By including your team in the decision-making, investing in the future of your workforce, being willing to try out new ideas, clear communication, and a bit of tech-savviness you, as a leader, will be ready to navigate in the tech revolution!

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, leaders need to embrace a mindset of continuous adaptation. We’re in an era of ‘The Digital Age’ where new transformative tech and trends are reshaping everything, forcing us to revisit what effective leadership really means. There is however no doubt that it involves staying informed about emerging technologies relevant to their industry, understanding their potential impact, and proactively integrating them into their business strategies.

The leaders that successfully explore and leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics are to gain major competitive advantages. However, if leaders resist adopting these new technologies, their companies might face challenges and fall behind in the market.

The question emerges: How does one navigate this rapidly changing landscape and stay ahead?

Well, digital transformation, which is a big term for a big change, is more than just incorporating new tools. It’s about changing the way your organization works, its culture, and how people think about their work. Hereby, the leaders play a crucial role in driving and managing this transformation, ensuring that it aligns with the overall business strategy. We have the pleasure of presenting five ideas on how you as a leader can successfully embrace and manage the digital transformation ahead to make it a success.

Inclusive Decision-Making:

By including the employees, the employees should have a say on where digitization could and should be adopted. When employees generate their own ideas about where digitization supports business, it is more likely to become a success. Include your employees!

Investment in Your Team’s Skills:

Developing talent and skills throughout the organization is a fundamental action for transformation and one of the most important in digital change efforts. This covers, defining roles and responsibilities, hiring digital talent and engaging integrators. The integrators are employees who understand both the business side and technical aspects and can translate and integrate the new digital methods and processes into the existing ways of working. Invest in your team!

Digital upgrade for day-to-day tools:

Give your daily tools and processes a digital makeover. With a strategic digital upgrade of the daily tools, you ensure to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Be willing to try out new things!

Communicate the Change:

Clear communication is critical during a digital transformation. Telling the employees, the when, how and why it is changing and why the changes are important, helps the employees understand where the organization is headed. Explain the when, how and why!

Tech-Savvy Leadership:

You don’t have to be a tech expert, but possessing a basic understanding of key technologies is essential. Tech-savvy leaders can effectively communicate with their technical teams, make informed decisions, and lead their organizations into the future. Invest in yourself!

To summarize how to navigate in the tech revolution, leadership in the digital age is all about having a clear vision, being adaptable, and being open to new technologies. Bringing together these qualities is crucial for steady growth and lasting success in today’s tech-driven business world. These steps might seem simple at first but can be very effective for leaders to steer their organizations not just through digital changes but toward a future filled with innovation and prosperity.

Is your organization facing a larger tech transformation and looking to broaden your tech-savvy talent pool?

Feel free to reach out to your local Friisberg office

Why prioritise external board assessments?

Several boards carry out an annual self-evaluation, or an online quantitative evaluation, every three years based on the need to express and show good and ethical board behaviour. However, this is not the way forward if you ask Richard Leblanc, researcher at York University in the journal "The Corporate Board". He  expresses that these simplified methods give an imperfect picture of the Board's work and efforts. Just as no one wants to assess a company simply on the basis of their accounts, one should not assess a Board of Directors based only on a quantified and outdated approach. If this method continues, Board evaluation can end up being a ritual tribal dance that adds no particular value to the company.

What should you pay attention to?

Board evaluations must not function as a tick in the compliance form. When basing your evaluation data from members' individual and biased understanding of what good board work is, you are taking the easy way out. One can quickly fall into a trap where the results become bland and the subsequent dialogue ends in a round of self-praise and self-glorification.

At Friisberg & Partners International, we specialize in Board Assessments. We go in-depth with a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods in the form of both online surveys, physical interviews and assessments. The data is used to uncover elements such as the Board's experience, their ability to collaborate & challenge each other and the management, collective knowledge and their professional competences. Bases on this data, the company's activities and the associated risks are analyzed along with the Board's work.

