• Kim Allan

Why consulting jobs are on the rise

Organizations need agile, authentic, and highly capable leaders to move forward during a crisis and chart a course beyond the immediate disruption. But in the current environment, what should organizations do if they are missing critical skills on their leadership teams?

Just days before this pandemic hit North America, a global study was released from Harvard Business Review, revealing that while 95% of senior executives believe that managing disruption well is vital to the success of their organizations, only 15% have confidence in their own leadership team’s ability to successfully do this.

The Harvard Business Review Analytics, revealed an uncomfortable truth: most executives do not believe they have the right leadership in place to manage through a crisis.

Within the leadership team, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and COOs are now being tested like never before as challenges around people, finance, and technology become increasingly overwhelming. If the required bench strength is missing internally, what can organizations do during a time when many are cutting back?

. Focus on the Key Roles Organizations are working hard to be innovative and pivot right now, but that often means accessing a different type of talent or experience. “Some organizations are redeploying team members from other parts of the organization or leveraging mentor ship from a Board Director or advisor, and this may provide the stopgap needed right now. If these are not viable options, organizations need to identify and prioritize areas where new leadership will deliver the most impact and explore hiring options.

Some of the organizations have gaps in their org charts, while others are thinking about bringing on functional experts in new areas to help them modify their operations or supply chains – there are definitely functions that have emerged as being most critical right now. Aside from obvious areas like healthcare and food distribution, a surge in demand for executives with experience in technology and operations, and a growing need for HR and finance executives with experience leading through crisis and change is happening.

Finding the Right Type of Leaders Executive teams and boards need to have honest conversations about the expertise they need right now. Who on the leadership team has experience managing a crisis or implementing a disaster recovery plan? Who can model out the different scenarios and make decisions without having 100% of the information? How do we develop succession plans to ensure that the right talent is in place to help us recover from this in the coming months?

In the study, it reveals that certain qualities are more essential for effectively managing amid rapidly changing times. Traits like adaptability, courage, drive, and curiosity are critical leadership skills at this time. They must also be coupled with high emotional intelligence and strong communication skills to engage and inspire people to innovate, pivot, and stay motivated, especially while teams are working virtually.

If your organization needs to fill a critical role right now, it’s important to find the type of people that do well and can lead through a crisis or major transformation, How will they rally a team through some very long days and sudden pivots?

Consider Hiring Blue Water Strategy For organizations facing layoffs, hiring freezes, or major re-organizations, this may not feel like the right time to bring in a new senior leader. But bringing in an interim executive who offers a much-needed skill set for a temporary period can offer several advantages for many companies right now.

Blue Water Strategy has the experience entering new organizations under imperfect conditions. We know how to onboard themselves quickly, and they also know how to stay focused and add value. Blue Water Strategy provides a steady pair of experienced hands for a specific length of time or project duration and can also provide ongoing fractional support and consulting to complement the existing leadership team.

For organizations looking to position themselves for short- and long-term success, having the right skill sets to deal with this level of disruption is critical. Organizations tend to pivot to seasoned executives during a crisis – ideally people who have seen a lot and can apply lessons learned.

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