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Results are in.

I guess I’m not too surprised by the latest poll results asking whether the consulting community (and alumni therefrom) think or feel it appropriate to be testing senior strategy talent at the GM or even EGM level with a case study style interview.

The results are almost split down the middle

✅ 37% of you said ABSOLUTELY, no questions asked!

✅ 36% of you completely disagreed and felt leadership skills and capabilities are much more important at that level. AND…

✅ 27% felt it depended on the role complexity.

Whilst the optimal answer isn’t apparent or clear, perhaps what we can take away from this poll result is as follows:

♠ Some form of assessment of problem solving ability and strategic toolkit is definitely needed. Perhaps what that looks like and how it’s applied is up for interpretation.

Whether it’s a typical consulting style case study, a presentation to a panel of interviewers on a business problem or a mere deep dive on past experience around the application of problem solving is clearly required.

♥ Demonstrated leadership skills and capability are just as important as the strategic skills and capabilities, so make sure you aren’t over-indexing on just the problem solving and toolkit parts in your career development plans.

As one progresses, its the leadership piece thats likely to trip you up OR be the differentiator between two similar candidates strong on the toolkit.

If you haven’t invested equally in this capability as you climb the corporate or consulting ladders, you might find it more difficult to land the bigger roles down the track.

♦ Many of you felt role complexity is a key determinant of whether a case style interview is required. The perception here is that if a role is really complex, then having the mental agility, horsepower and problem solving ability would be of paramount importance.

Well, in my experience, at this level, there are multi intelligences at play that ultimately lead to role success. Most roles in Enterprise clients (global multi-nationals and ASX) at this level are inherently complex at both the job and organisational level and problem solving isn’t merely applied to the business problem itself.
It can oftentimes be more human centred and about aligning and influencing senior stakeholders which is a key skill within itself.

So, I can’t help but wonder if complexity is just a given at this level!

Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section, I’d be keen to keep the dialogue going.