As an extra element in creating a truthful and in-depth evaluation, Friisberg & Partners Denmark recommends that the Management assesses the Board in addition to the Board's own self-assessment. Based on the full evaluation and the subsequent reporting, the Board has the opportunity to uncover the potential to become a better strategic player that matches and supports the Executive Board.

Overall, it is absolutely central to the utilization of the potential in an evaluation that the focus is not only on documenting the results achieved, but is seen as a resource for developing the Board; both in relation to current changes or future routines, structural conditions & long term knowledge building.

Why Board evaluations are important

At Friisberg & Partners International, there is broad agreement that there is a correlation between external Board assessments and improved management quality. Board evaluations contribute to identifying strengths and weaknesses in the Board's functioning, which makes it possible to improve decision-making processes and strategic management. Furthermore, the evaluations contribute to an objective assessment of the Board's composition, working methods and efficiency. It promotes open dialogue and reflection on the Board's performance, which contributes to higher professional accountability.

As an additions service offering, Friisberg & Partners includes a targeted development and action plan as a part of our final report.  This can lead to higher levels of engagement and performance.


Diversitet er blevet nyt fast punkt på den politiske dagsorden, men hvordan sikrer virksomhederne god omstilling?

Vedtag fra Erhvervsstyrelsen om kønsdiversitet på flere ledelsesniveauer trådte i kraft d. 1/1 2023. Det betyder skærpede regler for krav om måltal og politikker for kønsdiversitet i danske virksomheder.

Hvem omfatter vedtaget?

De nye regler omfatter 2.387 store virksomheder, statslige virksomheder (herunder aktieselskaber) samt børsnoterede aktieselskaber (+313m DKK omsætning, +250 heltidsansatte, +156m DKK balancesum). Her er det nye mål for kønsneutrale virksomheder, af erhvervsstyrelsen, defineret som en 40/60 fordeling efter de juridisk bestemte køn.

Det er dermed heller ikke længere nok for moderselskabet at opstille måltal og politikker på baggrund af hele koncernen. Såfremt datterselskabet selv er omfattet af reglerne, skal disse opstille egne måltal og politikker, der skal sikre en kønsneutral ledelse fra øverste ledelseslag og to lag ned.

I samme anledning, foretages der en ændring i årsregnskabslovens § 99 b, hvor virksomheder der er omfattet af reglerne, fremadrettet skal angive statistik om nuværende kønsfordeling, måltal og politikker samt status på opfyldelsen af disse i ledelsesberetningen.

Nye tal fra Analyse & Tal viser, at 44% af bestyrelserne udelukkende består af mænd, hvor det kun er hvert femte bestyrelsesmedlem der er kvinde og hvert tiende bestyrelsesformand der er kvinde. Det betyder med andre ord, at knap halvdelen af Danmarks store virksomheder ingen kvinder har i bestyrelsen.

Hvordan bliver din virksomhed klar til omstillingen?

Hos Friisberg & Partners International har vi altid haft diversitet og softskills i sigtekornet i jagten på talent. Det stammer fra, at vi er en organisation med fokus på DEI, og at 60% af vores Man. Partner på verdensplan er kvinder. Vores grundholdning er at de bedst performende teams i et globaliseret marked, er dem med forskellige holdninger, perspektiver og kulturelle baggrunde. I 2022 har vi hos Friisberg & Partners Int. Denmark sourced lige knap 900 kandidater, hvoraf kønsfordelingen har været 50/50. Yderligere har vi i disse stillinger på topledelsesniveau placeret 45% kvinder og 55% mænd, hvilket bevidner om at vi gerne vil gå forrest, når det handler om at diversificere vores kunders talent pool.

