How to Vet Leaders for Crisis and Change Management Skills

Terry Gallagher contributed the following article to Manufacturing Business Technology.

To stay competitive in today’s market, industrial and manufacturing companies must constantly respond to rapid change. Change comes in many forms — the positive changes associated with emerging technology, new product developments and company growth — and the more disruptive changes resulting from recalls, accidents or failed product roll-outs. Regardless of the nature of the change at hand, when an organization is looking for a new leader, he or she should be carefully vetted for crisis and change management skills.

I help companies in the industrial and manufacturing industry recruit leaders, and in nearly 90 percent of the searches I conduct the client specifically asks for change management skills. A number of market conditions have combined to make change management and crisis management even more critical than they were a few years ago. As our economy becomes more global, industrial and manufacturing companies aren’t just up against regional or national competitors — they’re competing with companies worldwide. The increasingly competitive market means that companies must relentlessly pursue methods for producing superior products at a better cost. Companies are continuously searching for ways to automate, streamline, innovate and attract customers who are savvier and more educated about their choices than ever before.

Internally, companies are dealing with the impending retirement of baby boomers and a widening manufacturing skills gap, which, according to a 2015 study by Deloitte, could result in 2 million unfilled jobs over the next several decades.

Needless to say, companies need strong leaders with a proven track record of change management in order to propel business growth and retain and recruit top talent. To ensure that prospective executives have the required skills, companies should consider applying the following best practices:

Ask the Right Questions During the Interview.
An open-ended question, like “Can you tell me about your change management skills?” will not provide the insight decision makers need to properly evaluate the candidate. Instead, ask a more pointed, metric-based question. For example: “What is the most significant change management situation that you have led, why was it important to the organization and what were the results in terms of revenue cost saves and enhanced customer service?” These questions leave no space for vague answers of ambiguity. If the candidate can’t fully provide a response, he or she likely does not have the necessary change management skills.

Confirm That the Candidate’s Broader Skill Set Aligns With an Ability to Manage Change.
Managing change or navigating a company through a crisis involves a suite of skills that will come into play long after the initial communication of the situation. The ideal candidate should have experience in new product development, changing product mix, and overall project management skills. The candidate should also be able to effectively hire and retain new talent. For example, if a company is entering a new market or introducing a new product, the new leader will naturally need to hire new talent for the R&D and sales team.

Consider Looking Outside of Your Specific Sector.
When a company is in a transition period, considering a candidate from another sector can seem risky. Bringing in an “outsider” can fuel uncertainty among employees, board members, and shareholders. However, a leader with a different perspective and experience in another industry may be exactly what is required. I recently worked with a company (a major producer of consumer goods in the Northeast) that had a product suite consisting of both low-tech and high-tech products and processes. The company wanted to move away from the low-tech (and low-profit, low-margin) work and focus on their high-tech products. In order to do so, they needed a new leader — one with creativity and experience working with a highly engineered products R&D Department. This type of candidate simply could not be found in their sector. Instead, we brought in a new executive from s a highly engineered custom product manufacturer in the high technology industry, with the right experience and change management skills, and the company is now in the process of changing their product mix.


Frederick Lamster Joins Battalia Winston as Partner in the Retail Practice

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 – Battalia Winston International announced today that Frederick Lamster has joined the firm as Partner in the Retail Practice.

Fred is a veteran human resources and staffing professional whose career spans more than 25 years. He has worked across all retail apparel and fashion segments, including department and specialty retail, eCommerce, and catalogue retailing.

Fred has used his expertise in organizational design and efficiency to help a number of major retailors through turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions and transitions. Throughout his career, he has transformed HR teams from tactical and transactional departments to strategic and results-oriented teams.

Before joining Battalia Winston, Fred was Chief Human Resources Officer for Orchard Brands, (recently acquired by Bluestem Brands) a $1.1 billion catalog marketer, where he was responsible for making key hires in merchandising, planning and production. He also served as SVP of Human Capital for Body Central, a Florida-based regional retailer that operated more than 250 stores.

As EVP of Human Resources for Charming Shoppes, parent company to plus-sized brands like Lane Bryant and Catherine’s Plus, Fred focused on aligning five disparate HR teams before developing an overarching hiring strategy that led the company to increased profitability and, later, a successful acquisition by Ascena Retail Group.

