The Challenge

Our client was a FTSE 30 multinational consumer goods business. The Board were keen to consider the quality of the succession pipeline to the Executive Committee and asked us to provide an independent, externally benchmarked assessment of 30 leading candidates for future promotion to the top team.

Our Approach

We started by agreeing with the Chairman, CEO and CHRO exactly how we would conduct the assessments and agreed a model based on depth two-hour interviews, supplemented by selective internal references. We also explored the general leadership competencies that were desired of senior leaders in the business, to supplement the specific functional capabilities that different roles required. We finally briefed the candidates on the process and asked them to prepare a structured CV ahead of our interviews with them.

We then interviewed each candidate, with two of our partners involved in each session, and explored their career histories and track records as well as their leadership style through competency-based questioning, to form a preliminary view on the candidate’s strengths and development needs as well as on how well they benchmarked against the best external peers. We also took up the internal references to add colour and further perspective to our judgements. We used these insights to prepare 2-3 page reports on each individual, laying out in clear language our judgement on their distinctive strengths, their key areas of development and their overall calibration.

These individual reports were then shared with the Board, CEO and CHRO, before then being discussed with each candidate as a key input to their future development plans. We also developed a synthesised set of observations on the overall quality of the succession bench as well as on common themes in terms of strengths and weaknesses across that management population, which was discussed both the Board and the Executive Committee.

The Outcome

The Board have now implemented these changes and are now proving even more effective in their leadership of the business, which continues to go from strength to strength.