NED and Strategic Advisory Careers – The Impact Room

We are delighted to be joined by Kelly Kuhn, Strategic Advisor and Non-Executive Director to The Impact Room.

Working with C-Suite and Senior Director across Operations and Customer functions we are often asked on how best to move into a building a successful NED portfolio, (Non-Executive Director) Career, so we were delighted to feature Kelly who shares her thoughts and experience on this subject.

Kelly has a successful 30 year executive career.

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Impossible Mission to Possible Mission

I received some fantastic feedback following a recent retained assignment within the Customer Experience space.

“I am delighted with the service you have given me. Delighted with the quality of candidate, your balance on culture and skill, the rigour of the selection process, insights with the reports and your pace (when I thought I had given you mission impossible).
Sincerely, thank you!

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What’s The Secret Sauce Of The World’s Highest Performing CEOs

How to be an excellent CEO? That is the question posed by McKinsey Senior Partners, Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vik Malhotra, who have published CEO Excellence, a new book which identifies the mindset differentiators that distinguish the very best leaders from the rest when it comes to the six key elements of the CEO role.

When about 40% of new CEOs fail within the first 18 months and the odds that a CEO will lead an average company to become a top-quintile performer are only 4 percent, what does separate the top performing CEOs?

Listening to the interviews with the authors, Carolyn asked, ‘what really is the secret sauce, what is the mindset, what is the way of approaching it that excellent CEOs do, how do they think differently?’

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A Pause for Menopause

Just writing this post has been hard for me, despite the fact that every woman, 50% of the potential workforce, will go through the menopause, I personally find it very difficult to think about, let alone talk about, it is one of those subjects that I feel, or felt should be taboo, even when it occasionally comes up with my friends as we inevitably get closer to ‘that age’ and start to perhaps experience some memory loss, hot flashes and many other (up to 34) perimenopause, or menopausal symptoms.

Watching Davina McCall on Channel 4’s programme Sex, Mind and the Menopause, I was amazed at just how little I and I am sure many knew and found the programme informative, insightful and in some respects shocking.

From a business perspective, every day I hear directly from the board room, how there is a lack of talent, succession, or capability.

I talk to companies who are crying out for female talent and diverse shortlists, yet here we are with the fastest growing demographic in the workforce, women of menopausal age, and we are losing 10% of this workforce every year due to their symptoms. The stigma is clearly huge.

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Posted in Best Practice, Board Careers, Candidate Experience, Career Development, CEO, diverse leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Employee Engagement, Employees, Hiring, Leadership, Retention | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s not all about the money…

With the challenges many organisations, start-ups and scale-ups are facing attracting and retaining top talent, it is not just about paying more than everyone else.

Read more: It’s not all about the money…

The values, culture and flexibility you are able to offer are all reasons top talent will want to both join and stay with you.

Creating a compelling EVP – Employee Value Proposition is key to driving attraction, engagement and retention across your Customer focussed leadership and business.

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Posted in Best Practice, Candidate Experience, Candidates, CEO, Contact Centre Industry, Continuous Improvement, Customer Contact, Customer Experience, customer service, Developing Resilient Leaders, Employee Engagement, Employees | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100% People

I was listening to the High-Performance Podcast with Team Principal &
CEO of Mercedes-AMG F1, Toto Wolff.

100% people

I really enjoy this podcast as no matter the subject and whether it is of
interest or not; Football, Rugby, Ballet, Business etc, there is always something
that you can take away from the conversation and often, despite the career
specialism and profession of the individual, the conversation is much more
about the human qualities and elements than the discipline itself.

I wanted to talk about Toto’s episode as there was a great deal of interest
for myself in terms of leadership, authenticity and how to attract and nurture
the best high-performance culture, whilst developing diversity. Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Career Development, CEO, Continuous Improvement, Continuous Improvement/Process Improvment, Developing Resilient Leaders, Diversity and Inclusion, Employees, Hiring, Leadership, Performance, Resilient Leadership, Self-Management, talent development, Transformation/Change | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women remain just 8% of FTSE 100 CEOs

Less than 1/3rd of the UK’s top jobs are filled by women based on The Fawcett Society 2022 Sex and Power Index. The report highlighted that in business, Women remain just 8% of FTSE 100 CEOs, and none are women of colour, with women holding 37.7% of non-executive directorships, but just 13.7% of executive directorships.

If Board, Advisory, or Leadership diversity is important to your Customer, Operations, CX/DX, Digital, Revenue, Data, Insight, Planning and Marketing appointments moving forwards, then do get in touch.

Douglas Jackson, a high-end retained search consultancy, exclusively focused on customer, consumer centric, digital and data led business, delivering high performance, diverse, impactful leadership.

Posted in Board Careers, diverse leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership, Talent Acquisition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Customer Experience Professional – CX Stars 2022

Wow. I am delighted to have been nominated for the CX Stars, Top CX Professionals list again this year.

Thank you to those who put my name forward. I feel extremely grateful.

I love working with the CX community and supporting the ongoing development and education across Customer Experience and it is a real honour to be amongst so many admired CX influencers and professionals and to be voted for by those I work with and serve.

You can see the full list of nominations here

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Customer or Marketing for the CCO/CXO

During the last few years when looking at Customer Service and Experience, there hasn’t been a lot of innovation, creativity or ambition.  However, the world of customer, the discipline, function and leadership in this space are all set for big and exciting shifts.

It is what led Martin Hill-Wilson to state recently “The contact centre is the source of the new CEO.”

