Clear clutter. Reduce friction. Build capability. Channel energy.
Sandy Ogg’s message is built on experience backed by research. As a 30-year veteran of 310.5 billion dollar private equity firm Blackstone, he has observed and learned what the world’s best – and worst – CEOs have in common.
“The world of private equity provides the perfect learning laboratory. It gives us crucible-like conditions,” Ogg says.
Currently Operating Partner at Blackstone, based in New York City, Ogg previously served as Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever in London and as Senior VP, Leadership, Learning and Performance at Motorola.
With the same tenacity and methodology Ogg has applied to leading and trimming companies, he has now condensed what he’s learned into five sessions. He refers to them as the series of moves that successful chief executives make to help their organizations realize and capture value.
In the beginning of our two-day journey, Ogg first challenged us to turn an under-performing company into a star by increasing its value by billions of dollars in just five years. Quite a task! Then he showed us what it takes and how it’s done.
First, it takes the right people. “CEO failures impact all of us,” says Ogg; he then leads us through the analytical process of hiring. Second, it takes mobilization. “Time compression creates the need for acceleration,” he explains. “Urgency is not about doing something right now and quickly. Urgency is about doing the right things in the right sequence and time frame following the right methodology.” And, then again, shows us how it’s done.
I’m already blown away.
We go over strategic choices, execution risks, initiatives momentum, and energy levels. Energy levels was perhaps the most emphasized of all of Ogg’s findings.
“Your energy as CEO is the scarcest resource in the whole company. You have to have it to be able to give it,” Ogg says. “You can’t afford to risk getting depleted. Neither can your company. Without infusions of your energy, mobilization will stall out.”
“Make sure you bring people with you. Create direct leadership feedback loops with your leadership team, board members, customers, employees, partners and suppliers. Use these touch points appropriately to measure the effectiveness of what you are doing and the company’s credibility rating. Harness social and mobile technologies to identify trouble spots early on, quickly respond to concerns and effectively build a strong tribe of brand advocates.”
By Kristiina Helenius
Amcham partners with member company VIA Group & CEO.Works in organizing workshops for chief executive officers in Helsinki and New York City.