CEO Lessons Learned 2 – Critical Constituencies

In our client work we often get a chance to discuss with CEOs matters that evolve into significant lessons learned for our clients and ourselves.

The Role of Critical Constituencies

As we exit the global recession it is essential that we remind ourselves of the need to clearly identify what are the most critical roles in an enterprise, and whom are the most essential incumbents in these areas.

The following derived from a recent client experience.

One of our clients is a large global insurance company.  When the CEO was asked,“what are your critical roles”, his response was “my direct reports.” When we probed a little more aggressively we determined that the most important role, or what we refer to as “Critical Constituency,”  was in fact the Actuaries.

When we met with the Actuaries we found that they felt very disenfranchised and in fact were “counting down the days”! What was even more compelling was that the average age of this group was 59! 

As we would expect Actuaries understand retirement!

This group was treated as if they starred in The Revenge of the Nerds.  They even had  their own tables in the lunchroom.

When we looked at the external marketplace we discerned that despite the recession the profession is not exactly a magnet for new recruits.  After all who wants to take exams for the rest of their professional life!

When we informed our client of their risks…. he did an outstanding job of recovering lost ground with the adage…. “Sheer panic brings clarity of thought.”

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