02/10/2014 02.57 EST
I recently read a very interesting piece by Jean Martin, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review: For Senior Leaders, Fit Matters More than Skill. Jean writes about the need to evaluate an executive’s “network fit” when considering him or her for hire. By “network fit,” she means “how well the potential hire will fit with the way his or her new colleagues work.” This is distinctly different from “cultural fit,” which predicts how well the executive will align with the corporate culture more broadly.
Jean points out that executives who fail often do so because of a problem with “network fit.” She goes on to examine whether internal recruiters are better able to sense network fit when compared to external search partners. I think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t think either party does a particularly good job on this critical aspect of evaluating external executives for key leadership positions.
The article got me thinking – always dangerous – so I thought I would share a couple of reactions.
If you get to know the executive’s team at the front end of the search, you can help the team align with the executive when the search is done – two ideas that will help stack the deck for success.