Fred was VP of Staffing for L Brands (formerly Limited Brands) for 12 years, an international company that operates a number of well-known brand names, including Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. At L Brands, Fred was responsible a complete overhaul of the leadership teams across the company’s multiple business units. He made strategic hires at every level and spearheaded the rebuilding of the executive team as well as the merchant, design, production and planning teams.

In all of these roles, Fred built high-performing executive teams and developed an internal bench of future leaders. Fred has a keen understanding of creating HR strategies that align with overall business objectives. He takes pride in helping companies build HR programs that will attract key hires while also retaining and cultivating leadership talent.

“My role is not just to fill jobs, but to build better organizations and better executive teams—so they can get better results,” said Lamster. “Even though I’m working on back-of-the-house operations, I’m always focused on the customer. I am always asking, ‘How can we improve internal functions to ensure greater efficiencies and better results?’”

Battalia Winston’s retail practice specializes in recruiting executives and other senior-level leaders across the entire retail spectrum: from chain, department, and specialty stores to restaurants and food services companies.

“We’re thrilled to have Fred join our team,” said Dale Winston, CEO and Chairwoman at Battalia Winston. “His in-house experience at major retail brands will be a valuable asset to our retail practice.”

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston was founded in 1963, and today is one of the world’s largest woman-owned executive search firms. The firm is consistently ranked as one of the top fifteen executive search firms. Battalia Winston has offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Woodbridge, NJ and Washington, DC. Over the past 50 years Battalia Winston has conducted executive search assignments and established expertise in virtually every major industry and functional area. Clients range from early stage companies to Fortune 100 global enterprises. Each of Battalia Winston’s partners concentrates in an industry group reflecting his or her individual expertise. These practice groups include: life sciences, healthcare services; technology, media and entertainment, industrial products, professional services, financial services, consumer, legal, risk, compliance, family business, diversity and inclusion, retail, and nonprofit.


4 Qualities All Successful CEOs Have in Common, and Why They Matter

Terry Gallagher recently contributed the following article to Chief Executive. You can read the full article here

Most successful leaders—those who have consistently increased the size of their businesses and reached the upper echelons of their industries—have similar personality traits, definitions of success and daily habits. Here are 4 qualities all successful CEOs have in common.

1. Their definition of success has evolved with their leadership.

To continuously push themselves to become better leaders, top-performing CEOs reevaluate and revise their metrics for success throughout their career. “Initially, the definition of success for me was focused on my results, my promotions and my increase in compensation,” said Ned Hunter, CEO of Harrington Hoists, a $250 million subsidiary of Kito Group Company. “ As I have matured and evolved in my 30 years of business, my definition now is more about the people in my business…If my people succeed, then I have done my job.”

2. They are committed to intellectual curiosity.

Many CEOs credit their intellectual curiosity for their long-term success. A drive to learn, to improve, and to never become comfortable has propelled their businesses forward. Leading CEOs schedule time each day to read industry news. Jim Reavey, CEO and President of Vixxo, an asset management and business insight company, prioritizes continuous learning: “Self-development is key: never give up learning. Arrogance starts to take over when you think you know everything. You never know where your greatest lesson will come from.”

3. They acknowledge the contributions of others, and they want to return the favor.

Successful CEOs recognize that their mentors, colleagues and employees have bolstered or accelerated their success. “An individual’s success is usually tied to the contributions of others. Forgetting this is a mistake,” said Greg Ergenbright, President of Schindler Elevation Corporation. Many CEOs see “paying it forward” as part of their new mission, especially CEOs who are well into their careers. In the words of Jim Reavey: “I feel a sense of obligation to develop others because of the leadership guidance and coaching I received in my life. Sharing my knowledge, empowering others, and creating deeper relationships is at the forefront of everything I do.”

4. They do what they love, and they encourage others to do the same.

While “passion” has become somewhat of a buzzword, successful CEOs faithfully follow their passion and believe that doing so is the key to their success and happiness. Alan McKim, Chairman and CEO of Clean Harbors, a $3 billion environmental services company, advises young people to make pursuing their passion the first priority.

“My advice for any young person is to determine what you enjoy,” stated McKim. “It’s important to go beyond the paycheck. Where do your passions lie? What will spur you to bring the most energy to your job every day? When you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to define what success means to you and how you can best achieve it.”


Dr. Hanh Cao Yu Joins The California Endowment as Chief Learning Officer

Los Angeles (May 10, 2016) – The California Endowment announced today the appointment of Dr. Hanh Cao Yu as its Chief Learning Officer, an executive position responsible for leading The Endowment’s learning and evaluation activities. The Chief Learning Officer is responsible for learning, evaluation, and impact activities, and ensures that local communities, local and state grantees, board and staff understand the results and lessons of the Foundation’s investments. Ellen Romberg, Partner at Battalia Winston, completed the search.