Vi har på vores nylige 117’ende konference og dertilhørende Diversity Debate i København, bl.a. diskuteret; Hvordan virksomhederne selv kan fjerne barrierer, der hindrer kvinder i at søge topstillinger. Her er 3 overbevisende fund:

  1. At promovere interne kvindelige kandidater, så de kan blive fremtidens rollemodeller.
  2. At man etablerer mentor programmer, som skal inspirere kvinder til at søge C-level stillinger og udfordre karriere ankeret om stabilitet og livsstil.
  3. At man kontinuerligt opfordrer kvinder til, oftere at skifte roller, så karriereprofilen udvides og bygges.

Yderligere, hvordan vi kan sikre at vores kunder bliver bedre til at tiltrække kvindeligt talent, nemlig gennem;

Som en del af et Europas ældste executive search firmaer, har vi i Friisberg & Partners International Denmark, redskaberne der skal til for proaktivt at hjælpe jeres virksomhed med at fremme diversiteten på ledelses og bestyrelsesniveau. Det foregår gennem at arbejde med realistiske indsatser for at udarbejde politikker, måltal og for at tiltrække diversificeret talent. Er din virksomhed blandt de 90% som har underrepræsentation af kvinder og ønsker I at ændre dette? Vi tør godt gå forrest, tør i?

Se vores udvalg af services på:


Diversity Debate

The essential competencies within Boards and their value creation

If you decide to recruit Board members on your own instead of turning to a professional executive firm, it will result in lost opportunities and lower turnover.

Furthermore, it is not enough simply to elect Board members and a Chair, based solely on their professional competences. It is often overlooked, but far more important, can be the personal competencies that the headhunter puts into sharp focus.

What personal competencies are essential for Boards and how does this give the Board greater value?

An analysis from the Centre for Corporate Governance at Copenhagen Business School indicates that companies can increase revenue by between 25-40% by having a diverse and professional Board. However, about half of the Boards in Denmark are occupied by family members - and that is an issue. The human nature of the owners is governed by the power of habit and the aspect that it is difficult to replace oneself or a family member. That is why we see Boards that are characterized by:

In recent years, we, Friisberg & Partners International Denmark, have experienced a greater interest from companies, who acknowledged that a professional Board can be a competent and strategic tool to increase the growth and development of a firm. The increased interest is supported, among others, by external advisors such as EY, who through their workshops and dialogues assure the owners about the advantages of having non-familial members on the Board.

When an owner has decided to strengthen the Board or when a current Board member quits, we are contacted to ensure the circle of potential candidates becomes wider and more diverse. The owner has often given some consideration to which professional competencies the company should have replaced in the Board of Directors. Typically, these competencies reflect the stand of the current situation of the company and partly  the qualities and competencies the outgoing Board member possessed, and which are now to be replaced.

The human side of Board work

Having the Board’s professional competencies described is one of the prerequisites for any successful Board recruitment. The Board’s competence descriptions contribute positively to an overview of which competencies the Board possesses and which are desired in the future. However, this alone is not enough to achieve the successful recruitment of a new Chair or a new Board member. There are many different perceptions of what it takes for a Board to create value and therefore it is important to clarify what kind of value creation is needed – and in addition to this, to understand the human side of Board work.

We are of the opinion that effective Board work takes place in the interaction between different people. It is simply not just the interaction in the Boardroom that is significant. The dialogue with management, employees, local business partners, authorities, costumers, and suppliers etc. further contributes to the positive dialogue and the value creation. So, one is the professional skills such as financial literacy – another is the personal competencies which are most often overruled in the recruitment for a new Board member.

Six key competencies

We work with six key competencies that the Board Chair or member must have to create value. Often, a Chair of the Board is elected from the existing Board, therefore the Chair's competencies are advantageous for all members of the Board.

1.    Executive experience

The prerequisite for a good working relationship requires that one can speak the language and appreciate the concerns of management that every CEO faces. Moreover, having a sharp business judgement, deep understanding of the company’s strategy, how it operates and the human issues.

2.    Respect and confidentiality

Many members are very adamant in their opinions, and it requires a special competence to be able to listen, understand and read between the lines when other members argue their positions. In addition, to be able to listen to, understand and support a CEO when the person expresses a reservation towards the Board’s decisions.

