February 2017 Prosperity at Work E-Tip

Economics & Job Creation:


Life Sciences:
“Why Natural Sleep is Crucial for Learning”

“How Automation Will Alter the Jobs Landscape”

“Jekyll and Hyde cells: Their role in brain injury and disease revealed”

The Industrials:
“How Will Trump Build His Leadership Team?”

Human Capital Solutions, Inc. (HCS) www.humancs.com is a Retained Executive Search and Professional Recruiting firm focused in Healthcare, Life Sciences, the Industrials, and Technology. Visit our LinkedIn Company Page to learn more about HCS and receive weekly updates.

HCS has created the Prosperity at Work proposition which focuses on creating prosperous relationships between companies and their employees (associates). HCS assists companies in improving bottom line profitability by efficiently planning, organizing and implementing optimized, practical and value-added business solutions.


Economics & Job Creation:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment
rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities.
Changes to The Employment Situation Data

Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual
benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors
using an improved methodology to select models. Also, household
survey data for January 2017 reflect updated population estimates.
See the notes at the end of this news release for more information
about these changes.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 7.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at
4.8 percent, were little changed in January. (See table A-1. For information about
annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates, see the notes at
the end of this news release and tables B and C.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians (3.7 percent) increased
in January. The jobless rates for adult men (4.4 percent), adult women (4.4 percent),
teenagers (15.0 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (7.7 percent), and Hispanics
(5.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was essentially unchanged at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.4 percent of the
unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 244,000.
(See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian
labor force increased by 584,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate
rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Total employment, as measured by the
household survey, was up by 457,000 over the month, and the employment-population
ratio edged up to 59.9 percent. (See table A-1. For additional information about the
effects of the population adjustments, see table C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in January at 5.8 million. These
individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time
because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time
jobs. (See table A-8.)

In January, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
337,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they
had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 532,000 discouraged workers in January, little
changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in
January had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in January. Employment increased in
retail trade, construction, and financial activities. (See table B-1. For information
about the annual benchmark process, see the notes at the end of this news release and
table A.)

Retail trade employment increased by 46,000 over the month and by 229,000 over the
year. Three industries added jobs in January–clothing and clothing accessories
stores (+18,000), electronics and appliance stores (+8,000), and furniture and home
furnishings stores (+6,000).

Employment in construction rose by 36,000 in January, following little change in
December. Residential building added 9,000 jobs over the month, and employment
continued to trend up among residential specialty trade contractors (+11,000). Over
the past 12 months, construction has added 170,000 jobs.

Financial activities added 32,000 jobs in January, with gains in real estate (+10,000),
insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000), and credit intermediation and
related activities (+9,000). Financial activities added an average of 15,000 jobs per
month in 2016.

In January, employment in professional and technical services rose by 23,000, about in
line with the average monthly gain in 2016. Over the month, job gains occurred in
computer systems design and related services (+13,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in January
(+30,000). This industry added 286,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care also continued to trend up in January (+18,000), following a
gain of 41,000 in December. The industry has added 374,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing,
wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed
little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.4 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8
hours, while overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.6 hours
for the sixth consecutive month. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose
by 3 cents to $26.00, following a 6-cent increase in December. Over the year, average
hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of
private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.84.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down from
+204,000 to +164,000, and the change for December was revised up from +156,000 to
+157,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined
were 39,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to
the November and December revisions. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged
183,000 per month.




Life Sciences:

“Why Natural Sleep is Crucial for Learning”

Studying mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins have fortified evidence that a key purpose of sleep is to recalibrate the brain cells responsible for learning and memory so the animals can “solidify” lessons learned and use them when they awaken — in the case of nocturnal mice, the next evening.

The researchers, all of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, also report they have discovered several important molecules that govern the recalibration process, as well as evidence that sleep deprivation, sleep disorders and sleeping pills can interfere with the process.

