Innovation at the Intersection of People and Purpose
by Jackson Ross, Associate Partner at Buffkin Baker
I have spent the last 20 years give or take, in healthcare-related roles. More specifically, healthcare capital in the medical device arena for large international corporations, but some entrepreneurial and startup as well. Bear with me…
Regardless of employer or industry, I have always been perplexed by the consistent churn of executive and leadership turnover. All too often, we celebrate leadership, who invest tremendous time and capital in developing a new vision or go-to-market, scripting the next chapter, only to see them leave the role much too early for the script to unfold. Promoted, terminated, poached, acquired, shareholder unrest, it doesn’t matter, and the list is long.
Bottom line, the frequency of executive churn, creates unrest with teams, customers, and investors and has created a marketplace that forces us to de-value relationships with the very people and partners that support company growth and goal attainment. Not to mention the stress human capital teams are under to retain and replace talent.
The events of the past year have afforded us time to reflect on professional purpose, and what would a re-calibration of purpose look like? For me, this question resulted in a transformational exit from healthcare and alignment with Buffkin / Baker, a retained executive search firm that incorporates the people, process, and history to directly impact the very issues that I address here. The very issues that the Buffkin / Baker team has a passion to solve for.
As artificial intelligence, software applications, and supply chain processes continue to reduce the frequency and importance of person-to-person interaction, I see a desperate need for companies to align with their executive leadership, on a deeper and more strategic level. And therein, lies my purpose. Deeper client / candidate conversation and transparency will yield better employer / employee alignment and relationships, across the board.
Recruiter, search, contingent, retained, talent, human capital are all terms used to describe an industry that we all are familiar with and have had experience with, often bad experiences. The reality, most models within the search industry do not promote relationship building and implicit trust. Most are forced to operate at high volume to generate the results needed to drive revenue targets and customer intimacy falls victim.
With so many high-powered executives making the same decision I did, to re-calibrate purpose, retaining a trusted and experienced search partner on the front end, will ultimately deliver an executive leader that is aligned with your people, business, and culture, not just the job requirements or the pay scale. Extensive due diligence and relational transparency are the very foundation that enables Buffkin / Baker to deliver world-class results and build upon our firm’s reputation.
I have spent most of my professional career positioning life-saving innovations that detect disease earlier and faster and truly prolong human life. My move to Buffkin / Baker and the search industry has uncovered a similar and surprising need for innovation. And while this innovation will not save or prolong life, it will save customer relationships and help our clients hit their financial targets. Today’s executive search clients need a partner that can innovate within and throughout the search process. A true and authentic understanding of client needs, culture, and growth. Professional communication and transparency with candidates, timely feedback, response, and end-to-end accountability. The innovation needed by this industry is basic and simple… professionalism and courtesy from all angles.
A longtime colleague and mentor, recently shared that most professionals struggle to answer the one question that has the potential to rocket ship their careers.
The question, what problem are you solving?
Our Panorama Community and our ability to effectively answer this very question build lasting relationships, implicit trust and generates rocket ship results for our clients… And perhaps most importantly, helps to eliminate the executive churn.