Presidential & CEO Searches: Why it is critcal to move quickly

Is there any search assignment more critical than that for a new president or CEO?





ZEN Garden: Portland, OR

Clearly, the leader sets the tone for the organization as well as the strategic direction and of course is the chief problem solver, too.   When I talk with board members and senior execs of companies and institutions of higher learning, I often get the question:

“How urgent should it be to move the senior executive officer search forward and what are the key benefits or risks in doing this?” 

Let’s enumerate a few key benefits for moving ahead swiftly:

  • Impact on timely strategic decision making
  • Fund raising/Long term and immediate
  • Recruitment of the right new leadership talent
  • Urgency in addressing key constituency concerns and needs
  • Timeliness in addressing key opportunities, risks and challenges

Benefits sell and all other information tells…so goes, the classic aphorism.  But, benefits are key to most decision making because they are quantifiable in terms of  revenue gained, costs saved, marketplace perceptions and time saved.   The longer the leadership “hole” is left “open” the worse things really might become.

So, if you and your board are faced with transition of the top leader, attempt to assess the “costs” of waiting to launch the hiring process for a new university president or CEO, and keep in mind that timeless latin phrase…tempus fugit and then, act accordingly.

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About Keith Kulper

Keith D. Kulper is the president and founder of KULPER & COMPANY, LLC an executive search consulting firm working in the area of senior level leadership for academia and corporate innovation. We are strong advocates of nurturing the linkage between academic investigation/research and corporate innovation/full commercialization of new product solutions. We specialize in attracting proven leaders who can effectively drive transformational change. The firm operates an Advisory Board that meets annually to bring together leaders from academia and corporate innovation to help drive continuous improvement of our professional practice. We are also an investor in early stage companies. We take pride in supporting the growth and development of business and engineering schools at leading universities throughout the United States.

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