What we learn and what is beyond: how to boost talents that will build the future?
Celebrate history, understand legacy, review the lessons of the journey to prepare for the challenges ahead. In fact, it is more than being prepared, it is knowing how to identify talents that can not only stand out from the innumerable future challenges but also build the future. These were some of the key lessons from AESC Global, which this year held a double celebration: the international conference involving the world’s top executive search companies and leadership mentors and the 60th anniversary of the AESC.
According to Dasein CEO and AESC Councilor of the Americas, Adriana Prates, the highlights of the conference were the key research on leadership, presented first-hand; the sharing of experiences and strengthening of networks with the world’s leading executive search companies, and panels that offered innovative perspectives to help professionals of the sector to not only identify talents that know how to navigate an uncertain future, but also identify those who know how to build this future.
“The Global AESC also led me to contemplate deeper issues. In the end, what do people seek as professionals? In such a varied and dynamic world, that has gone through large and constant changes, this question continues to be a complex one. But what is new? Previously, changes were seen as linear and sequential. What is different today is that all this happens simultaneously and people live various characters in their lives at the same time – experiencing different realities and adopting various personalities for each one. Whether in the physical or virtual world, it is possible to don many hats. Which sometimes causes surprise and at others is simply living. In the end, some characteristics need to exist in the various lives in order to exercise humanity: imagination, curiosity, confidence and empathy!”
For Karen Greenbaum, president of the AESC, “as we reflect on the past six decades of representing the quality standard in executive search and leadership consulting, AESC and its global membership also look to the future of the profession in a rapidly changing business environment. The profession, just as the industries it serves, now requires much more agility. In a fast-paced, ever-shifting business climate accelerated by technology, we have to be at the forefront to best serve our clients with expert advice and insights.”
According to her, in contemplating the next 60 years of this association, the goal is “to ensure that our brand reflects both who we are today and who we vow to be tomorrow. The new AESC proposal, mission and promise will guide us to stay true to our core standards while at the same time embrace future innovation in the profession.” AESC will commemorate its 60th anniversary with programs throughout 2019, including at upcoming conferences in Sydney and Amsterdam.
Commitment to diversity: the first step to create the future
According to Greenbaum, AESC recognizes that diversity is a business imperative with direct implications for organizational success. As trusted advisors to those companies that drive economies, lead innovation, and compete across vital sectors and geographies, we know first-hand the power of diverse corporate leadership. “Our member firms are uniquely positioned to advise our clients on the talent that will give them a competitive edge.”
The president explained that AESC members adhere to a strong Code of Professional Practice, which codifies our commitment to diversity and inclusion. As standard procedure, AESC members identify the most qualified talent without bias, and are known to challenge the status quo, presenting candidates beyond the “usual suspects.” “Our members understand that creating a diverse culture is more than metrics. We know that diverse teams drive innovation and generate fresh perspectives. For us, diversity is not just about checking boxes for specific categories of people.” Clients who partner with an AESC member significantly increase their ability to find, recruit, and retain the best diverse talent around the world. Whether a client’s objective is to increase gender diversity on the board, build a truly global leadership team reflective of the marketplace, or ensure that leaders have different backgrounds and experiences to enhance innovative thinking, clients can count on AESC members to deliver.
“We are firm believers in the power of a diverse leadership team. At a time where successful digital transformation is a top business challenge, we know that diversity drives innovation. We also understand the importance of the next generation of leaders – those leaders that are digital-savvy – in every function of the organizations. These younger, highly sought-after leaders are diverse themselves and are seeking to work for organizations that are diverse, inclusive and innovative.”
As trusted advisors, Karen Greenbaum says it is important that AESC provides honest and direct guidance about what it takes to build a strong, effective leadership team; how to attract the very best talent; how to create an authentic employment brand that serves to both attract and retain the right talent to drive business strategy, and the importance of building an agile organization.
From its foundation in 1959, to the present day: the role of AESC in favor of (in developing) the executive recruitment market
In the fall of 1958, several leaders of the most prestigious executive search firms gathered to “take steps to raise standards of the emerging professional field of executive recruitment by establishing a non-profit membership association in which only competent and ethical executive recruiting firms could qualify for membership.” The Association of Executive Recruiting Consultants (AERC) was incorporated on December 18, 1959. AERC was established for the dual purposes of creating a professional association for the most competent and reputable search firms, and for providing clients and prospective clients a means by which to differentiate qualified and ethical practitioners. The association would become a hallmark of quality and integrity.
According to the December 1959 AERC By-Laws, the objective of the association will be: to develop, maintain and enforce high standards of ethical professional practice and rigorous membership requirements, which will make membership in the Association a recognized mark of experience, stability, competence, and reliability. To develop and improve the practice of executive recruiting. To provide a fuller and wider understanding of the function of executive recruiting in our economy. To gather and maintain factual information about executive recruiting firms. To establish and enforce a code of conduct and practice which will further the objectives of the Association.
We remain committed to being an exclusive global association dedicated to the highest standards of quality. While there were many changes over the years, the most significant change occurred in 2014 where, in recognition of the expanding role of member firms, AESC embraced leadership consulting in its identity. AESC changed the name of the organization to the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants.
Today, AESC is dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide. We understand that business leaders face a number of similar challenges: digital disruption, rapidly evolving technology, shifting economic forces, and fierce competition for the best talent in a world of accelerating change. Much like the early years of the organization, today AESC member firms partner with their clients to address their most urgent business needs with future-ready skills rooted in a commitment to ethics and client service.
AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting, for the benefit of clients and the profession. Through collaboration and innovative thinking, we deliver the future of global leadership today.