“Our findings solidly advance the idea that the mouse and presumably the human brain can only store so much information before it needs to recalibrate,” says Graham Diering, Ph.D., the postdoctoral fellow who led the study. “Without sleep and the recalibration that goes on during sleep, memories are in danger of being lost.”

A summary of their study appears online in the journal Science on Feb. 3.

Diering explains that current scientific understanding of learning suggests that information is “contained” in synapses, the connections among neurons through which they communicate.

On the “sending side” of a synapse, signaling molecules called neurotransmitters are released by a brain cell as it “fires”; on the “receiving side,” those molecules are captured by receptor proteins, which pass the “message” along. If a cell receives enough input through its synapses, it fires off its own neurotransmitters.

More specifically, experiments in animals have shown that the synapses on the receiving neuron can be toggled by adding or removing receptor proteins, thereby strengthening or weakening them and allowing the receiving neuron to receive more or less input from nearby signaling neurons.

Scientists believe memories are encoded through these synaptic changes. But there’s a hitch in this thinking, Diering says, because while mice and other mammals are awake, the synapses throughout its brain tend to be strengthened, not weakened, pushing the system toward its maximum load. When neurons are “maxed out” and constantly firing, they lose their capacity to convey information, stymying learning and memory.

One possible reason that neurons don’t usually max out is a process that has been well-studied in lab-grown neurons but not in living animals, asleep or awake. Known as homeostatic scaling down, it is a process that uniformly weakens synapses in a neural network by a small percentage, leaving their relative strengths intact and allowing learning and memory formation to continue.

To find out if the process does occur in sleeping mammals, Diering focused on the areas of the mouse brain responsible for learning and memory: the hippocampus and the cortex. He purified proteins from receiving synapses in sleeping and awake mice, looking for the same changes seen in lab-grown cells during scaling down.

Results showed a 20 percent drop in receptor protein levels in sleeping mice, indicating an overall weakening of their synapses, compared to mice that were awake.

“That was the first evidence of homeostatic scaling down in live animals,” says Richard Huganir, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, director of the Department of Neuroscience and lead author of the study. “It suggests that synapses are restructured throughout the mouse brain every 12 hours or so, which is quite remarkable.”

To learn specifically which molecules were responsible for the phenomenon, the team turned to a protein called Homer1a, discovered in 1997 by Paul Worley, M.D., professor of neuroscience, who was also part of the team conducting the new study. Studies showed that Homer1a — named for the ancient Greek author and the scientific “odyssey” required to identify it — is important for the regulation of sleep and wakefulness, and for homeostatic scaling down in lab-grown neurons.

Repeating his previous analysis of synaptic proteins, Diering indeed found much higher levels of Homer1a — 250 percent more — in the synapses of sleeping mice than awake mice. And in genetically engineered mice missing Homer1a, the previous decrease of synaptic receptor proteins associated with sleep was no longer present.

To sort out how Homer1a senses when the mice are sleeping or awake, the researchers looked to the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which drives the brain to arousal and wakefulness. By blocking or enhancing noradrenaline levels, both in lab-grown neurons and in mice, the researchers confirmed that when noradrenaline levels were high, Homer1a stayed away from synapses; when it was low, it collected there.

To directly test whether the location of Homer1a was related to sleep, the team kept mice awake for four extra hours by placing them in an unfamiliar cage. Some then got two and a half hours of “recovery sleep.” As predicted, levels of Homer1a in the receiving synapses were much higher in the sleep-deprived mice than in those that got recovery sleep. That suggests, says Diering, that Homer1a is sensitive to an animal’s “sleep need,” not just what time of day it is.

Diering emphasizes that sleep need is controlled by adenosine, a chemical that accumulates in the brain as an animal stays awake, provoking sleepiness. (Caffeine, the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, directly interferes with adenosine.) When mice were given a drug during sleep deprivation that blocks adenosine, Homer1a levels no longer increased in their synapses.

“We think that Homer1a is a traffic cop of sorts,” says Huganir. “It evaluates the levels of noradrenaline and adenosine to determine when the brain is sufficiently quiet to begin scaling down.”

