When it comes to a discussion on leadership assessment that focuses on all angles, including values and culture, it is hard to dismiss the famous quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” by renowned Management Consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker.
Many senior executive and business leaders are familiar with that quote, not because they would undermine the importance of strategy but because they celebrate and understand the power and potential that advanced and inspiring culture can bring to ensure success in a company, where everyone is responsible for their own successful outcome.
Jan-Bart Smits, International Chair of Stanton Chase and Partner at the Amsterdam office, has noticed a change in recent years. “I have witnessed major shifts in the executive search world. The business initially started because executive search Consultants knew people their clients did not,” he says. “With the world getting increasingly more accessible with the likes of LinkedIn and remote work, this naturally got disrupted. Access to these candidates, however, remains crucial. The distinguishing factor still means bringing the right candidates that add to the culture and values of the client.
Stanton Chase, a global leading executive search firm, and Hofstede Insights – the leader in cultural and value-based assessment – have recently announced an exclusive partnership.
Bernardita Mena, the new Global Head of Executive Assessment at Stanton Chase, is pleased about the recently announced global partnership between Hofstede Insights and Stanton Chase, as it “ensures the ability to assess the culture add and value alignment in candidates.”
“Getting to know why somebody behaves the way they do later helps to select the right people that will add and connect well with the culture of an organization.”Jan-Bart Smits, International Chair of Stanton Chase
When assessing candidates, Consultants used to mostly focus on the resume, followed by evaluating their competencies. These are measured by competency-based interviews and assessments tools. Jan-Bart Smits states that “the current ground-breaking trend is culture and value alignment. Getting to know why somebody behaves the way they do later helps to select the right people that will add and connect well with the culture of an organization.”
Egbert Schram, the CEO of Hofstede Insights, describes the process of cultural assessment:“By making a fuzzy topic like culture very numerical, we help visualize gaps and decide which actions to prioritize in certain parts of the organization. Where needed, we add more contextual information derived from structured interviews, which are scheduled based on the outcome of the quantitative analysis.”
Hofstede Insights uses a variety of assessments. Concretely, there are four types:
1. Culture Compass, an individual assessment that measures individual cultural value preferences as these can be important to ensure an emotional fit to a team/organization.
2. Cultural Adaptability Profile, which tells us about the extent to which individuals are likely to run into adaptability issues when dealing with new cultures.
3. Organisational Culture Scan, which measures the prevailing working practices on different layers, including at the team and organizational levels.
4. Executive Match, a 270-degree evaluation survey measuring to which extent an executive’s behavior supports the optimal way of working within a team/organization.
Together with certified practitioners the reports are later connected to the strategy of the organization, creating a gap analysis debrief and change prioritization pathway.
Besides Stanton Chase´s extensive experience in the personal domain, candidates and clients can now benefit from Hofstede Insights’ long involvement in the organizational culture domain while profiting from its key expertise and experience in understanding where national culture influences organizational culture.
Schram adds: “If leaders understand how cultures are shaped and can be changed, it will enable them to optimize business operations. Culture is like an onion with various layers. For purposeful value creation and ‘living the values’ one must always be aware of ensuring consistency between them.”
Stanton Chase and Hofstede Insights help find the right leaders who understand the optimal culture of an organization by recognizing how one’s own behavior sets the tone and who then consciously shape working practices to create positive change.
About the Authors:
Bernardita Mena is the Global Head of Executive Assessment for Stanton Chase and a Managing Director of the Santiago office.
Jan-Bart Smits is the International Chair of Stanton Chase, a Partner at the Amsterdam office, and Global Leader for the firm’s Technology and Professional Services Practice Groups.
Egbert Schram is the CEO of Hofstede Insights.