October 3, 2023 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson U.S. and SurePeople have launched a new onboarding program leveraging SurePeople’s platform, powered by the Prism psychometric algorithm and Harvard Business Publishing content. “Our executive onboarding program complements the executive search process by blending the experience of our human capital practice with robust psychometric data to generate actionable insights that help new leaders, and their teams, during the first 120 days,” said Jon Barney, industrial sector practice leader at Odgers Berndtson. “Powered by SurePeople’s patented technology and Harvard Business Publishing’s world-class content, this innovative program leaps beyond conventional offerings.”
The Corporate Executive Board reports that 50 percent to 70 percent of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a new role, regardless of whether they were an external hire or promoted from within, with Harvard Business Review estimating that the cost of this failure equates to 400 percent of the executive’s salary.
“The key to successful onboarding is that critical moment of truth – the early alignment of the executive with their new team and their effective assimilation into the organizational culture,” said Niko Drakoulis, founder and CEO of SurePeople. “This innovative new executive onboarding program helps to deliver a frictionless transition for executive leaders and their teams by optimizing relationships, accelerating team alignment, and speeding the cycle-time from orientation to productivity.”
The program achieves this by blending SurePeople’s AI-driven technology and integrated learning content from Harvard Business Publishing, with the skills and experience of the accredited coaching professionals and business psychologists in Odgers Berndtson’s human capital consulting practice to support new executives and their teams.
“This executive onboarding program aligns perfectly with our objective to be a progressive, technology-enabled leader in the global executive search landscape,” said Kennon Kincaid, CEO of Odgers Berndtson. “Effective onboarding is crucial for the success and growth of organizations. By combining powerful insights from SurePeople’s Prism with Harvard Business Publishing’s academic excellence, we are reshaping the onboarding landscape, making it evidence-based, purposeful, and tailored to the needs of individuals and teams. Our new executive onboarding program allows executives and their teams to embark on their journey with a shared vision and reinforces Odgers Berndtson’s commitment to being the change-drivers in our industry.”
“Our team at Harvard Business Publishing is excited to integrate our world-class content and thought leadership, leveraging the remarkable depth and breadth of Harvard Business School, Harvard Business Review, and an unrivaled network of industry experts into SurePeople’s patented platform,” said Douglas Beimler, VP of global sales at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. “This synergy enhances executive and leader onboarding by accelerating speed-to-relationships and enriching cultural assimilation. It amplifies leader effectiveness and fosters a cohesive, engaged, and agile team environment. Together, we’re enabling executives to enhance their people skills and perform at their best during critical onboarding and leader transition processes.”
Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment, and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011 and has been one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson has U.S. offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Houston, TX; Los Angeles; Minneapolis, MN; New York; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.
A New Leader
This spring, Odgers Berndtson named Mr. Kincaid as its new CEO for its U.S. business, succeeding Steve Potter, who held the position for the past 12 years. Mr. Pottier, who will remain an active board member, has grown the firm to become No. 12 on the Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Recruiters ranking in the U.S. “He has built a strong team, and a particular achievement has been hiring and developing Kennon as his successor,” Odgers Berndtson said. “They have worked closely together for five years as COO and CEO preparing for this transition.”
Odgers Berndtson Boosts Technology Practice, Scale-Up Offering
Odgers Berndtson is investing in the growth of its technology practice, at the same time as focusing heavily on its investor backed scale-up offering, the Scale Up Collective. The firm recently announced that David Bell will be heading the collective. He is joined by Sam Smith, who brings over a decade of executive search experience to the firm. “Despite disruption across technology markets globally and difficult economic conditions, Odgers Berndtson is investing now to strengthen their position as a world class executive search and talent advisory firm,” said the firm. Mr. Bell has 15 years’ executive search experience, the last eight of which have been working with private equity, venture capital, and founder-led technology businesses. Mr. Smith joins Odgers Berndtson from a leading boutique firm specializing in the European B2B SaaS eco-system. There, he supported public and venture capital/private equity backed businesses to build out their leadership teams.
“We are excited about the future of Odgers Berndtson U.S. and believe, with the smooth transition of Kennon to CEO and Steve as an active board member, we have the leadership to take our firm to even greater heights as one of the premium global executive search firms in the world,” said Kester Scrope, group CEO of Odgers Berndtson.
Mr. Kincaid has spent the past four years as the Odgers Berndtson U.S. chief operating officer, where he oversaw its people, processes, and operations. He serves on the firm’s board of directors as well as its global advisory board. Prior to joining Odgers, Mr. Kincaid served as a diplomat, advancing the interests of the U.S. and its allies across Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Subsequently, he joined Rocket Lab, a leading aerospace company and launch service provider, where he established and led international business development, security operations, and government relations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media