Bringing a new C-level executive on board is always fraught with risk: Any misstep can be expensive and embarrassing. As a result, companies may play it safe by looking for someone with just the right CV or perhaps a recent stint at a high-flying competitor. Who does the board like? What will the analysts think?
The challenge has become even more daunting as an increasing number of companies use their culture as a point of differentiation and strategic advantage. Look, for example, at the companies that have embraced the concept of “creating shared value” or “conscious capitalism.” These “higher ambition” firms pursue a stakeholder-centric approach to business, which makes it difficult to find a stellar candidate to fill a top role. The right person must possess industry credentials and embrace a fundamentally different conception of the role of business in society.
When hiring be certain that your culture is what you’ve been saying it is.