CxO Succession and Search

A multilayered process that needs insight, integrity and a comprehensive understanding of the team and organizational dynamics

The appointment of a new CxO or other top leadership position is one of the most critical decisions a Supervisory Board can make. The search for a new CxO is a multilayered process that needs to be handled with insight, integrity, and a comprehensive understanding of all the dynamics and stakeholders involved. More importantly, the CxO succession plan should continuously be top-of-mind with Board members and executives, as approaching it well-informed and well-prepared is the best way to safeguard the organization’s continuity in terms of corporate culture, business performance, and societal impact.

A well-thought-out succession plan is key to leadership effectiveness

NGL International has an outstanding track record in guiding organizations throughout the CxO succession process. Our experts on leadership transformation have all had extensive first-hand experience with succession issues from every angle – as appointed executives, departing CxOs, and Supervisory Board members. As your trusted partner, NGL will proactively help you to monitor and guide current and future developments for your entire leadership team, offering recommendations with ruthless compassion and providing the much-needed perspective of other eyes.

“I now know that finding the right candidate is all about excellent preparation, aligning on what we really need, and intensive coaching of both the client and the candidate—before, during and after the placement. Thanks to NGL, I felt like we all had a shared goal for long-term success. And it worked out perfectly.”
Country CEO of a multinational

Let’s talk about CxO succession:
competencies, provenance, and looking ahead

A key component in any succession plan is developing the likely future context that the company and its CxO will need to succeed in 3-5 years. That requires defining key leadership competencies like:

  • Superior team-building and strategic skills
  • Communication acumen
  • An ability to translate relevant societal trends into company policy
  • The capability to establish and execute a sustainability agenda
  • Embracing the reality of digitization and new business models
  • Building an inclusive environment for diverse talent to flourish

Crucial stakeholders, internal and external, should be consulted for valuable contributions to develop an actionable profile for the new CxO, always striving to achieve an optimal balance in the collective qualities and performance of the leadership team.

“The specific question of CxO succession is always married to the broader question of enduring leadership.”
Vincent Moolenaar

NGL International

Insider or outsider

The Supervisory Board often faces a dilemma between the familiarity of an internal CxO candidate versus the breakthrough prospects of appointing an outsider. The right outcome requires a fully objective assessment and depends in part on the other incumbent executives’ profiles as well as the organization’s current state of affairs: is the company sailing on a calm sea or in troubled waters?

When designing and optimizing a succession plan, companies can benefit from NGL International’s proven coaching talent and succession management processes. We can help to clarify, for example, the internal candidates’ bench strength, whether they are ready now or may be ready later, and the need and opportunity for further strengthening the company’s leadership diversity profile.

Building for the future

As part of the succession process, preparing the current CxO for departure is a key responsibility of the Supervisory Board chair. This includes providing room to demonstrate and celebrate the CxO’s leadership legacy, including the foundations that were laid for their successor to build on.

This benefits the leader’s enduring reputation as well as the company’s and Board’s own standing: it shows that on your watch, solid foundations were laid and sustained. This way, the departing CxO remains linked to the company’s brand and will, going forward, be a better ambassador for it.

The leadership experts at NGL International are experienced C-suite alums dedicated to being a trusted companion along the path of CxO succession, offering both the benefits of their expertise and the independent viewpoint of other eyes.