Álvaro Cárcel, Executive Search Director.

 On November 8th, I had the opportunity to moderate a webinar organized by Saltor Talent, whose theme was: "How to turn the Management Committee into a true competitive advantage".

 The session was led by Daniel Pascual, Managing Director of Human Consulting area of Saltor Talent and expert in the development and implementation of Management Committees and Executive Councils, and we had the participation of Josep Jové, General Director of Bip & Drive  and with a management career of more than 10 years in companies such as Abertis or Grupo Areas.

Due to our professional activity, closely linked to management profiles and Management Committees, we detect in our day to day a  series  of recurring questions and frustrations on the part of organizations:

·         Why don't we grow as much as we could?

·         Why do we drag so many inefficiencies and find it difficult to improve as an organization?

·         Why is it difficult to execute the designed strategy?

·         Why do we look with suspicion at the future?

The answer lies in the  type of Management Committee and the management team that composes it.

As a summary of the webinar, and with the aim of offering some light on the previous questions, we can group the conclusions into two large blocks: 1) What is NOT a Management Committee; 2) What elements define, or what are some key elements of a Management Committee that really makes a difference.

First of all, we can start with what a Management Committee is NOT or should not be:

·         A body for the mere exchange of information. That is, an organ incapable of seeing beyond the short term, and that focuses exclusively on tracking KPIs.

·         In line with the above, an organ prostituted by the microdetail.

·         A table composed of direct reports from the general management in which 2 or 3 people take the lead, and the rest listen passively without contributing anything.

·         A body composed of directors who do not act as directors. In other words, people who do not decide, who do not take risks, who do not get it right or wrong and who, therefore, do not contribute to the organization.

In contrast to the above, I would like to mention those highlights that DO define a true Management Committee:

·         A team composed of people who respond to the needs of the business. In other words, a business must identify which areas should be if or if represented on the Management Committee. From there, ask yourself: do we or don't we have the right people?

·         A team led by a General Management that goes out on the pitch as another player. You must lead by example, roll up your sleeves, serve and accompany others. Or as Xavier Marcet says, "To lead is to serve, not to serve. And one way to serve is to let others grow."

·         In turn, a group of people who accompany the General Management in its solitude ("the loneliness of the leader"), in an increasingly rapid and changing environment.

·         A group of people who constantly question everything that is being done today and with a strong capacity to constantly reinvent themselves.

·         A group of people who launch kind challenges and have the ability to accept criticism. Always from humility and mutual respect.

·         A group that is organized efficiently. And this first goes through a flat and agile structure. In other words: better 5 component than 12, and better to hold meetings of 2 hours than 5 hours (although obviously, the periodicity and duration of the meetings will be different depending on different factors such as the size of the company, sector of activity, business needs, etc.)

·         A high-performance work team, which is mainly defined by:

o   Ensure that all its members share objectives, information and values. The ultimate responsibility for this lies with the Directorate-General.

o   A clear understanding by all of their role within the group

o   Disagree, challenge, and provide feedback.

o   Measurement of objectives. What is not measured, cannot be managed effectively.

o   Transparency and eradication of hidden agendas.

o   A space where its members are empowered and given space for autonomy.

In short, one of the main obsessions and strategic priorities of organizations should be to build a Management Committee that functions as a true competitive advantage, and that, thanks to the leadership of its members, provides differential, measurable, and sustainable value over time.

Obviously, it is not an easy task, nor a process that can be achieved overnight. However, ignoring or underestimating the problem can be a miscalculation with unpredictable consequences in the future.