Wrong Decisions: Why Companies Miss the Most Important Factor In Executive Hiring

February 21, 2024 – A few months ago, Kingsley Gate published a full report in conjunction with The Financial Times covering the importance of decision making in determining several outcomes (including executive satisfaction), the degree to which the topic is missing from executive interviews, and the role that new senior hires can play in improving a company’s decision effectiveness.

“There are so many different environments and each with their own challenges,” said Kristina Kalkman, partner at Kingsley Gate. “For example, early-stage companies often have very centralized/top down decision making. As they grow and mature, it is vital that the decision making evolves to a more distributed and durable process. Developing and maintaining a common language and structure for decision making can and will improve organizational effectiveness, decision quality, and employee engagement. This, however, requires persistence, openness, and discipline.”

Ms. Kalkman has seen many times ‘fit’ used as ‘fit in’ and a reason to exclude candidates who are supremely qualified but perceived as being different for various reasons. “The temptation to focus on fit can and does limit a company’s ability to bring diverse experiences and thinking to bear for the benefit of the organization,” she said. “When assessing candidates, companies need to assess the candidate’s ability to adapt, collaborate and evolve the organization for the better.”

So what role do external senior executive hires play in helping drive improved decision making? “By entering an organization and leading a culture of empowerment and accountability, along with sharing a quality, clear, and scalable decision-making process which is inclusive of the right subject matter experts and stakeholders new hires can drive an exponential improvement to their new organizations,” Ms. Kalkman said.

Kingsley Gate’s processes begins with gaining a deep understanding of our clients and their current and future needs and environments – their business objectives and operating culture. “Our candidate assessment process is objective and measurable against the key criteria necessary to meet the client’s needs leading to maximum impact,” said Ms. Kalkman. “This includes our proprietary framework to give clients a view of what they can expect in terms of their candidate’s decision-making abilities and approach.”

Join Kingsley Gate tomorrow for an interactive webinar supported by Hunt Scanlon Media. The session will focus on the idea of business decision making as one of the most important aspects of a senior executive’s remit, and how/why it is often overlooked in the executive hiring conversation.

This a great opportunity to hear first-hand from some of the key players in our industry. They will share valuable insights including specific examples they’ve observed, root cause rationales as to why certain phenomena exist or transpire today, reactions to the study findings, and predictions for the future.

We will be joined by the chairman of McKinsey & Company North America, Gary Pinkus, along with two partners from Kingsley Gate: Christine Sobhani and Ms. Kalkman.

“Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of importance of adding decision-making discussions front-and-center during executive hiring and onboarding for ultimate job satisfaction and company success and the familiar consequences of not having these discussions,” said Ms. Kalkman. “In a recent study with FT Longitude, we found that a quarter of senior executives say they were not asked about their decision-making capabilities during the hiring process and only around a third said their decision-making style aligns with that of their organization.”

Free registration … Click here to sign up!

The Speakers

Gary Pinkus is the chairman for McKinsey & Company in North America. He was previously the managing partner for the firm in North America, and before that led McKinsey’s office for the Western United States. Mr. Pinkus is also the former global leader of McKinsey’s private equity & principal investors practice, which he helped cofound almost two decades ago. He serves clients across a variety of different industries and topics, including leading companies in private equity, healthcare, and energy. Mr. Pinkus joined McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles in 1987 as a business analyst and came to the firm’s San Francisco Office in 1992. Over the course of his career, he has worked for Dole Fresh Fruit in Honduras; Bear Stearns’ Mergers and Acquisitions Group in New York; and in McKinsey’s Houston, Mexico City, Sydney, and Zurich offices. In addition to his client work, Mr. Pinkus has been a member of the firm’s shareholders council (board of directors) for almost a decade, and now chairs the senior partners committee (the committee responsible for evaluating McKinsey’s senior partners).

Kristina Kalkman is a partner with Kingsley Gate. Her consultative approach has proven highly effective at executing strategic talent initiatives and delivering outstanding, diverse talent. Ms. Kalkman’s hands-on, common sense approach is highly effective in matching appropriate talent to leadership positions for companies of all sizes – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. She has delivered a broad range of roles for clients spanning industries including, technology, consumer goods, energy, insurance, sustainability, manufacturing, and lean for both manufacturing and service industries. Her strengths include her ability to listen and relate to the specific needs of her clients, allowing her to serve as a powerful advisor to identify and refine current and future leadership requirements. One of Ms. Kalkman’s specific areas of expertise is working with founders/CEOs of privately held companies to define and acquire the right leadership and skills necessary to achieve their next level.

Christine Sobhani is a senior partner at Kingsley Gate. She brings over 20 years of recruitment experience to Kingsley Gate. Ms. Sobhani is a leader in the talent acquisition and talent management space with a focus in HR and leadership roles across industries. Before her last role as partner at August Leadership, she served as a managing director in Allegis Partners’ New York office, where she focused on identifying talented executives to lead organizations’ HR teams and leadership functions. Ms. Sobhani previously served as the vice president of global client solutions at Korn Ferry, where she was responsible for the client management and service delivery leadership of global recruitment accounts, as well as the management of a team of seven global account managers. Her clients were primarily in the technology, manufacturing, life sciences, and financial services sectors. Prior to this, Ms. Sobhani was financial services practice director with Pontoon Solutions, a division of Adecco, where she led the growth and management of the financial services practice and oversaw a staff of more than 80 recruiting professionals and a multimillion-dollar budget. Prior to Pontoon, she worked at a boutique search firm in New York City with a focus in financial services.

Aaron Mitchell Finegold is the chief marketing officer of Kingsley Gate. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s full-funnel marketing strategy, all external communications, and investment in business-critical capabilities such as experimentation, marketing automation, and measurement. Mr. Finegold brings over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, brand strategy, customer insights, user acquisition, and design thinking to Kingsley Gate. His experience driving innovation across both technology and professional services companies makes him uniquely qualified to lead Kingsley Gate’s marketing efforts. Before joining Kingsley Gate, Mr. Finegold spent three years as a senior leader at LinkedIn, with a focus on developing leading-edge marketing strategy, reinforcing marketing foundations (e.g., data, technology) and ensuring strong collaboration between marketing and other functions. Prior to LinkedIn, he was an associate partner in McKinsey & Company’s marketing and sales practice and served as a worldwide marketing strategy consultant at Ogilvy & Mather, developing demand generation and brand marketing strategies.

Attendance is free. To learn more and register to attend, click here!

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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