As we start 2024, we wanted to share a couple of reflections and insights from 2023 which we thought might be of interest. Namely a noteworthy shift in the mindset of clients when it comes to senior-level talent acquisition. Traditionally, Eden experienced a tendency among clients to “play it safe” by seeking board members within their own industry for roles spanning commercial, technical, operations, and finance. However, a discernible change has occurred, particularly in the last two years.
Clients are now breaking away from sector-specific norms, especially in commercial and operational roles. The focus is on sourcing talent from diverse backgrounds, bringing in fresh perspectives, innovative approaches, and varied experiences. This shift aims to propel operational performance and foster commercial innovation, crucial in the face of industry consolidation and retailers pushing for open book costing models. Some may have horror stories of when this kind of integration hasn’t worked in the past, which often leaves a sour taste. However, when expertise are transferable and company and candidate values align, the opportunity for different insights and ways of working are not only exciting but deliver better ROI.
Conversely, at Eden, we’ve observed a growing inclination among clients to prioritise sector-specific expertise in HR and Finance Board and Leadership appointments. The emphasis is on securing senior talent capable of adding value immediately, addressing challenges tied to labour, exchange rate fluctuations, inflation, and overall volatility across the supply chain. In particular, the role of CFOs has evolved beyond number crunching; they now lead customer and supplier meetings, drive negotiations, and must demonstrate heightened commercial acumen to justify their presence on the Board.
As we anticipate another year of macro volatility and industry consolidation in 2024, these trends are poised to persist and are arguably going to become more important. They challenge conventional ideas about the composition of Boards, reinforcing the notion that the best businesses thrive with the best and most diverse leadership teams.
Here at Eden, our business continues to evolve, growing not only in the scope of work and the geographies we operate in but also the services we are offering to our clients. We plan to take a more proactive approach by providing our clients with customised insights and organisational consultancy enabling them to delve more deeply into current trends, the challenges and opportunities they may present for senior talent and succession planning within their business’ board and leadership team—both in the present and the future.
We would welcome the opportunity to meet with both current and new clients to discuss in greater detail how this can help them to shape your Board and Leadership team. Please contact David Macaulay, Morten Andresen or David Buck to book in a face to face discussion.