A nationally-recognized researcher and evaluator, Yu has more than 20 years of leading projects, providing oversight of multi-million dollar budgets and leading cross disciplinary teams. She has partnered with over 40 philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to bring intellectual rigor and strategic recommendations to transform organizations, systems, policies, and communities.

“Dr. Yu has a stellar record leading large-scale evaluations of complex philanthropic initiatives, along with creating and facilitating strong learning communities and knowledge sharing among boards, staff, grantee partners and diverse community members,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “We are honored to have her join our executive leadership team, as she brings a combination of brilliance and commitment that will benefit our entire organization.”

Prior to her appointment at The California Endowment, Yu served as Vice President at Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland where her responsibilities included setting strategic and budget priorities, developing an organizational learning agenda, providing oversight of external strategic digital communications, staff development and diversity action plan. During her 20-year tenure at Social Policy Research Associates she also served as the Division Director of Philanthropy, Equity and Youth. Yu earned her doctorate at Stanford University in Education Administration and Policy Analysis.

Yu will join The Endowment on July 5, 2016 and will work in the Oakland Office. She will report to Dr. Ross and serve on his Executive Team.

 


New White Paper – Closing the Gender Gap: How Companies Can Retain Women Engineers

women_in_engineering_white_paper_coverThere’s been a surge in recent press about the lack of women in Engineering/Technology. While many media outlets are exploring this problem, few seem to be going to the source—women in engineering and technology—and asking them for their insight. Understanding this issue at the ground level is the key to improving the representation of women in engineering overall.

We went out into the marketplace and did just that: surveyed women to better understand why women engineers stay with (or leave) their employers. We developed the results of this anonymous survey  into a white paper to help Fortune 1000 companies understand the needs and drivers of women engineers to better attract and retain them.

To read and download the white paper, fill out the form below.

Closing the Gender Gap: How Companies Can Retain Women Engineers

Please provide the following information for instant access to the white paper.

Frank Davidson Joins Peerless Industrial Group as Director of Operations

We are pleased to announce that Frank Davidson has joined Peerless Industrial Group as of January 4, 2016 as Director of Operations. The successful candidate was identified in 9 days and the search was completed in 73 days. The search was conducted by Terry Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston.

Peerless Industrial Group is a $115 million subsidiary of Kito Corporation, which is the largest producer of chain and wire rope hoists in the world with $600 million in global revenues. As Director of Operations, Mr. Davidson reports directly to the President and oversees a staff of 352 employees.

Mr. Davidson has 23 years of progressively responsible global operational leadership success within Aerospace, Semiconductor, and Industrial Capital Equipment manufacturing environments. He has had responsibility for business administration, financial planning, customer service, global supply chain, and logistics management. Most recently, Mr. Davidson was Senior Operations Director at Despatch Industries, a $42 million global leader in high performance industrial ovens and other thermal products, responsible for integrating post-acquisition cultural changes to achieve increased profitability through LEAN production initiatives, sourcing initiatives and 3rd party integration.

Prior to that, Mr. Davidson was VP North America Operations for a $110 million capital equipment manufacturing division of Illinois Tool Works where he established two Regional Centers of Excellence and improved operating income by 12% in 18 months.

Mr. Davidson earned a Masters degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and an undergraduate degree in Operations Management at Troy State University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude for both degrees.


Mark Livingston, CPA Joins Harrington Hoists

Battalia Winston is pleased to announce that Mark Livingstong, CPA has joined Harrington Hoists as of January 4, 2016. Terry Gallagher completed the search.

Harrington Hoists, Inc., a $250 million subsidiary of Kito Group Company, which is the largest producer of chain and wire rope hoists in the world with $600 million in revenues is located in Manheim, PA and Corona, CA.

 Mr. Livingston has over 15 years of financial management experience including Big 4 public accounting background. For the first 10 years of his career, Mr. Livingston worked for E&Y and Harsco, a $3 billion global industry company.

Prior to accepting this Corporate Controller role, Mr. Livingston was the VP of Finance / Controller at Cooper-Booth Wholesale, a $500 million wholesale distributor, where he led a team of 7, engaged in collections, A/R, A/P, payroll, G/GL, accounting and reporting services. He also served as Finance Manager at Rentokil North America, a $500 million + pest control service company, for seven years, managing the annual budgets and the monthly forecasts for 200 branches and cost centers.

