High Performing Executive Teams

Build a leadership team that performs and transforms

The CEO’s most important asset: a high performing executive team

Digitalization, demographic shifts and the global pandemic are radically reshaping the world of business. To survive, organizations are being forced to fundamentally change their business models, evolve their products and services, redefine the customer experience, and work more efficiently and effectively. 

The question on every CEO’s mind is, “How can I make this transformation happen?” The pace of disruption requires CEOs to transform organizations almost continuously while delivering consistently stronger business outcomes. This kind of constant transformation demands alignment and agility, which can be difficult given the speed of change.

No CEO—no matter how talented, visionary and inspiring—can successfully plan and implement a new business model single-handedly. Transformation on this scale is only achievable if CEOs are able to fully leverage the most powerful weapon they have at their disposal: the high performing executive team. A high performing executive team can advance the CEO’s agenda more quickly and make the organization more nimble and responsive to market changes. Executive teams are especially critical in the face of complex challenges or issues. They use their combined experience and expertise to manage paradox, explore multiple alternatives and build a commitment to new strategic initiatives across the organization.

Executive team performance is Korn Ferry's research-based, pragmatic way to help CEOs and senior executives get traction on their strategy by fully harnessing the collective power of their executive team.

The six challenges

Get the best performance out of your executive team

A research-based, pragmatic approach for getting the most from your executive team. In our work, we have found that executive teams typically encounter six challenges:

  1. The team’s collective work is often vague, leading executives to focus on their role-specific accountabilities rather than the enterprise agenda.
  2. The most talented, hard-charging executives are not always the most effective team players.
  3. Team processes, particularly decision-making processes, are often implicit rather than explicit, leading to issues of trust. 
  4. Teams do not attend to adopting the standards of behavior (norms) that foster trust and productive relationships necessary to integrate and energize the team.
  5. Leadership teams typically give little thought to their ongoing development and, as a result, they fail to grow as a team. 
  6. Effective team functioning occurs in phases and can decrease if the team leader does not consistently focus on fostering the conditions for a high-performance team.

Essential factors for executive teams

Korn Ferry consultants work with the leader and their team to strengthen the six factors that are essential for outstanding executive teams. Here’s how:

  • Leadership

    We tell it like it is, acting as an honest mirror for team strengths and opportunities and supporting the CEO in leadership by providing coaching to enabling them to lead an outstanding executive team.

  • Purpose

    We work with the CEO and the team to define team purpose: not only why the team exists, but also the collective work that only a high performing executive team can do, clarifying the unique value of the team now and in the future.

  • People

    We help the people on the team to deliver value, collectively and individually, bringing Korn Ferry’s unique blend of assessment, leadership development, and search capability to the team.

  • Processes

    We set the team up for success, clarifying decision-rights and establishing the processes (e.g., agendas, pre-read, meeting minutes, etc.), that can so easily derail performance if not properly established.

  • Standards of behavior

    We work with the team not only to set norms (standards of behavior) but to activate them and build the inclusive culture required for collective intelligence to thrive.

  • Development

    We enable the team’s continuous development through coaching; structuring time to pause and reflect so the team has the feedback and tools that enable them to grow in capability over time.

Let us be part of your success story

Contact us and see how our consulting services can help you achieve your business goals.