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Navigating an Uncertain World with a Foot on the Accelerator Pedal

January 17, 2017 MICE No Comments Email Email

Successful organizations today move decisively with speed and agility ahead of competitors, according to new research from Heidrick & Struggles, detailed in a book to debut at site of World Economic Forum ’17In fast-changing and turbulent times, successful leaders and organizations move forward quickly while also being able to pivot adroitly as circumstances change and new opportunities begin to develop. Heidrick & Struggles ( (Nasdaq: HSII), a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping worldwide, has developed a research-based methodology, “Accelerating Performance,” to help its clients succeed in today’s volatile operating environments.

“After a year of unexpected developments in every region of the world, CEOs will need in 2017 to navigate the ripple effects of major disruptions plus whatever surprises are ahead for them in their own sectors,” said Colin Price, ( ) executive vice president and managing director – Leadership Consulting for Heidrick & Struggles. “Disruption creates risk but also opportunity. More than ever, leaders need to be able to accelerate their organizations to value ahead of their competitors, both established and newly emerging.”

Price has co-authored a new book, Accelerating Performance: How Organizations Can Mobilize, Execute, and Transform with Agility, that will debut at a private event this week as leaders from all over the globe gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum ( ) Annual Meeting 2017. Heidrick & Struggles has been a Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum for 10 years.

“Building on several bodies of research over many years, as well as extensive new research just completed, we have found that sustained organizational success requires acceleration,” Price said. He defines acceleration as, “the ability to reduce time to value by building and changing momentum more quickly than your competitors can.”

The research, along with extensive experience working with hundreds of companies across geographies and industries, led Heidrick & Struggles to develop the leadership framework “META” (mobilize, execute, and transform with agility). These priority areas demonstrate the attributes and differentiating actions leaders and organizations must accomplish to build momentum and achieve acceleration in today’s disruptive business environment.

“Although we began our research project thinking that elite organizations used a different approach to management than did lesser performers, we found that relatively successful companies across the spectrum emphasize the same things,” said co-author Sharon Toye, partner, Heidrick & Struggles Leadership Consulting. “All want to put the customer first. All want clarity within the management structure. All want to innovate. But elite companies are far more effective in attacking the same set of issues.”

The Heidrick & Struggles researchers identified 23 elite companies within the FT500 that came to be known collectively as the “super accelerators.” These organizations exemplified the winning behaviors–and avoided the traps–detailed in Accelerating Performance.

“The majority of competitive differentiation occurs based on an organization’s ability to make sense of changes in its environment and to act quickly,” Price said. “Leaders must act with speed and agility to exploit new sources of growth as well as to sustain the sources of today’s competitive advantage–in other words, play both offense and defense with nimble precision.”

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