As the final test of their hypothesis that scaling down during sleep is crucial for learning and memory, the researchers tested the mice’s ability to learn without scaling down. Individual mice were placed in an unfamiliar arena and given a mild electrical shock, either as they woke up or right before they went to sleep. Some mice then received a drug known to prevent scaling down.

When an undrugged mouse received a shock just before sleep, its brain went through the scaling-down process and formed an association between that arena and the shock. When placed in that same arena, those mice spent about 25 percent of their time motionless, in fear of another shock. When placed in a different unfamiliar arena, they froze sometimes, but only about 9 percent of their time there, probably because they were relatively good a telling the difference between the two unfamiliar arenas.

Expecting that drugged mice that couldn’t scale down during sleep would have weaker memories and therefore freeze less than undrugged mice, Diering was surprised that they were motionless longer (40 percent of their time) when returned to the arena where they were shocked. But the drugged mice were also motionless longer (13 percent of their time) when in a new arena. When the shock was given after the mice woke up, the drug made no difference in how long the mice froze in either arena, confirming that scaling down only occurs during sleep.

“We think that the memory of the shock was stronger in the drugged mice because their synapses couldn’t undergo scaling down, but all kinds of other memories also remained strong, so the mice were confused and couldn’t easily distinguish the two arenas,” says Diering. “This demonstrates why ‘sleeping on it’ can actually clarify your ideas.”

“The bottom line,” he says, “is that sleep is not really downtime for the brain. It has important work to do then, and we in the developed world are shortchanging ourselves by skimping on it.”

Huganir says that sleep is still a big mystery. “In this study, we only examined what goes on in two areas of the brain during sleep. There are probably equally important processes happening in other areas, and throughout the body, for that matter,” he adds.

Among the events that require further exploration is how learning and memory are affected by sleep disorders and other diseases known to disrupt sleep in humans, like Alzheimer’s disease and autism. Huganir also says that benzodiazapines and other drugs that are commonly prescribed as sedatives, such as muscle relaxants and other sleep aids, are known to prevent homeostatic scaling down and are likely to interfere with learning and memory, though that idea has yet to be tested experimentally.

Other authors of the report include Raja Nirujogi, Richard Roth and Akhilesh Pandey of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

This work was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Johns Hopkins Center for Proteomics Discovery, the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director (S10OD021844) and the National Institute of Mental Health (5P50MH100024).





“How Automation Will Alter the Jobs Landscape”

Rarely a day goes by without news of digitization, artificial intelligence and virtual reality impacting the workplace. Business leaders, politicians and economists want to quantify technology’s impact on employment — but no one knows for sure what the outcome will be.

Plenty has been written predicting the future: more jobs, different jobs, less jobs, temp jobs, even no jobs. But few prognosticators are telling us that they we will need new skills and we will need to hone them more often to stay employable for jobs we may not even have heard of yet. Talk about the proverbial sticky wicket.

According to ManpowerGroup’s new report, ‘The Skills Revolution,’ one in five employers (19 percent) expect technological disruption to increase jobs as they adapt to the future of work and six in 10 employers (64 percent) expect to maintain headcount if people have the right skills and are prepared to learn, apply and adapt. The report polled 18,000 employers across all sectors in 43 countries.
Automation Will Change Every Job

This past year, America’s job market made remarkable gains. After years of lackluster pay growth and an anemic economic recovery, jobs turned a corner in 2016. So what can we expect for 2017? A new report has revealed the five biggest jobs trends to watch for this year. Among the predictions: automation will start to affect all jobs in 2017 and will transform the modern workplace

“In this skills revolution, learnability – the desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable – will be the great equalizer,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup chairman and chief executive officer. “The rise in populism and the polarization of the workforce continues to play out in front of our eyes.”

It’s time to take immediate action to upskill and reskill employees to address the gaps between the haves and the have nots – those that have the right skills and those that are at risk of being left behind, said Mr. Prising. “We also need to draw in those that are not fully participating in the workforce. That’s what we mean by the emergence of a ‘skills revolution.’”

