Insights from Interviews and Business Dynamics

23 February 2024

Key Intangible Factors Considered by Executives in Career Decision-Making.

After years of interviewing executives, we have identified a series of intangible benefits that they value when considering a career change and a new project, which they believe will determine their success.

Apart from the specific challenges of the company, the role, and the executive's experience and skills, the following are some of the key elements they consider when making a decision:

  • Brand reputation
  • Positive organizational culture
  • Effective leadership
  • Level of employee engagement
  • Existence of innovation and creativity
  • Ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • Relationships with stakeholders
  • Business adaptability and resilience

These elements vary when it comes to a listed company, versus an unlisted company. In the case of a listed company, they also consider the following:

  • Shareholder pressure versus. freedom of decision-making: whether there is a prioritization of short-term financial results over long-term intangible benefits.
  • Transparency in the information of listed companies, which can influence how executives value brand reputation and public image management.
  • Access to capital of listed companies, which influences how executives value investor confidence and market perception. Unlisted companies may rely more on private sources of funding, which can affect their reputation and relationships with stakeholders.
  • Focus on growth and profitability: listed companies tend to have a greater focus on growth and profitability to meet shareholder expectations. This can influence how executives value aspects such as innovation and creativity compared to unlisted companies, which may prioritize long-term financial stability over short-term growth.

These are basically differences in terms of shareholder pressure, financial regulations, access to capital, and strategic focus, which influence their decision-making.

In addition, whether a business is mature or not also introduces new elements into the mix before making a decision, depending on the stage of business development and the specific needs associated with each.   For example:

  • Focus on growth vs. stability: in an immature business, executives focus on rapid growth and market share capture, where innovation, creativity, and adaptability to explore new opportunities are vital. In a mature business, the priority may be to maintain market position and improve profitability, where stability, operational efficiency, and risk management are important.
  • Flexibility vs. structure: immature businesses require flexibility and rapid responsiveness, in this case, they value organizational agility and adaptability.
  • Risk-taking: in immature businesses, executives are more willing to take risks in pursuit of growth opportunities and competitive advantages.
  • Corporate culture vs. established processes: in a mature business, processes and structures are more established, and executives may value consistency in delivery, product/service quality, and alignment with core company values vs. in an immature business where they are more focused on building a solid corporate culture that fosters innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial spirit.

All of these are key elements to consider when defining an ideal executive profile for a position in a company and should be considered.


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