Definition of GAME CHANGER: [ geym-cheyn-jer] NOUN A game changer is a person or thing that radically changes an industry or a company.
Game changers are disruptive. Unfortunately, they don’t come along often.
Not all of our clients are actively looking for game-changing talent and not every company would benefit from hiring one. It depends on if and what part of the game needs changing. When a company is in a rapidly changing field, facing stagnant or slowing sales, conflicted by product evolution or experiencing a cultural shift, hiring the right Game changer can make a well-timed, positive impact and reverse negative trajectories.
We recently performed a Game Changer search for a Vice President of Sales for a $7B Consumer Products company. They described their need for a Game Changer like this:
While consistently outperforming their competition by a wide margin, they were still seeing declines in their own growth as their industry was on the precipice of undergoing a sea change. We collaborated to create a Game Changer profile to lead the 300-person sales division. We found the best hire from seemingly unrelated sectors, which mirrored where this sector was headed. The new hire is set to change how the brand relates to its customers, forcing competitors to keep up. The game is indeed, changing.
We asked around and discovered how “game changer” thinking is being applied:
“The biggest game changer I see is a combination of a CEO who hires an innovative Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) and gives them the budget they need to be innovative. Then, said CEO gets out of the way. Hiring a truly innovative CHRO isn’t easy as most CHROs maintain, rather than challenge the status quo. Truly innovative CHROs have no sacred cows – people, processes or technology. They’re always looking at how the end-to-end experiences for candidates, employees and alumni can get better and better. Two great examples of these types of leaders are Lisa Sterling at Ceridian and Bianca McCann at BetterWorks. Look them up and you’ll see what game changing looks like.”
William Tincup, President, RecruitingDaily.com
“HR can sometimes act as risk management, screening for red flags. In my experience, this leads to mediocrity. I deliberately don’t look hard at what a junior recruiter might see as a red flag. Instead, I look for is something exceptional in the candidate’s past, either personal or professional. This outweighs any red flag and might just be the hallmark of a game changer.” He explains, “My interpretation of a game changer is someone who moves the needle. I look for the remarkable over the red flags, within reason. I like to hear about what people have dared to do, even if they failed. I want to hear about what they’ve done that took courage and what they learned in the process, including what they learned about themselves. Ask the new recruit to tell you about the last thing they taught themselves. Listen to those stories, and you might just find a game changer.”
Phillip Ford, VP of People and Culture, ITPro.TV
“Now, more than ever, the game changer in a corporate environment is going to be the leader who is relentlessly focused on the customer. A leader who truly believes that service excellence as a competitive advantage ensures every part of the organization is fine-tuned to serve the customer – and not just the external customer. A game changer demands the team provide excellent customer service to internal customers, too, because that service level translates directly to those supporting the customer. Are customers always right? No. But we can admit there’s always a bit of truth in what they have to say.”
Peggy Davidson, SVP Global Marketing, $4B Cosmetic Industry
How do you find your game changer?
- Diagnose an underlying need/trend within your organization for which a leadership prescription is needed.
- Identify differentiating qualities and experiences to curate a set of traits aligned to meet the need or tend.
- Hire an experienced and intuitive recruiting partner to conduct the search.
Is your company looking for a game changer? What part of your game needs changing? Let’s talk.