Faster and Different: Skills Disruption Like Never Before

Up to 45 percent of the tasks people are paid to do each day could be automated with current technology. Of course we have all adapted to the evolution of the labor market before — from tellers to customer service representatives, typists to word processors and personal assistants. Disrupting, destroying, redistributing and recreating work is nothing new.

The difference now is the life cycle of skills is shorter than ever and change is happening at an unprecedented scale. The impact may be hyper-inflated today, but as the cost and complexity of implementing technology falls, the pace is set to accelerate.

Short Term: The Future of Work Is Bright

New technologies can be expensive and require people with specialist skills, so employers are still hesitant to say hello automation, goodbye workers. In the short term, the future of work is bright. Most employers expect automation and the adjustment to digitization to bring a net gain for employment. Eighty-three percent intend to maintain or increase their headcount and upskill their people in the next two years. Only 12 percent of employers plan to decrease headcount as a result of automation.

Employers are anticipating change. Three out of four business leaders believe automation will require new skills over the next couple of years. We cannot slow the rate of technological advance, but employers can invest in their employees’ skills so people and organizations can remain relevant.

In Demand: Which Jobs, What Skills?

Skills and talent matter even more in a ‘skills revolution.’ Skills cycles are shorter than ever and 65 percent of the jobs Gen Z will perform do not even exist yet.

People working in IT and customer facing roles should feel optimistic: those employers anticipate the greatest increases in headcount. Rapid growth in demand is also expected across almost all industries and geographies for data analysts required to make sense of big data, and for specialized sales representatives to commercialize digitized offerings. In HR too, headcount is set to increase in the short term as they steer companies through this period of adjustment.

Constant Currency: Skills Adjacency, Agility and Learnability

In the ‘skills revolution,’ the value we place on different skills will change. Digitization and growth in skilled work will bring opportunities, as long as organizations and individuals are ready. Technology will replace both cognitive and manual routineu tasks so people can take on non-routine tasks and more fulfilling roles. Creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are skills that will tap human potential and allow people to augment robots, rather than be replaced by them. People will increasingly find they need to upskill and diversify into new areas. Skills adjacency, agility and learnability will be crucial.

Across OECD countries, jobs requiring higher levels of skills proficiency are growing fastest. Industries most affected will disproportionately impact some workers more than others: low skilled, low learners and women. Roles in sales, business & financial operations and office & administration are all under threat from automation, and these tend to have higher proportions of women. Industries which expect jobs growth, including architecture, engineering, computer and mathematical roles, tend to have a lower participation of women. If the current trajectory continues women could face three million job losses and only half a million gains, more than five jobs lost for every job gained.

For people, employability — the ability to gain and maintain a desired job — no longer depends on what you already know, but on what you are likely to learn. Those organizations that can blend the right combination of people, skills and technology are those that will win.

Future Proofing: Humans Augmenting Robots

The future of work will require different skills and employers will need to focus on reskilling and upskilling people more than ever before to address today’s talent shortages and anticipate the demands of tomorrow. Almost three-quarters are investing in internal training to keep skills up to date, 44 percent are recruiting additional skillsets rather than replacing and more than a third are easing the transformation by bringing in contractors or third parties to transfer expert skills to their own workforce. We should not underestimate the value of human connection. Transformation of work in the machine age need not be a battle of human versus robot.

Responsive and Responsible Leadership: The Time is Now

The ‘skills revolution’ requires a new mindset for both employers trying to develop a workforce with the right skillsets, and for individuals seeking to advance their careers. Education initiatives to strengthen the talent pipeline are important but are not the only answer and may take many years to bear fruit. Businesses have a role to play to enhance people’s lives and be an important part of the solution. Now is the time for leaders and individuals to be responsible and responsive.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media




“Jekyll and Hyde cells: Their role in brain injury and disease revealed”

Astrocytes have long been implicated in the pathology of a range of human neurodegenerative diseases or injuries including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Parkinson’s disease, brain trauma and spinal cord injury.

