At Lonergan Partners, we have developed the F18 process to help Boards and CEO candidates increase their level of relevant engagement prior to a CEO hire, test alignment issues, and improve the success rate of new CEOs. It is our belief that through F18, we ensure a much higher likelihood of a smooth transition and a positive outcome.
What Is F18?
F18 is a working session of the Board where the top 3 CEO candidates each outline a strategy for the “First 18 Months” (thus F18). Candidates are provided a list of general questions as a guide, but are encouraged to lead the Board in a discussion in the direction of their choosing. Board members take an active role by challenging ideas, raising questions and interacting from a Board perspective. F18 as practiced by Lonergan Partners has been a positive process for both Boards and the candidates involved.
I was very impressed with the F-18 Process. It helped all of us on the board understand what we could expect from our top candidates if and when they became the CEO. It was also a great indication of the commitment of our top candidates, based on how they prepared for this event.George Lauro, Board Director, Sensera
F18 - A Product of Our Experience
F18 Benefits the Board
- Engages the whole Board in its most fundamental responsibility – the selection of the new CEO — and elevates the discussion; the decision is then not solely the responsibility of the nominating committee members who have spent the most time interviewing candidates
- Tests for candidate commitment — since the candidate must prepare and must spend time with the whole Board, it represents real “skin in the game”
- Approaches a real world test of leadership: can the candidate work with the Board on sharing his vision and create a forum for a healthy discussion of its merits?
- Is actually a strategy-level discussion for the whole Board — who they select is a vote on where the company will need to go
F18 Benefits the Candidate
- The selected candidate will enjoy across the Board support, with a high level of commitment from the Board for their choice of leadership
- Sets the stage for CEO/Board partnership on an initial approach to running the company, because an early vision for the approach has been aired, tested, and the majority of the Board is behind it
- Creates an early forum for active engagement with the Board on business issues facing the company
- Lifts the basis of CEO evaluation beyond resume and references, which are very important and necessary, but do not well approximate a “real world” test of the CEO’s leadership
- Allows the CEO candidate to see his future Board in action