3.    The ability to collaborate and hold back

We have seen Boards where there are many strong personalities = alpha males/females (it can be both men and women), who are used to being top manager and thereby take their “director” behaviour into the boardroom. It inhibits the good, constructive, and idea-generating dialogue. Therefore, it is an important competence to hold back and to support that everyone around the table has their say.

4.    To create personal relationships

It is incredibly important to have the ability to establish relationships and to be able to work with the DNA that the specific Board and management have. It should be easy and safe for the CEO to approach the Chair of the Board and have a confidential conversation.

5.    The balance between confidence and overconfidence

The candidates of the Board of Directors must be in a place in life where they are in balance. That is where they have or have been successful in their careers and where they have no need to become No.1 or feel that they have yet to achieve a top position - that is, not dreaming of taking over the CEO’s office or longing for operational control. It is a high sense of self-worth, a “commitment” for the good of the company, without a trace of a personal agenda, which is something we especially ask about during the recruitment.

6.   Perseverance

It is necessary to uncover how much time the Board member is ready to spend on Board work. It is far from certain that it is “merely” four meetings a year. There can easily be situations where the meeting frequency will be much greater, and you must be ready to spend the necessary time between meetings. Emergency situations can always arise where a Chair of the Board or the entire Board of Directors must step in at short notice. It can be crisis situations, and in such times, it is the personal perseverance and drive to overcome a crisis that is essential. All things considered, it is especially the ability to confront these stressful situations and to avoid the organization becoming paralyzed, if they occur, that is central.

Susanne Becker Mikkelsen,
Partner Denmark

Hvordan påvirker ”new ways of working” vores forretning og kultur?

Hvordan bliver arbejdsmiljøet i fremtiden – og hvordan vil det påvirke kulturen i virksomhederne? I løbet af de sidste årtier har vi set office hubs dukke op overalt og stadig flere arbejder freelance. Tidligere var en daglig arbejdsgang på moderne kontorer med stor opmærksomhed på faciliteter, et stærkt fokus for både arbejdsgivere og medarbejdere, men det har Covid-19 ændret på.

Men hvad vil det betyde? Hvordan vil det påvirke organisationer og deres kultur i fremtiden?

Med Covid-19 har vi taget et kvantespring ind i en ny virkelighed, hvor hjemmearbejde betyder at medarbejdere ikke opnår den samme dosis socialisering og vidensdeling ved vandkøleren eller kaffemaskinen. Størstedelen af medarbejdere har taget godt imod nye teknologier og justeret deres måder at arbejde på, og af denne grund er det i mange virksomheder ikke længere påkrævet, at vi er på kontoret hver dag eller deltager i møder med fysisk tilstedeværelse.

Jeg har i mit arbejde som Trusted Advisor erfaret, at vores ”new normal” kan fungere, når der bliver ydet en indsats i at skabe tillid til nye samarbejdspartnere og kolleger. Generelt kræver det en stor mængde fokus på hvordan alle parter kommunikerer.

For at give dig svar på ovenstående spørgsmål, har jeg talt med mit netværk.

Vertic er et digitalt marketingbureau, der hjælper F500-virksomheder med deres digitale rejse. De har med succes rekrutteret nye medarbejdere ansat til at arbejde på andre lokationer end deres normale kontorer geografisk under og efter COVID-19. De har haft et forspring med at arbejde fra forskellige geografiske lokationer internationalt og i brugen af alle digitale hjælpemidler. Alt dette fungerer i et omfang, hvor de overvejer at benytte sig af fjerntliggende hubs i en større grad, når de skal hente nye kompetencer og herved ikke være begrænset af den geografiske afstand. Mads Petersen der var med til at stifte virksomheden i 2002, er dog bevidst om vigtigheden af

How do our new ways of working impact our business and culture?

