Publications & Thought Leadership

January 2015

Sustainability Talent Management for Corporate Boards

Posted in Implementation and Integration, Sustainable Boards

Succession Planning and Recruitment for Values-Based CEOs: Six CSR/sustainability criteria for use in CEO Recruitment and Succession Planning

Today’s corporate boards have a big responsibility for sustainability talent management. With 16 percent CEO turnover and retirements a top driver of CEO renewal, their task is to hire the leaders of tomorrow. These new leaders will face dramatic change. They will need to navigate the risks and opportunities of rapid population growth and all that comes with it – because by the year 2050, our planet will host 9 billion people. To steward a company through this changing terrain – and capitalize on the business benefits of doing so – companies will need values-based leaders at the helm. This report on Succession Planning and Recruitment for Values-Based CEOS is a guide to help boards in the process of sustainability talent management.

To develop and attract leaders with CSR values and capabilities, board HR and recruitment committees will need to update CEO position profiles and succession plans with new CSR criteria. However, while more and more boards realize the importance of effective CSR leadership, they lack the tools and guidance on the qualities needed by this new company executive. This guide to Succession Planning and Recruitment for Values-Based CEOS addresses the gap. It compiles global insights into the top attributes CEOs and their successors will need to protect and create shareholder value through the pursuit of sustainability and CSR.

This sustainability talent management guide on Succession Planning and Recruitment for Values-Based CEOs provides boards of directors with:

  • The rationale for including CSR and sustainability considerations in CEO succession planning and recruitment; and
  • Recommended CSR criteria for inclusion in the selection standards for the president and CEO.

The guidelines on Succession Planning and Recruitment for Values-Based CEOs are based on a literature review of leader CSR characteristics and a scan of leading company practices in this area.

The first section provides six reasons why CSR should be incorporated into CEO selection standards. The second section details the following six CSR selection criteria for CEO succession planning and recruitment:

  • “Values” role model
  • Externally aware
  • CSR strategist and change manager
  • Collaborates with stakeholders
  • Catalyst and advocate
  • Develops responsible leaders
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