Thought Leadership: Cutting Through the Noise

Thought Leadership: Cutting Through the Noise

Korn/Ferry has built its brand around bringing scientific precision to bear on that most subjective field: people. Executive assessments, mission-critical competencies, best-in-class profiles—all of these have given Korn/Ferry clients confidence in our candidates and consulting services.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The evolution of Korn/Ferry from executive search firm to integrated talent consulting firm is underpinned by a big data revolution. Largely behind the scenes, KF’s experts in assessment, analytics, psychometrics, and talent systems have been sifting through many sets of data about people’s learning agility, decision and thinking style, skill levels at competencies, and job performance.

It’s been Korn/Ferry’s own meta-analysis, combining the results of many studies over time to home in on what talents matter most. Even more precisely, what talents matter most in which circumstances.

The researchers, analysts and others are busy turning all this insight into new tools, products and consulting solutions. But one doesn’t have to understand the algorithms to see that this has also some big benefits in terms of our brand and our thought leadership.

First, our message is that we can cut through all the noise on talent—whether you’re assessing managers in Munich or hiring a CEO in Omaha. As an editor, I respond to metaphors, and I love the way that Dana Landis, vice president for global talent assessment and analytics puts this: “We’re the personal stylists that keep you from having to wander through Nordstrom’s for hours, trying things on and listening to Muzak. We know your color palette, your size, the best styles, the best made garments, and we wheel a small clothes rack into your hotel room and dress you in 15 minutes.”

Second, the papers and reports we publish can begin to incorporate not just our cutting-edge thinking about talent, but truly thought-leading findings. We’ve seen just small hints of the things to come in some of the papers that compared learning agility findings across industries or functions, identifying yawning gaps in agility between managers and executives in the Technology sector, or change agility as a striking differentiator for chief human resources officers.

As Dana Landis has also pointed out, no one out there—not our competitors, not Stanford or Harvard even—knows so much about global business leaders and what makes them tick.
Korn/Ferry has long held that people are the most important asset of a company. Nothing else can solve the problems that enterprises face today: to grow and globalize smartly, ferret out new markets, and keep ahead of disruptive change. The challenge of our thought leadership, then, is to stir companies out of any complacency. To tell them why the status quo isn’t good enough. To prod them to be as strategic about people as they are with any acquisition.
Once they get it, Korn/Ferry will be ready with a rack of perfectly styled talent.

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