage the heart; and enrich the spirit. This "leadership balance" - be it found coaching a CEO, our on-line 360° feedback instrument, designing a culture intervention or developing role-specific leadership competences - is central to the Orxestra® experience. Discover the Orxestra® Methodology and get in touch with a consultant to discuss how we can help you find tomorrow's leaders today.

Insights from the book 'New Role, New Reality' by John Burdett, © 2003. A book extract is available from the Orxestra® Methodology page in which John describes the Head, Hand, Heart, Spirit Leadership Model.

TOP Leaders Have a Passion to Learn

Exploring new ways to learn

TOP (Transforming, Outstanding, Performance tested) Talent refers to those fully equipped to excel in a, hitherto unknown, level of business and societal uncertainty. Those who don't read are no better off than those who can't read. Indeed, now more than ever, leaders are readers. And they go out of their way to share the learning involved with those around them. We are also talking about a special kind of learning - challenging oneself, pushing forward, reflecting on what works, embracing risk and kicking performance up to the next level.

Traditional learning is all about gaining knowledge and/or skills. Expertise is essential but continuously learning how to learn is even more important. This speaks to moving to the edge of one's comfort zone. It captures a leadership approach where stepping into new space is obligatory. It's about letting go of the past and coming to terms with taking emotional risk. Curiosity is the start of it, acquiring new skills is part of it, but learning how to learn is the heart of it.

Without truly challenging the status quo, things are destined to stay the way they are. Without reflection, there is no learning. And without constantly exploring new ways to learn, there is little hope of learning faster than the competition.

Learning how to learn

Tomorrow's organisation will be a team of teams. And forget the notion that the team is made up of people you meet with regularly. A boundary-less mindset, connect-ability, collaboration at a distance and enabling people with ideas to bump into each other is the only game in town. As for consensus … we don't have time! Ensure that team members get their fingerprints all over the issue. Encourage candour. Draw out disagreement, but once the decision has been made - full agreement or not - commitment is assumed. Learning how to learn.

Even when hiring people like you, the "interview" is an inadequate tool. Throw millennials, iGen and gig employees into the mix and its reliability goes down. Think short-term projects, reviewing past work, tracking down past colleagues, temporary assignments, meaningful reference checks and having the candidate deliver a presentation to the team. Learning how to learn.

Learning is drawn out of the experience … but it starts with a question. The better the question, the richer the experience that explores that question … the more impactful the learning. The question that frames truly impactful learning isn’t always apparent to the learner. Drawing it out is the art of facilitation.

A passion to learn

What does a passion to learn look like? It starts with a great question. It implies constantly challenging the way things are. It demands reflection. It becomes a habit through selfdiscipline. Listening, meanwhile, is nothing less than the, all essential, lubricant of learning. As for follow-up, without it, what we are describing is little more than "a nice conversation." Follow-up means not only following through … but sharing the learning with the team and beyond.

And the difference that makes a difference: Pass both the process and the learning content to those whose behaviour you seek to change. It's a matter of more "power to" and less PowerPoint … especially when seeking to draw the best out of recent generational cohorts to the workforce. Nurture the assumption that, ultimately, how we learn is more important than what we learn.

Insights by John Burdett. Orxestra Inc., © 2018.

Insights from "Tomorrow's Leadership Will Be Different".

Five TOP leadership competencies

"The shortage of talent"

It's a pretty good bet that, as you read this, somewhere in your competitor's camp there is an ongoing conversation about the qualities that describe tomorrow's leadership. Be it talent acquisition, succession, identifying high potential talent and/or shaping the investment in leadership, one thing is assured … tomorrow will not be a continuation of today.

We commonly see references to "the shortage of talent." Paradoxically, there is no shortage of talent. The growing number of business schools around the world, combined with the billions of dollars spent globally on leadership development means that there is actually a surfeit of candidates. The problem? The vast majority of those candidates are a great fit for a business environment that served us well in the past.

TOP Talent

A more integrated, faster and, by a quantum step, more complex business environment demands not just a new way to think and act but a new definition of "leadership success." Exponential change fuelled by ongoing leaps in technology … exacerbated by unprecedented disruption on a global scale … is, indelibly, redefining what is meant by the term "TOP Talent."

As we move into unchartered territory - where only those organisations that are fast, flat, flexible, focused and fertile (to new ideas) will survive - TOP (Transforming, Outstanding, Performance tested) Talent refers to those fully equipped to excel in a, hitherto unknown, level of business and societal uncertainty.

TOP leadership competencies

Other than know-how in technology, which is a given, leadership competencies differ depending upon the role. This emphasises the need to develop "role-specific" leadership competencies. Generic competencies have value, e.g., the broad leadership development agenda, but they are less than useful, however, when making hiring and succession decisions. That understood, five TOP leadership competencies are emerging as having future primacy:

  • A Passion to Learn
  • Leadership Reach
  • Comfort with Ambiguity
  • Resilience
  • Culture Savvy

In a world dominated by ideas, a move from cooperation to collaboration is essential - and inevitable. The environment and a new generation dominating the workplace mean that tribal loyalty will, of necessity, give way to a stronger sense of community. A community mindset, meanwhile, ushers in the dominance of stakeholder capital. How does your team make a difference in people's lives?

Although many are served by a more defused definition, "employee engagement" is about building a culture where opportunity and capability are aligned. To that end, any falloff in the fit between the speed of change in the business environment and a sense of personal growth - a perceived lack of currency in the job market - will quickly disillusion those the organisation most wants to retain. Why do your best people stay?

Finally, the fallibility of strategy means that, rather than being the by-product of a singular, linear direction, the organisation's culture must enable a range of potential future options to unfold. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable becomes the new norm.

Insights by John Burdett. Orxestra Inc., © 2018.

Insights from "Tomorrow's Leadership Will Be Different".

Looking for the Bright Side in 2020

John Ryan provides a very open, honest and personal insight into how 2020 has impacted our lives and redefined the way we work.

"When we look back on 2020, it's mostly going to feel like a bad memory. But I have to believe that the bright sides that we shape during this time will give us a good start in 2021. We’re shaping our next chapter, and I can't help but feel a little bit optimistic about our ability to deal with global problems and figure out a path forward."

Read "Looking for the Bright Side in 2020" leadership insights

The Challenge for Global Leaders and Learners

The challenge for global leaders and learners (those terms should almost be synonymous) is to learn how to adapt to changing business currents and how to selectively engage the experience and insights that have served us well in the past while embracing new knowledge and a new sense of open-mindedness for whatever comes next.

Part of this new playbook for professional and managerial growth is to make some well thought out investments in the next generation of leaders who may, sooner perhaps than you might have previously imagined, be successors to some of the most pivotal roles in your enterprise. Perhaps even yours!

You see, mentoring, encouraging and acting to promote promising younger stars in our modern-day, highly interconnected global organisations is not only part of the chemistry for future growth we need to achieve ambitious goals, but also the means through which we see business opportunities through a different lens and build the internal support for seizing them.

Insights from "Providing Opportunities for Next Generation Leaders".

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