But how they are produced and what their roles in disease may be, has been as yet unknown. This paper provides an understanding of the mechanism involved and for the first time provides hope that a lot of these diseases may in fact be treatable.

The study, published recently in Nature and led by researchers at The University of Melbourne and Stanford University, provides deeper understanding of the functions of injured or diseased astrocytes found in the Central Nervous System (CNS) following acute injury and chronic neurodegenerative disease.

In a healthy brain, astrocytes are vital for the normal functioning of the brain — providing nutrients to support neuron viability, releasing factors that aid formation of connections between nerve cells known as synapses, as well as many other important functions.

One puzzle has been that in some circumstances the astrocytes appear to have a toxic effect on neurons, whereas in others they support neuronal viability and connectivity.

Researcher Dr Shane Liddelow from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University, said astrocytes are often characterised as ‘helper’ cells but they can also contribute to damage caused by brain injury and disease by turning toxic and kill other types of brain cells.

“These apparently opposing effects have been a puzzle for some time. By characterising two types of astrocytes this paper provides some answers to the puzzle,” he said.

“Following nerve damage, astrocytes form scar tissue that can help in the regeneration of severed fibres. But we have also discovered that under certain conditions, they can turn and become negatively reactive, causing cell death,” Dr Liddelow said

For many decades, the trauma and neurodegeneration research focus has been on neurons. Researchers are excited by the discovery of these neurotoxic reactive astrocytes, because for the first time, these findings imply that acute injuries of the retina, brain and spinal cord and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, may all be much more treatable and even reversible than first thought.

By providing new insights into the process of neurodegeneration, researchers can look at new pathways for dealing with neurological diseases and injuries, by targetting these toxic astrocytes, in addition to neurons in neuropsychiatric diseases or oligodendrocytes as for instance in multiple sclerosis.

Ultimately, there is still hope that one day it may be possible to switch back astrocytes from the “toxic” to the “helper” state, a long term target for Dr. Liddelow and colleagues.



The Industrials:

“How Will Trump Build His Leadership Team?”

Exceptional times require exceptional leadership teams. Now that the presidential election is over, two top recruiters say the key to ‘making America great again’ is laying out a strategic series of presidential appointments. And that begs this important question: How does the new administration plan to build a massive leadership team of more than 4,000 appointees?

It is certainly a challenging situation. Egon Zehnder search consultants Claudio Fernández-Aráoz and Neil M. Hindle suggest that by carefully adapting the definitive best practices for recruiting to the special circumstances presidential appointment teams face every four to eight years, a scalable, proven blueprint exists to complete the task.

Every year, Egon Zehnder supports hundreds of search assignments in the public sector, including work before the election with the ‘Partnership for Public Service,’ to analyze more than 100 of the most critical upcoming presidential appointments, interview incumbents and develop  job specs for upcoming appointments.

The firm supplements this work with its own research, interviewing dozens of senior public leaders to identify the frequent pitfalls in past appointments, while looking at areas for improvement in the appointment process. The entirety of Egon Zehnder’s findings points to several concrete benchmarks for making sound selections.

Look Both Inside and Out

Research shows that when significant change is needed, outsiders usually do a better job, while for gradual change it is typically the insiders who perform better. As individual candidate quality varies, the best practice is to look both inside and out, with no particular biases, giving every candidate an equal chance.

Overall, say the consultants, it is imperative to avoid the natural biases we are all hardwired with, such as choosing those similar and familiar to us, with whom we feel comfortable. For building highly effective teams, they note, we need complementary skills, which are the opposite of similarity and familiarity, and we also need to properly challenge each other, which is not comfortable.

Properly Assess Candidate Potential

Jobs now change so rapidly that few can predict the competencies needed to succeed even a few years out. Complicating this, the need to adapt will be huge for those joining the Trump administration from outside of government.

