November 8, 2023 – In the current business environment, most leaders understand the benefits of convening core team members at moments of transformative change. When a merger, buyout or reorganization materializes, there’s accepted wisdom that in-person group meetings best ensure alignment and trust with organizations and individuals—moving people forward in unison toward collective success, according to a recent report from Matt Brubaker, CEO of human capital advisory FMG Leading. “Coming to the surface is the reality that these moments don’t just occur when businesses mark rare institutional milestones,” the report said. “A new fiscal or calendar year—with refreshed strategy and budget updates—can also necessitate team readiness work, especially amidst long periods of uncertainty. In Q4, top executives engaged in budget planning would be wise to also focus on strategically aligning and preparing their teams to succeed in 2024, helping their enterprises leave behind the morass that characterized much of 2023 and rewrite the script for the New Year.”
For most organizations, Mr. Brubaker explains that 2023 has been unusually challenging. “Leaders have been anticipating forecasted recessions and recoveries amidst interest rate hikes, persistent inflation and a labor market that has remained tight across sectors,” he said. “The lengthy wait for conditions to change—either for the worse or the better—has led to stagnation and paralysis, preventing organizations from readying and aligning their people around decisive, forward-thinking plans.”
To illustrate, the CEO Confidence Index, a monthly survey conducted by Chief Executive, has shown that CEOs have and continue to deem the market environment as decidedly mediocre. In the most recent poll, nine out of 10 said they expect economic conditions in 2024 to either be flat (30 percent) or negative (58 percent) in 2024.
Despite the lack of clarity surrounding when these economic doldrums will end, Mr. Brubaker notes that CEOs would be wise to take definitive action now to prepare their core teams to meet next year’s objectives in order to avoid a repeat of 2023.
Success Isn’t Found Solely in a Spreadsheet
Decades of research has shown that teams can help drive revenue and growth when properly focused on individual roles and aligned on big-picture objectives, according to Mr. Brubaker. “Yet people too often take a back seat to spreadsheets when companies tackle the critical work of preparing for the forthcoming year,” he said. “This comes as no surprise given the demands of budget season. In preparing achievable and approvable business plans, executives often focus on looking up rather than across their organizations, meaning they take their eyes off the need for team readiness and optimization efforts that will be crucial to deliver results.”
“Too often, such gaps lead to missed opportunities, they turn a blind eye to conflicts, dysfunction, and underlying tensions that not only lead to underperformance but put overarching priorities in jeopardy,” Mr. Brubaker said. “On the flip side, teams that complement their budget planning with team readiness can better hit the ground running with the alignment and trust that enables quick decision-making and agile, high-performing execution.”
Tomorrow join PE-focused human capital advisory firm FMG Leading along with the senior leaders from Copley Equity Partners, Tilia Holdings, and LightBay Capital, to learn how portcos are intentionally aligning and focusing their teams during budget planning season to beat the competition in the coming year.
While leaders are counting on their teams’ ability to significantly improve financial results in 2024, employees have their doubts. In a recent FMG Leading LinkedIn poll, 33 percent of respondents report that they’re “not very confident” in their leadership teams’ ability to deliver in the year ahead…..while only 13 percent responded that they were “extremely confident” that their leadership team was poised to deliver in 2024.
Don’t miss the opportunity to ensure your 2024 plan is backed by the essential human capital capabilities and strategic narrative needed to achieve industry-leading results.
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Matt Brubaker is CEO of FMG Leading. Throughout his professional career, he has partnered with investors, boards, and CEOs to build high-performing organizations. His advisory work, especially in private equity, focuses on growth strategy, senior team alignment, and enterprise-wide change initiatives. Dr. Brubaker helps clients navigate the complex people-related dynamics associated with rapid growth, pivots in strategy, and transformational change. A recognized thought leader on the subject of human capital strategy, his work has been featured in numerous management publications including: Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, and Private Equity International. He serves as an operating partner at WindRose Health Investors, a New York-based private equity firm, and also sits on the boards of JM Search, Traditions Behavioral Health, and Big Sky Bravery.
Chris Mitchell is principal, private equity at FMG Leading. He is an experienced and grounded leader, advisor, and business coach with over 30 years of experience. His expertise lies in his ability to guide executive leaders and teams through periods of rapid scale, ambiguity, and strategic change. Mr. Mitchell partners with senior leaders, investors, and boards to accelerate growth and create value. He brings a holistic approach to both corporate strategy and individual development, aligning overall business context and goals with the human capital capabilities required for organizations to thrive. Mr. Mitchell guides executive leaders through complex and nuanced situations where the stakes are high, primarily advising middle-market private equity-backed executives and investors, as well as senior leaders from a wide range of industries. His specialty is preparing executives to build and lead high-performing teams as they take on new growth expectations and the increased pace commonly associated with an infusion of growth capital.
Ann Getz, senior consultant at FMG Leadings, brings extensive experience and expertise in the areas of large-scale organizational change, culture integration, leadership and team development, talent management, healthcare leadership, and executive coaching. She has worked with executives, physicians and organizations across various industries, in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to FMG Leading, Ms. Getz worked for Ernst & Young in the healthcare and business transformation and talent practices. she specialized in the areas of leadership alignment, culture integration, health technology implementation, post-merger integration, shared services and physician leadership and engagement.
Matt DiFrancesco joined Copley in 2018 and as VP is currently responsible for originating and evaluating investment opportunities, deal execution, and assisting portfolio companies on a range of strategic initiatives. Prior to that, he spent three years in New York, working as an investment banking associate for DH Capital where he focused on transactions in the technology sector. Mr. DiFrancesco also worked in capital markets deals advisory for PwC’s Transaction Services group.
Will Busch joined Tilia as managing director, organizational strategy & transformation in 2023. He has over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and leading strategic human capital initiatives that accelerate profitable growth. Most recently, Mr. Busch led the PE practice at FMG Leading as managing director, growth strategies. Prior to that, he held a variety of executive roles at Korn Ferry and Gallup, where he developed a unique approach to business transformation that incorporated strategy execution, behavioral economics, change management, and customer analytics to create and capture value.
Ben Herman is a seasoned partner at LightBay Capital, where he spearheads investments across various industries and transaction types. With a keen strategic vision, he has been instrumental in driving the success of numerous ventures. Mr. Herman earned his master of business administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor of arts from Yale University.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media