How will the working environment be in the future – and how will it influence the culture in companies? Over the past decades we have seen office hubs popping up everywhere. Physically working together in modern offices with a large attention on amenities, was a strong focus for both employers and employees, but Covid-19 has changed that.

So what now? How will the changes influence organizations and their culture in the future?

With Covid-19 we have fast forwarded into a new reality where organizations see employees working from home and not having the daily dose of intersocial activity and rapport by the water cooler or the coffee machine. Work is still being done and to some extend in an admiring, yet sometimes alarming way. We have adopted new technologies into our daily routines, and suddenly it is not required that we are in the office every day or attend meetings with a physical presence.

In my work as a trusted advisor, I have seen that our new normal can work, but it takes an effort. It takes an effort to build trust to new business partners and colleagues, and you must pay attention to how you communicate.

I have spoken to my network, to get you some answers!

Vertic – a digital marketing agency helping F500 companies with their digital journey – have successfully recruited new employees global working remote from the head quarter. They have had a head start in working on the distance and using all digital tools available. It is working in a way that they are planning to use remote hubs even more when bringing in new competences, not being limited by geographical distance. Still founder Mads Petersen is aware of the importance to bring in new colleagues in order to get to know each other, form trust and feel the culture.

Focus on mergers and acquisitions often is on numbers, optimizing business processes to reach the strategy, while employees and culture are often neglected. Studies show that Covid-19 has made it even more difficult or close to impossible to engage in the forming for a new culture and on-boarding new employees. However new tools and ways of working have been introduced and have become routine. You don’t have to be at the same location to work together saving a lot of time and money travelling. And the transition from one location to another has been easier than expected. Despite that the necessity of meeting in person, bonding and building trust is essential to grow a culture, and some employees have a hard time adjusting, lacking the trust amongst one another.

For McKinsey & Company, Covid-19 has brought different kind of assignments and projects along as well as they see a vast demand for their services. But the company has become more aware to have a focus on how their human capital is coping. New colleagues have been seen having a hard time adapting to the organization, when only working remotely and consider leaving the company within a year, due to it is hard to getting to know your colleagues and clients furthermore don’t expect you to be on site in different cities across the globe when you are working on an assignment. Hence HR and management are taking the temperature on the employees’ mental health weekly to look after their most valued asset. Employees have a hotline to the HR Manager and is offered professional guidance and help without having to document that they are not feeling well to the authorities or a doctor. Small groups of employees that don’t know each other are formally being put together for dining to small talk, exchange ideas and getting to know each other. Employees are encouraged to take a walk with a colleague or in a group whom they don’t socialize with on a regular basis.

Organizations have been quick to adapt to the new circumstances. New ways of working and technologies have been adapted quickly - and it is working – results are achieved – but it is important not to forget the human factor and to meet in person, if we want build trust, exchange ideas, and build and nurture the culture of the organization that bind us together.

What is your experience – can you recognize the findings in your organization?

Jacob Gylling Mahler
Partner, Copenhagen

Jacob Gylling Mahler recently joined our team in Copenhagen.

Jacob is looking forward to being a part of the Friisberg family and working closely with colleagues and our clients in Denmark, the Nordics and globally.

With a LLM from Copenhagen University and a BA in Business Administration with a focus Organization Development, he has experience working within financial institutions, non-Governmental organizations, and within the Energy and Utility markets.

Over many years he has worked with both large international companies and small boutique firms within HR, Talent Management, Executive Search and Leadership & Organizational Development. His clients include those within the legal, Financial, Engineering, Energy, IT and Healthcare sectors.

Jacob has a strong focus on identifying, matching and developing competencies and talent, and merging it with culture and organization in order to reach expectations. He is a trusted advisor to Boards, owners and management teams, advising on strategy, HR, leadership and corporate development.

With a genuinely international outlook he finds different cultures enrich organizations and life.

When not working Jacob enjoys open water swimming, alpine skiing, MTB and road biking. He loves to travel with family and friends, meeting and getting to know new people and cultures.