Mr. Livingston earned an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Economics at Shippensburg University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He has an active C.P.A. license, is a Member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.


Christopher Smith Named Director, Talent Acquisition at Schindler Elevator Corporation


We are pleased to announce that 
Christopher Smith joined SCHINDLER ELEVATOR CORPORATION on November 2, 2015 as Director, Talent Acquisition.

The search was conducted by Terry Gallagher, President at Battalia Winston.  Terry identified the successful candidate in 21 days and the search was completed in 70 days.

Schindler is the largest supplier of escalators and the second largest manufacturer of elevators worldwide. Schindler manufactures, installs, maintains and modernizes mobility solutions for almost every type of building requirement worldwide with $10 billion revenues and more than 48,000 employees.

Christopher Smith has 18 years of progressive talent acquisition and recruiting experience working at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Catalent Pharma Solutions, Johnson & Johnson and most recently at Sun Pharmaceuticals. At Sun Pharmaceuticals, a $4 billion global company that develops, makes, and markets generic pharmaceuticals, Mr. Smith managed a team of Recruiters and Sourcers to support all functions within the US sites.

At Teva Pharmaceuticals, a $14 billion company, Mr. Smith built and developed a team of talent acquisition professionals (US, Canada and LATAM) and supported strategic change by driving the volume recruiting project, technology implementation, pipelining for succession management programs, workforce planning, developing TA process and policy and building the Executive Recruiting and University Relations models. Previously, at Catalent Pharma a $1.8 billion company, Mr. Smith was responsible for managing and developing a team of seven Recruiters and Sourcers located in North and South America. Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith also held various Talent Acquisition management positions at Johnson & Johnson.

Mr. Smith earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Rowan University. He also has certifications as an AIRS Certified Internet Recruiter, a Certified Diversity Recruiter and a SHRM Professional in Human Resources.

 


CORPORATE HOLIDAY PARTIES ON THE RISE ACCORDING TO BATTALIA WINSTON ANNUAL SURVEY

– Survey suggests that the “War for Talent” has returned with renewed focus on retention –

New York, NY – November 17, 2015 …everH According to an annual survey conducted by Battalia WinstoneverH, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, 92%  of businesses will be conducting some type of holiday celebration this year, up from 75%  in 2014 and within reach of the near all-time high of 96% in 2013.   This may be due to the fact that 89% of the respondents expect business to remain the same or grow in the upcoming year.

“The Battalia Winston survey has served as a bellwether for the economy over the past 27 years, so the fact that the percentage of companies having parties is up is a sign that the economy has stabilized and is poised to grow,” said Battalia Winston CEO, Dale Winston.  “Despite the cheery outlook there is clearly an eye towards managing or containing costs.  96% of the companies that are having parties said that they will remain the same or be more modest.”

Another significant trend is that 70% of the firms polled indicated that they have initiatives planned to boost morale and employee engagement in 2016.  This finding indicates that retention has become important again.  The trend is noteworthy in that it suggests that the “war for talent” is back on.  Team building and training was cited by 54% of the respondents while 40% planned on pay raises and 35% intend on offering flexible work schedules.

These are just a few of the findings of Battalia Winston’s Annual Survey on Corporate Holiday Celebrations, a nationwide survey conducted among a cross section of 118 companies. 

Other interesting findings of this year’s survey: 

2015 Planning:  50% of respondents said their company was on track to grow and hire with 40%  remaining the same.  Only a meager 7% of companies expect to consolidate.

What’s the reason this season?  Over half, 52%, are having holiday parties to boost employee morale while 40%, are holding a party to celebrate 2015 as a good year and 8% to show employees and clients that they are optimistic about next year.  

Corporate Gifting.  48% of respondents say they will provide a holiday gift to employees this year.  44% of those will be under $25 with the remainder 52% being over $50.

Where and When.  Of those conducting holiday celebrations 50% will be at lunch and half in the evening with 23% at the office and 77% at a restaurant or hotel.

Do unto Others.  70% of companies will participate in charity efforts this year with most of those donating funds or goods and 10% donating time.

Steady on the Alcohol.  70% of the businesses surveyed indicated they will be serving alcohol at their holiday parties, a figure that has remained steady in recent years.

No Scrooge this Year.  60% of companies surveyed plan on pay raises or non-paid performance incentives.