Every executive search firm, including my own company Arnold Partners, promotes and emphasizes their executive search process. Having an orderly, standardized approach is the basis for a successful search. Without a well-conceived framework to start the search, the process will certainly fail. However, it has been my experience that once the music has started, it is the art of improvisation that leads to a successful outcome.

I have been studying Jazz and Blues music for the last six years. Each week I take a lesson on the tenor sax and practice a few hours, trying not to drive the household and neighbors too crazy! It has been an interesting journey in humiliation, dedication, and joy. It certainly has expanded my mind in a completely new direction. But interestingly, it has had a positive effect on the business side of my brain too, enabling me to add value to my clients.

What’s Jazz Got to Do with It?

[threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]Like an executive search process, the creation of Jazz and music in general is based on some simple rules and involves a process that when successful, transports an audience.

Jazz starts with a melody written in a certain key that serves as the foundation of the piece. In executive search, the job description is the foundation for the work to be done.[/wpcol_1half_end]When a great jazz musician takes flight into improvisation, he doesn’t completely leave the melody behind. Great improvisation only sounds good if it is played in time and in the chords of the melody, and works with the rhythm section. This is very difficult to achieve as I very well know from firsthand experience. But when done right, it makes for a very successful and moving experience.[/threecol_two_last]

In an executive search process, there almost always comes a time in the process where improvising, the use of creative skills, is imperative. The search consultant must break from the score and think, act, and move in time to help land the desired candidate. This is no easy task and it cannot be taught in a training room; this skill can only be learned through years of experience.

How to Find a CFO? Think Outside the (Music) Box

In thinking about your search process, it is important to consider how your search consultant can bring creativity to the executive search process. Effective search takes more than an analytical approach; it takes a balanced, creative partner to help deliver the talent you need. As I find myself being able to improvise on the sax, my creativity is flowing and ready for orchestration in my clients’ next searches. Let’s get playin’! Contact Dave Arnold at 408-205-7373 or dave@arnoldpartners.com.