LAB & Company is one of the fifteen largest executive search consultancies in the German-speaking region. As a long-standing member of Penrhyn International, a global network of owner-managed executive search companies, we have partner offices in more than 40 cities worldwide. For almost twenty years, we have been finding top candidates for management teams and supervisory bodies on an international and cross-industry basis, as well as top specialists for particularly demanding professional challenges. We support our clients in the strategic process by defining the position to be filled and the search profile, finding suitable candidates, supporting the decision-making process and accompanying the initial phase of the cooperation.
Whether you’re a client or a candidate: at LAB & Company you will find substance, commitment and reliability. As an independent and owner-managed company, we set high standards for our work. Many years of experience, deep technical and strategic know-how and a very intensively cultivated personal network distinguish every LAB consultant. This makes us committed and sovereign sparring partners at eye level. You don’t always hear what you want to hear from us – but always what you need to hear. Our clients appreciate this: we have been working with an outstanding number of our clients for many years. Establishing long-term relationships and managing them successfully is our aspiration and our motivation.
An essential basis for this is the uncompromisingly confidential handling of our clients’ and candidates’ data. We are convinced that, in the digital age, consistent IT security and comprehensive data protection are an indispensable foundation for trusting collaboration that is compliant with legislative requirements. As a result, both the quality management of LAB & Company is in the process of being certified according to ISO 9001 and the digital process architecture according to the IT security standards of ISO 27001. In addition, we have fully implemented the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (EU GDPR) for the handling of personal data.
We believe much more in people than in systems. Because the prerequisite for the success of strategies, change processes and innovations are the people who implement them. Top executives and outstanding experts in particular therefore need a clear mission, an optimal professional fit and a socio-cultural environment in which their talent can fully develop.
We believe in value-oriented and value-bound action. Integrity, authenticity, trust, professionalism and a long-term horizon set the course for our work – and for dealing with clients, candidates and employees.
We do not believe in rash decisions – but in individual and sustainable solutions that do justice to the complexity and dynamics of business issues and that prove themselves in transformation processes.
As a client, you can be sure: we will do everything we can to find managers, who will ensure your company adapts for the future, solve your strategic challenges confidently and implement your vision effectively.
As a candidate, you can rely on us to help you succeed – as trustworthy consultants, coaches and long-term companions.
Perfection is a double-edged sword. The continuous improvement and further development of existing technologies, products and systems is the prerequisite for staying on top of markets. If only the markets remain as they are. And if this is not the case? Then it is not just technological optimisation and high art that are required – but also the capability to imagine one’s own potential in a completely new context. This puts traditional job profiles and understanding of roles at risk – and requires imagination together with inventiveness, willingness to take risks together with creativity to a much greater extent than in previous decades.
The enormous pressure to change caused by digitisation, the dissolution of classic value creation structures as well as the acceleration and convergence of markets require new ways of thinking from managers and top specialists. It is no longer the question of how to make the existing better but how to create something new that will determine the success of the company. Moreover and for this reason we need engineers who can dream.
The best of the best have always gone somewhere else. To colonial administrations and oil companies, railway companies and investment banks, or even to the top players of Silicon Valley. If you want to inspire the best people for yourself, you can rely on mimicry: by pretending to be Google – with fruit baskets and design sprints, high bonuses and time allocations for individual creative projects. And then the best will come or at least the second best.
Good strategy? Bad strategy! “What would Google do?” could well be the title of an advice booklet but not a human resources policy guideline. The decisive question is what values and what meaning a company creates not just today but above all tomorrow. Moreover, and how this story can be told so authentically and convincingly that it inspires talented people. The digital transformation, with its dynamics and complexity in particular, offers unique opportunities for outstanding leaders. A company like Google, which has no analogue history, has no say in this. And that is actually boring, isn’t it?
Only a few people in the world understand the General or Special Theory of Relativity. And to this day it seems inconceivable how a single person could change the foundations of our entire scientific thinking. Einstein himself, the Grand Master of Disruption, had several explanations for this: scepticism towards established solutions, methods and authorities, willingness to constantly question himself and others, curiosity, a general rejection of simple explanations and the ability to endure paradoxes and uncertainties. Einstein’s lifelong passion for music is exemplary for this ability to think beyond borders and conventions. Playing the violin was also a way for him to find solutions to physical problems.
No worry – you do not need a genius of the century to lead your company into the future. However, you do need managers whose conception of the world and self-image is open, pluralistic and complex. You need experts who are not only masters of their trade but are also willing to balance at the edges of it. Moreover, you need leaders who are aware of the general precariousness of solutions and are confident in dealing with “transformation in progress”. Should you prefer other instruments to the violin, then we will gladly consider this in our search.
Keine Sorge – Sie brauchen kein Jahrhundertgenie, um Ihr Unternehmen in die Zukunft zu führen. Aber Führungskräfte, deren Weltbild und Selbstverständnis offen, pluralistisch und komplex ist, brauchen Sie schon. Sie brauchen Experten, die nicht nur Meister ihres Faches sind, sondern auch bereitwillig an den Rändern dieses Fachs balancieren. Und Sie brauchen Führungspersönlichkeiten, die um die generelle Vorläufigkeit von Lösungen wissen und souverän mit „Transformation in Progress“ umgehen. Und wenn Sie der Geige andere Instrumente vorziehen, dann werden wir das bei der Suche gerne berücksichtigen.
Of course, you can do that. All you have to do is change some parameters of your business model, adjust the compensation rules for executives, look deep into the eyes of your corporate branding agency and ensure that the climate is as gentle as in Cupertino, Santa Clara. Moreover, you should also prepare the rest of your employees a little…
Difficult? Difficult. However, perhaps you can do without the most important manager of the most valuable company in the world. The best manager for your company would be enough. They don’t have to be able to do everything – and not with everyone. It is crucial that your basic values and philosophy are shared, that your key future challenges are understood and that they have the relevant experience. Of course, impulses from California cannot do any harm. While we are at it – we could still take the climate into account…
If your budget plans for massive savings because the management staff will have an operating system in the future, then perhaps you should pause a minute. As leadership involves much more than making factually correct decisions based on defined parameters and aggregated data. Leadership begins exactly where calculable probabilities end and decisions, as said by Heinz von Foerster, become undecidable in principle.
Which is quite a typical situation in phases of upheaval. When the time comes, it takes intuition and courage, on the one hand, to make a choice but also the power of integration and empathy to generate commitment and trust as well as to stave off fears. In short, it takes leadership skills and not just management skills. However, maybe you are looking at AI systems that already have it in them? Then please call us – we thank you in advance for the recommendation.