High-impact CEO teams

Managing executive polarities to create high-performing senior teams

The volume of guidance for CEOs and other business leaders grows by the day, but its quality, rigor of thought, and practicality or applicability can vary enormously. Many of the conventional models and frameworks that are available to help CEOs understand what makes an effective team tend to confuse or conflate inputs with outputs. In addition, much of the published guidance focuses on teams in their broadest sense and does not take account of the nuances and complexities, pressures and responsibilities of operating at the executive level.

We have taken our practical experience of what really matters – and what really works – when supporting executive teams across industries and geographies and combined it with research and thinking from other fields to develop a framework that helps executive teams become more effective and impactful. This article introduces the main aspects of our framework. 

In our work with executive teams, we have found that the most-consistently successful CEOs and their teams pay particularly close attention to, and manage and keep in balance, two key polarities. This article explores the characteristics of managing each end of those polarities well and the drawbacks of overemphasizing one end to the exclusion of the other.

A second article will describe the qualities that CEOs need to cultivate and suggest some actions that they can take to enable the framework to work optimally. Stay tuned for the launch.

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