A candidate’s capacity to grow and adapt to fundamentally different and increasingly complex responsibilities is critical and should be measured by assessing four traits: curiosity, insight, engagement and determination.

Is the candidate someone who seeks new experiences, ideas, knowledge and self-awareness, who solicits feedback and who stays open to learning and change? Is he or she someone able to gather and make sense of new information and to use his or her insights to shift legacy views and set new directions? Can this person connect on an emotional level with others, demonstrate empathy, communicate a persuasive vision and inspire commitment to the broader organization? Finally, is the person capable of persisting in the face of difficulties and bouncing back from major setbacks or adversity?

Possibly most importantly, can he or she successfully balance short term gains with long term priorities? While the new administration can and should appoint some great fighters to extinguish the most urgent fires, the search firm’s consultants believe it should also choose strategists to start drafting the finest cadre of future public leaders.

Great Public Leaders Need to be Masters at Influencing and Collaboration Skills

Whenever we generally help to make people decisions, we tend to place more weight on ‘hard’ factors (such as experience and educational background), when it has been clearly demonstrated that it is the ‘soft’ competencies, based on emotional and social intelligence, which distinguish the best leaders, say Messrs. Fernández-Aráoz and Hindle. The complex governance and diffuse power structures in the public sector demands a different form of leadership from that of a private sector CEO. Great public leadership usually demands a superb mix of persuasion, political currency, and shared interest to create the conditions for the right decisions to happen.

Understanding the Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

Often new administrations seek out ‘big names’ to fill key appointee positions that oversee huge budgets, thousands of employees and complex systems (e.g. Veterans Affairs, GSA, HHS, DHS, etc.). The focus here should be on building teams that incorporate a proper mix of executive, functional and policy expertise amongst the leadership – with the goal being to achieve collective excellence versus individual excellence.

This team-building exercise will be crucial to the overall success of the new administration. Based on Egon Zehnder’s 50 years of practice and research, the firm says that team effectiveness explains perhaps 80 percent of leaders’ success. All effective teams rate high on six fundamental dimensions: balance, alignment, energy, openness, efficiency and resilience – and depending on the specific team’s challenge, some dimensions are more crucial than others.

It’s Not the ‘How’ or the ‘What’ but the ‘Who’

In the corporate and political worlds, great journeys do not start with a brilliant strategy, but rather with a visionary leader putting together an extraordinary team with complementary skillsets. The leader will call upon this team to help devise the right plans and properly adjust when needed – but most importantly, this team will be integral in successfully implementing forward-thinking strategies that will benefit the greater good.

At the core, the leader needs to be able to make good people decisions, understanding how to unlock the best ideas and potential from people in a changing society and world. In a role that is already limited to four or eight years, visionary leaders need a team capable of both solving for immediate and long-term needs, and considering alternative perspectives.

Egon Zehnder looked at lessons learned from previous presidents who led the country during challenging times. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt are considered by most rankings to be the best two presidents in U.S. history. Both of them were in their time highly politically inexperienced, however they proved to be successful in part by leading exceptional teams, including Lincoln’s famed team of rivals.

The current presidential transition team has the opportunity to incorporate and properly adapt these best practices to assemble a highly diverse team that could bring positive change to the country. While it’s imperative to get it right, only time will tell if they succeed.


About the Recruiters

Mr. Fernández-Aráoz, based in Buenos Aires, is a senior adviser of Egon Zehnder and was a member of its global executive committee for more than 10 years. He founded the firm’s management appraisal practice and served as global leader of its professional development, people processes, and intellectual capital development services. He is a top global expert on talent and leadership.

Mr. Hindle, based in New York and Washington, D.C., co-leads Egon Zehnder’s public and social sector segment globally. He is accomplished in appointing and assessing senior leadership for the public and social sector, working closely with intergovernmental development organizations, NGOs, industry associations, academic institutions, and regulatory bodies. He is also experienced in risk management and quantitative analytics, and frequently conducts executive search for financial services clients. Mr. Hindle provides board consulting, CEO search and accelerated integration support to transitioning leaders.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media


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