How do you maintain culture, loyalty, and relationships when communication takes place primarily at a distance and via online meetings – and often with fluctuating technical quality?

Several of our clients have embarked on completely new managerial challenges which require them to find new and innovative ways of creating, and maintaining, a dynamic and motivating workplace.

In the world after Corona, the pressure on management is rising.

While we are slowly returning to a world that resembles what we knew before Corona, it has become clear to many that it will never be quite the same in terms of ”going to work".

Many of our clients have recognized that the virtual workplace has come to stay. Covid-19 has driven a development leading to major and radical changes in the way we will function in a workplace of the future.

It is the management that is responsible for the strategy and therefore the consequences of their decisions. Management must show the way while also acknowledging that many employees now prefer working from home and enjoy being able to plan their time independently.

It has also become harder to motivate employees to meet physically in the workplace and feel part of a physical work environment.

Some challenges our clients face:

In all the above situations, I must conclude that management has simply not been in close enough contact with the employees. At this time HR departments and management have had to be proactive to ensure that all employees are satisfied and motivated.

Three inspiring solutions where management has been creative and dared to explore new avenues:

  1. A large financial company held social events which were only available to those who have been physically at work.
  2. A larger real estate company delegated to middle managers that they, together with their employees, could decide who and how often employees worked from home
  3. A production company chose to offer 3 optional models regarding how often the employees worked from home and how often they were physically present in the workplace. Employees were allowed to decide for themselves which model they found optimal to enhance their Work-Life-Balance.

Which management skills are in demand?

Corona has forced us to think of other and increasingly digital ways of working. Experts estimate that by 2023, 2/3 of the world's economy will be digital – this is a development that puts future leadership roles under huge pressure.

We have noticed that our clients have started to demand more of these 5 personal competencies:

  1. Innovative leaders who are able to lead others without being physically present
  2. Communicative leaders who can retain a strong personal dialogue
  3. Empathetic leaders with a focus on high employee satisfaction
  4. Enterprising leaders who can go new ways
  5. Leaders who are willing to take risks and can make innovative and proactive decisions.

These observations alone cannot answer my initial question, but maybe they will prompt you to think outside the box in managing your post-Covid business.

Susanne Becker Mikkelsen
Partner Denmark     

Onboarding Top Management, in a virtual world

An interview with Anders Blom Monberg, Country Manager for Protector Insurance Denmark.

Working from home can be a challenge, even when you know the job, company, and stakeholders very well. When you are new however, you must learn everything in the virtual world.

Many things have changed during this pandemic and onboarding sure is one of them!

At Friisberg & Partners we hear from many CEOs and understand that it has been extraordinarily demanding to get into the new role when the employees and managers work from home. However, many of the CEOs are also finding benefits and new opportunities with getting an online start, instead of a physical presence.

The Country Manager at Protector Insurance Denmark, Anders Blom Monberg shares his thoughts about how he has handled an unusual onboarding when he started his new position on January 1st, 2021.

What considerations did you make before you started, knowing that the offices were empty, and everybody was working from home?

“Before I started this role, many people had already been working at home for a long period of time. I am therefore used to being a leader in a virtual world, and my colleagues are used to the same. It was a big help that we all knew what we were dealing with and had adapted beforehand.”

Did you have an introduction plan?

“Yes. Protector Insurance had given me an introductory plan, and many of my

Friisberg Denmark recently hosted the "Gå-Hjem Møde" at its offices in Copenhagen, in cooperation with Dreams & Details Academy, on the new requirements for boards.

Together, we offered interesting insights, including a presentation from Jim Hagemann Snabe, which prompted much discussion amongst our guests.

Topics such as the need for boards to reinvent themselves and the constant need for new and up-to-date competences were discussed.


Susanne Becker Mikkelsen thanks everyone for attending, and for making it such an exciting, valuable and enjoyable evening!

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