TITLE - TBD
Note: The exact title is “TBD” because, whatever the title, the ideal candidate must earn cross-functional influence. The title in this description is defined as the “Chief Performance Officer” as many companies have adopted that title. Other descriptors adopted include “enablement”, “effectiveness” and “transformation”. Get the right candidate and the title isn’t important! The level is typically an SVP/EVP and considered a member of the C-suite. I’d bring someone in at an SVP level and give them runway to EVP.
About the Position
The Chief Performance Officer (“CPO”) is a melding of Finance and Human Resource (“HR”) disciplines. Working with Finance, the CPO uses financial and other performance related data to identify and prioritize performance improvement opportunities. Common priorities include post-merger value capture and the ROI on key strategic initiatives. Working with HR, the CPO works to optimize the individual, group and team contributions that enable cross-functional performance. Common priorities include employee engagement, internal communication, team dynamics, change management and leadership development.
The CPO operates as an internal consultant. They provide analysis, develop solutions, offer best practices, and actively engage across functional silos. Reporting to the CEO, the CPO aligns his/her focus with the company’s strategic priorities. As a member of the C-suite, the CPO collaborates with functional heads to optimize enterprise wide performance, close performance gaps and ensure critical business initiative succeed. Areas of focus typically include performance management, change management and post-merger integration. In many cases, the CPO is either closely aligned or responsible for the Centers-of-Excellence (“CoE”).
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
Performance management is a critical leadership skill. Enterprise performance is a blend of people, process and technology. The CPO is responsible for improving the organization’s ability to achieve goals through effective management and leadership practices.
- Partner with C-level executives to implement a continuous improvement culture across the enterprise.
- Identify and address performance gaps and leakage. Use a consultative approach to identify root cause problem definition, design corrective action plans, and monitor performance improvement.
- Partner with Finance to promote a data driven approach across the enterprise, using data as a means of describing and predicting performance and to prescribing performance enhancements.
- Partner with Sr. Operators to implement and advance a systematized approach to performance management based on repeatable and sustainable process rigor.
- Partner with HR to proactively align systems and practices with performance objectives and to design and provide coaching and skill development needed to address performance gaps.
- Support the growth and enablement of various departmental Centers-of-Excellence.
Change of any type is a material risk to performance. “Change” is actually a type of performance that can be measured by various time and performance-based metrics. “Agility” is a critical individual, group and organizational capability. The CPO, in partnership with the CHRO, is responsible for developing organizational agility.
- Partner with HR to promote organizational learning, growth and agility. Efforts typically include skill development and internal communications (including 2-way feedback loops).
- Work with Operators to identify the likely barriers to change including skill gaps, poor communication, lack of understanding, fear, etc.
- Work with Operators to develop and implement change management plans enabling teams to accept, adapt and adopt new policies, procedures and expectations
- Facilitate, provide or delivery executive coaching support to critical personal
Between 70-90% of mergers fail to achieve financial objectives (Harvard Business Review). The CPO facilitates the organization’s efforts to 1.) Maintain momentum in ongoing businesses; 2.) Maximize synergies and value creation; 3.) Build and align cultures; and 4.) Advance the combined competitive position.
- Facilitate and/or participate in the integration management process
- Help identify threats to meeting post-merger financial objectives
- Ensure preventative measures are built into cross-functional integration plans
- Help onboard, assimilate and retain key talent acquired
- Monitor post-merger KPIs and integration progress reports
- Assist mgmt. in designing, implementing and executing corrective action plans as needed
Knowledge, Skills & Capabilities Required
- Ability to earn influence through consultative leadership practices
- Ability to apply process improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma, Lean methodologies and Total Quality Management (“TQM”)
- Expertise with various change management methodologies and best practices
- Deep understanding of post-merger integration activities and processes
- Project mgmt. skills including cross-functional team building, facilitation and problem solving
- Knowledge and ability to support advanced internal communications strategies
- Ability to influence senior level executive performance through behavioral interventions, coaching, mentoring and other forms of personal and professional development
- Strong written and oral communication, relationship and trust building skills a must
- A minimum of 10-years in senior leadership roles within larger, multi-national companies
- Previous success as a C-level executive (CEO, CFO, COO or CHRO) preferred
- Background as a management consultant preferred
- Successful track record coaching senior level executives
- Previous success integrating acquired or merged entities
- Active participation in various performance “turnaround” initiatives including corporate reorganization, capture of financial synergies and cultural resets
- Applicable industry experience