Executive Transitions Market Study

Alexcel partnered with the Institute of Executive Development on a year long study of senior executive transitions. The 2008 Executive Transitions Market Study contained some astonishing revelations from 150 executives and talent professionals across diverse industries and companies.

––Global CEO turnover is approximately 15% according to a 2007 study by Booz Allen, a decade–high number. Other studies suggest 40% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months. And Aon Consulting reports a 50% chance an executive will quit or be fired within his first three years.

––Ninety–two percent (92%) of respondents said it takes 90+ days (to reach productivity) and 62% said 6+months. And even after making it through the first 90 days and the first 180 days, a significant percentage (of external executive hires) are gone within two years.

––While not as long as with external hires, 72% of respondents said internal executives need more than the “first 90 days” to get up to speed, and 25% said 6+ months were needed.

––Thirty percent (30%) of external hires fail to meet expectations in two years and the fail rate of internal senior executive transitions is 20%, representing millions of dollars in losses at the executive level. Among all respondents, 68% indicated fail rates are related to a lack of interpersonal and leadership skills; 45% of respondents indicated it was a lack of personal skills; and 41% of respondents attributed underperformance to goal conflicts between the executive and the organization.

That’s the glass half–empty version. The glass half–full version is that these statistics represent huge opportunities for top talent executives with a clear and compelling value proposition!

Fail Rate for Newly-Hired Executives

I was chatting with a colleague earlier this week, and he mentioned a statistic that I had to share with you … “40% of executives in a new job failed within eighteen months” (Manchester Partners International, USA).

A little research uncovered an even more amazing statistic published by The Center for Creative Leadership, which says … “35% of executives failed within their first few months.”

"Failing includes being terminated for performance, performing significantly below expectations, or voluntarily resigning from the new position."

These statistics are important because …if you are the #2 or even #3 candidate for a position you really wanted at a company you truly felt was a great fit, and you can live with being the second choice … there just might be another opportunity in the not–to–distant future.

Make it a habit to follow up regularly with decision-makers to see how things are going in their organization. A consistent follow up plan could uncover that next great opportunity.