CEOs of Private Equity–Backed Companies: Leveraging Insights from High-Performing Teams

Upgrading talent is a necessity identified by most CEOs as growth ramps up. This comes as no surprise. However, what is less evident is how that talent should be organized and deployed against a strategy, starting with the top team. Hiring a stronger supporting cast (e.g., a new CFO or chief product officer) may help, but too many management teams are suboptimized due to factors that extend beyond talent. We see many portfolio company CEOs wrongly assume that filling important talent gaps will automatically result in a performance bump.

Promises, Promises: What to Say to an Ambitious and Talented Executive

It plays out for virtually anyone in a top position, whether CEO, board member, or senior executive. There is a talented executive in the company with high career goals—a person with potential to be a senior enterprise leader and who is worth keeping—so naturally, one initiates conversations with the executive about the future. Ironically, the approach taken during these conversations can inadvertently set events in motion that may yield the opposite of what is intended.

Clash of Cultures: A Challenge Few Businesses Have Solved

One of the most significant talent challenges of our time is the integration of new capabilities and diverse perspectives into an established company culture. Whether it is the entrepreneurial technologist we want to hire to transform our business, the experienced multicultural leader we need to guide us in geographic markets, or the very real economic need to build leadership teams that reflect the diversity of our markets, the reality is the same.

You Don’t Need to Be Creative to Lead Innovation

Leaders often think of themselves as falling into one of two categories: innovative or not innovative. There is a distinct difference, however, between creativity and innovation. Creativity—coming up with novel ideas—is largely thought of to be an innate quality, although people can be trained to be more creative. Innovation, by contrast, is the leverage of creative thought in a market or system in order to invoke a change and provide a return on investment.

The Importance of Assessing Potential

With the possible exception of setting an organisation’s culture and strategic direction, there is no more important decision management can make than determining which employees have the potential to handle the scope and complexity required to run an enterprise. Yet over my 25 years of consulting, finding better ways to identify and develop potential has felt like the Holy Grail of organisational life: mysterious, elusive and always seemingly just around the corner.

Mind Games

RHR CEO Tom Saporito was quoted in an article entitled "Mind Games" in the Brunswick Review.

“Myers-Briggs is information that is used to facilitate development and discussion,” says Thomas Saporito, Chairman and CEO of management psychologists and consultants RHR International. “Those tests can be really helpful, if used in the right way. But they should never be used as the basis for a hiring decision.”

Bicultural Knowledge: The Key to Your Career

Lawrence James, a partner at RHR International and author of the research paper, Journey to the Top: Developing African American Executives, talks about bicultural knowledge as the key to one’s career. Lawrence addresses the nuances inherent in the developmental journey of African Americans as they strive to move upward in the business world, as part of a series.

High-Potential How-To

In building the ongoing capability needed to execute against its strategic objectives, an organization faces the critical and ever-present challenge of identifying, developing, and retaining its next generation of leaders. To select “high potentials,” many organizations rely heavily on past performance in evaluating candidates, sometimes augmenting the process through the use of tools assessing factors such as leadership style and cognitive ability.


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