Category Archives: Executive Transition

Posts in this category relate to best practices and lessons learned when a senior executive transitions into a new leadership role. Posts are address perspective of entering executive, her/his boss, and her/his direct reports.

Transition Plan for CEOs

What To Do Between Your Exit and Next Position

We wrote a post about how to make a graceful exit (especially when it’s involuntary) that explored what steps to take when leaving your position. This post is the follow-up that dives into how to identify, assess, and consolidate lessons learned to find the right next job. We’ll explore three key steps to a successful transition plan for CEOs.

Continue reading Transition Plan for CEOs

Leader Exit

At an as yet unspecified time in the near future, the revered leader of a high-functioning team must exit, due to age, health, opportunity, or some other compelling reason.

The way the team sees it, the exiting leader must bring in a new leader or anoint someone from within, though no team member is clearly the one to take the reins in the eyes of the others. The team is anxious and wants to know what steps will be taken when to secure a new leader. Continue reading Leader Exit

Equity Rules

One of the hardest things for an owner/founder/operator to do is motivate others to perform and grow to their full potential. Watch how the  pride and endurance of a race horse transforms a struggling team into winners in this inspiring scene from Seabiscuit.

Movie rights provided by moviecomm.com.
Click to see a short inspiring clip from Seabiscuit.

Equity models are strategic because: Who gets What” defines “Who You Are!”  That is, the way owners share value with those who create it has a profound impact on the firm and the owners’ ability to attract, retain, and reward senior talent.

In his white paper, Equity Rules: Shaping powerful equity models via Sell.Pay.Convey, Mark Bronfman outlines the rules for using equity to secure a strategic advantage. His points are especially relevant to talent-driven ventures.

Private companies often use a variety of innovative tools, individually or in combination, to navigate and conquer major changes brought on by the urgent concerns of affordability, competency, and succession or “equity inflection points”. Continue reading Equity Rules

A Blueprint for Entering CEOs

CEO transitions into organizations are not easy. How long CEOs last and the frequency with which their own, and their Board’s, expectations are met have been studied in academia and well reported in the media. The results are stunning.

Two out of five incoming CEOs fail to meet their objectives in the first 18 months. Even those who make it past 18 months now have an average tenure of 7.6 years, down from 9.5 in 1995. The outlook is even bleaker for outside CEO hires, who take twice as long to ramp up as those promoted from within. Only one in five CEOs hired from outside are considered high performers at the end of their first year by their boards and nearly half leave within 18 months (reference: Harvard Business Review, 2014).

CEO failure may have less to do with competence, knowledge, or experience than with how CEO transitions are orchestrated and whether key support steps are missed. While not a guarantee, a programmatic approach to new executive transition can increase the odds and shorten the time-frame in which success is likely to be achieved.

Four goals, detailed in a previous IntelliVen post, guide the approach. Though they are simple to understand, the goals are not easy to achieve. Expert third-party facilitation, an authorizing environment committed to success, and previous experience, diligence, and focus go a long way towards improving the odds. Continue reading A Blueprint for Entering CEOs

Paying Fair: Four paths to fair pay and succession for private venture executives.

Synthetic Equity Cover - Paths to fair pay and successionBackground

Public company equity-based pay practices, such as stock, restricted stock, and employee stock options are often a poor fit for private companies committed to reward leaders for performance and growth and to motivate leadership and capital succession.

Equity based programs that make sense and work well in a public company come with many ills for private companies: they can be costly, tax-inefficient, static, ineffective, and sometimes downright unfair. In the worst case, equity pay practices can derail the owners’ plans for growth and succession.

Dynamic synthetic equity presents a more tailored solution for private companies interested in leadership and capital succession. Restricted stock and employee stock options often distort outcomes for private companies. Consider that:

  • The underlying stock price in a private company gyrates as owners enter and exit from, for example, a living or a death buyout or even a recapitalization. Stock price can jump 50% – unjustly rewarding the owners of true equity awards.

Continue reading Paying Fair: Four paths to fair pay and succession for private venture executives.