Decision-makers: Let go of total control!

Decision-makers: Let go of total control!

Nina Ariluoma, Managing Partner of Horton International Finland was interviewed recently by Pekka Säilä.

We’re delighted to share the full piece with you.

You can also find the article in Finnish here:

Decision-makers: Let go of total control!

Leadership requirements for operational management and company boards have changed. The organizational environment also strongly influences individual and team performance. For that reason, in order to ensure the best possible results, Executive Search Industry needs take a holistic look at company leadership and evaluating the entire management system.

The importance of diversified business experience and leadership style in the selection of corporate strategic individuals is on the rise. Simultaneously, the relative importance of industry expertise has seen a decline as industries should more and more learn from each other.

Leadership requirements are in constant flux, which challenges companies to evaluate their own leadership expectations continuously. Therefore, executive search also needs to update their skills, challenge their operating models and offer the best candidates with more flexibility and in a transparent manner.

So, is the traditional view of leadership, or seeing it as a stand-alone ability, in transformation? Do we need to shake-up the old-fashioned practices of the industry?

“You could say that,” assesses Nina Ariluoma, Managing Partner at Horton International Finland. “Rapid technological developments, unexpected changes in the markets and in competitive dynamics, agile and autonomous work cultures are bringing new demands for leadership capabilities.”

Ariluoma says today’s leaders need to create a deeper purpose for work and be the organizational enablers, ensuring that people can succeed in their work.  “The leader creates common direction and goals, leads the way and builds common practices and capable and well-functioning team. This way ensuring the company’s commitment to its owners and other stakeholders,” she continues.

Nowadays, employees desire more responsibility and freedom in their day-to-day tasks. Understanding these needs is also a must for the majority of companies to succeed in the market. However, when recruiting, the need to develop management structures and policies to support the introduction of new capabilities or new goals is many times neglected. It is the management systems, which is often found to be the most difficult part of the transformation. How are leaders able to let go of the control on their role as decision-makers in order to delegate the decision-making power across the organization in a way that serves the entire professional community. Today, employees expect their leaders to be their coaches and to be available when needed, rather than telling them what to do.

Utilizing know-how broadly and effectively

Horton’s mission is to challenge and renew executive search practices.

“In addition to evaluating candidates’ ability to meet new leadership requirements, we also work with our clients on their own vision of capable leaders,” says Ariluoma. “As part of the executive search process, we can also help our clients to renew their management system and organization.”  It is essential that our clients ensure that their organization, decision making, and ways of working are aligned with strategy and expectations for the leader. That is just too often neglected and can be a costly mistake.

The aim is to select the right people with diverse backgrounds and visions to fill a company’s strategic roles, as well as board member positions.

“We want to make sure, that their skills are utilized with the greatest efficiency,” she states. Ariluoma affirms that Horton selects candidates for review, who challenge the industry’s traditional expectations.

“Our customer promise is to provide diverse candidate lists in every search we work with our clients on. This means that every short list of candidates involves both women and men, industry experts and challengers from outside the industry, as well as talented people who would take a step forward in their careers,” she specifies.


Horton’s team has a diverse background in industry, leadership and psychology, plus access and understanding of the latest research data.


“Through teamwork, we ensure a broad perspective to help the customer. Ultimately, our mission is to have an in-depth understanding of the requirements of new era leadership, the needs of our clients, and how a company and business can transform through new types of leadership,” Ariluoma concludes.




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