With many other customer channels closed, customer contact has achieved a long-awaited seat at the table, no longer considered a cost to be rationalised, executives are realising the value not only for the customer, but for the business and brand as they benefit from the insight and data available to them about their company and future product and service direction.  

Those organisations who want to become more customer-centric and truly engage their customers are realising significant change is required in their approach and organisational structure.

We are already seeing a serious rise in the appointment of Chief Customer Officer and Chief Experience Officer roles.

Not only are more boards creating these roles, we are also seeing a move in how these roles are structured and who is appointed to them.

Historically, where the role of a CCO, or CXO exists these have been led by a CMO, or Marketing professional, almost double the number of individuals from any other background (The Customer Director Report), with CX as a direct report. This is a structure the CX community has long believed is wrong. 

Any CX leader worth their salt knows how damaging sales and or marketing strategies can be when not aligned to the customer experience delivered. This is why there are those companies who want to realise the benefits of being more customer focussed are starting to think differently with some already looking to proven Customer Experience and Customer Service Directors leaders who know what it is like to walk in the customers shoes for the role of a CCO or CXO but with marketing as their direct report.

What do you think, we would welcome your thoughts, please do comment on the article or you can get in touch with me directly at

Michelle Ansell, is a Managing Partner at Douglas Jackson – a high-end retained executive search firm exclusively focused on customer, consumer centric, digital and data led business, delivering high performance, diverse, impactful leadership.

Posted in Board Careers, CEO, Customer Contact, Customer Experience, Customer Experience ROI, Customers, Digital Experience, diverse leadership, Douglas Jackson, Talent Acquisition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The State of The Market

I am asked on a daily basis about the state of the market and many are talking about ‘The Great Resignation’, is it real?, What is the market like, how are salaries being affected etc.

I was delighted to be asked for my thoughts on the current market challenges by the Customer Experience Foundation.

Some of my key points were as follows:

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Posted in Board Careers, business intelligence, Candidate Experience, Candidates, CEO, Contact Centre Industry, Customer Contact, Customer Experience, customer insight, customer service, Customers, Digital Experience, Douglas Jackson, Employees, Executive Search, Hiring, Homeworking, Leadership, Retained Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything is possible

“Don’t be afraid to dream big”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can show the world nothing is impossible” Nims Purja MBE.

These are the opening lines to the new Netflix documentary 14 Peaks, featuring Nirmal “Nims”, Purja in his attempt to climb all 14 ‘death zone’, 8000m+ mountains within seven months.

According to Wikipedia only 40 climbers have reached the summit of all 14 8000m peaks, the first of who was Reinhold Messner, and which took him 16 years. Reinhold is also featured in the film and states how, ‘climbing all 14 of the 8000m peaks in one lifetime is very hard’.

For most climbers, the process of climbing one of the 8000m mountains is a two month endeavour and here in 2019, was Nims Purja, a Nepal born British, pretty unknown mountaineer putting a stake in the ground and setting out to climb all 14 peaks within seven months. The previous record was seven years!

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Are you on the dance floor or the balcony?

We were delighted to hold a live event with Dr Lucy Ryan, ‘Shifting the Balance Back To More Effective Leadership’.

Lucy showed us how when our Leadership vs Management vs Coaching self are out of balance the impact it has on us, our business and our teams is significant.

Lucy shared 6 key strategies of what to do about it and how to become a better leader with higher performance individually, as a business and through our teams.

In this 1 minute clip Lucy asks “Are you on the dance floor or the balcony”?.

The concept, taken from Heifetz in Adaptive Leadership, is that, only in the largest of conglomorates can leaders be afforded the privilage of always being on the balcony.  It is unrealistic that we seperate out Leadership and Management, when the reality is it is much more grey than that.

If you would like us to send you a copy of the full recording, drop us a note and we will get one to you.

Posted in Career Development, Developing Resilient Leaders, diverse leadership, Hiring Resilient Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resilient Leadership, Self-Management, talent development, Talent Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I don’t like recruiters

This is something that someone said to me not that long ago and it is something that if it isn’t said, it is often inferred through actions or sentiment.

Luckily on this occasion, my client added but I do like you, which thankfully is the case with many of the people I deal with but let’s talk about why people don’t tend to like recruiters.

To be fair there are a lot more professionals that people don’t like…

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5 Top Tips To Stop Feeling Burnout

The last 20 months have been intense, for everyone.

The demand on our leaders has been significant and whilst leading through a crisis and getting involved in the day to day can be exhilerating and fulfilling, the prolonged, relentless pace of change, coupled with the feeling that we always need to be online or available is taking it’s toll.

The good news is it does not have to be this way, there are some simple steps that everyone can take to gain more clarity, focus and importantly practice some much-needed self-care.

Here are five top tips to help you get back some balance and not just for you but your teams too:

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Posted in Candidates, Career Development, CEO, Clients, Contact Centre Industry, Douglas Jackson, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Development, resilience, Resilient Leadership, Self-Management, Talent Management, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stop Losing Your Diverse Talent

Whilst some organisations have seen a massive uptick in D&I activity in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Others have seen major programmes, like leadership development and diversity projects take a back seat for business critical activities bought about due to the pandemic.

Whatever the situation EDI is here to stay, especially as more private equity and venture capital firms are now asking for and looking for more diversity and sustainability across their portfolios. EDI and ESG initiatives should already have a seat at the boardroom table and if not they are waiting at the door to be let in.

But where do you start and how do you develop a better initiative across Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?

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Posted in Developing Resilient Leaders, diverse leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Performance, Programmes/Projects, resilience, Resilient Leadership, Talent Acquisition, talent development, Talent Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment