CEO Today - Executive Coaching 2023

Our magazine has a deep focus on CEOs. How would a CEO benefit from transition coaching? I’d like to cite an Egon Zehnder study that unveiled a surprising revelation: a staggering 70% of CEOs either find their onboarding process lacklustre or, worse, non-existent. This statistic paints a disconcerting picture, suggesting what would likely satisfy nearly 99% of regular employees in an organisation falls far too short when it comes to the onboarding of top-tier executives. In a separate study, the Aberdeen Group delved into the onboarding procedures of 282 different organisations. The results illuminated a striking disparity between those adept at onboarding and the lagging companies that comprised the bottom 30%. The top 20% of companies that are designated as best-in-class stood out significantly across vital performance benchmarks: • A remarkable 96% retention rate among first-year employees, in stark contrast to the meagre 18% seen in laggard organisations • A notable 82% of employees hired in the past year achieved their initial performance milestones on schedule, a stark contrast to the paltry 3% in laggard companies • A significant 18% year-over-year enhancement in hiring manager satisfaction, in comparison to a 1% decline among their lagging counterparts • A substantial improvement of 12% in customer satisfaction and a commendable 10% increase in customer retention, compared to a mere 2% uptick in each category within laggard organisations. So, clearly, optimising CEO onboarding and transitions not only holds tangible and quantifiable benefits, but it also stands as a crucial component of commercial success for an organisation. What are, in your view, the ripple effects of getting CEO transitions wrong? I’d like to cite another study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), which delves into the farreaching impact of high-impact leadership transitions. Drawing from an extensive pool of over 30,000 executive leader transitions and fortified by numerous revealing executive leader interviews. The research illuminates a compelling narrative. What emerges as a striking revelation is that when a transitioning executive leader faces challenges, their direct reports tend to underperform by an average of 15% compared to those under the guidance of a high-achieving leader. This stark performance differential underscores the tangible repercussions associated with unsuccessful transitions. Digging deeper into the dynamics, the study also uncovers a statistically significant 20% contrast in the likelihood of direct reports of highperforming leaders versus those of struggling transitioning leaders being highly engaged or remaining within the organisation. These disparities extend beyond the immediate team, affecting executive peers relying on the transitioning leader and generating additional business opportunities. The ripple effects of executive transitions thus take on amplified significance. The CEB study unveils another compelling statistic: A typical large organisation boasts an average of 70 senior executives. Given an annual replacement rate of approximately 12%, this translates to an annual turnover of eight senior executive transitions. Remarkably, and despite this predictable pattern, many organisations approach CEO transitions with a mindset of mergers and acquisitions. This parallels the well-known pitfall of ineffective post- merger integration in M&A scenarios. In a similar vein, most executive transitions falter due to a lack of effective ‘integration’ of the CEO into a new role. Put differently, what would be the upside of getting CEO transitions right? Leading organisations grasp the profound ripple effects, both positive and negative, and choreograph “The book is jam-packed with insights as to why 40% of all executive transitions fail.” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2023 - GLOBAL - - 9 -

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