LAB & Company is one of the fifteen largest executive search firms 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 placing top candidates for management teams and supervisory bodies on an international and cross-industry basis, as well as top specialists for particularly challenging positions. We support our clients strategically by defining the position to be filled and the search profile, finding suitable candidates, supporting the decision-making process and accompanying the initial collaboration phase.
Whether you’re a client or a candidate, at LAB & Company you will find a solid, committed and reliable partner. 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 highly developed personal network sets every LAB consultant apart. This makes us committed and confident sparring partners that meet eye-to-eye. You may not always hear what you want to hear from us – but always what you should hear. Our clients appreciate this; the majority of our clients have been with us for many years. Establishing long-term relationships and managing them successfully is our aspiration and motivation.
A basic foundation for this is the uncompromisingly confidential handling of client and candidate data. We are convinced that, in the digital age, consistent IT security and comprehensive data protection are indispensable for trusting collaboration that is compliant with legislative requirements. As a result, LAB & Company is undergoing certification for: quality management according to ISO 9001 and 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 in people much more than in systems. Because at the core of successful strategies, change processes and innovations are the people who implement them. Therefore, both top executives and experts need a clear mission, an optimal professional fit and a socio-cultural environment in which their talent can fully unfold.
We believe in value-oriented and value-bound action. Integrity, authenticity, trust, professionalism and a long-term vision set the course of our work – and for dealing with clients, candidates and employees.
We do not believe in rush jobs – but in individual and sustainable solutions that do justice to the complexity and dynamics of business issues and that survive transformation processes.
As a client, you can be sure that we will do everything we can to find managers who will ensure your company is fit 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 at the core of staying ahead in markets. If only the markets would remain as they are. What if this is not the case? Then it is not just technological optimization and high art that are required – but also the ability to imagine one’s own potential in a completely new setting. This puts traditional job profiles and understanding of roles up for examination – 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 digitization, 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. The success of a company is no longer determined by how to make the existing better, but by how to create something new. For this reason we need engineers who can also dream.
The best of the best have always gone somewhere else. In the old days, to colonial administrations; later to oil and railway companies, investment banks, or even to the top players of Silicon Valley. If you want to capture the best people for yourself, you therefore resort to mimicry and pretend to be Google – with fruit baskets and design sprints, high bonuses and time allocations for individual creative projects. Then the best, or at least the second best, will come.
Good strategy? Not really. “What would Google do?” could well be the title of a handbook but not a human resources policy guideline. The decisive question is what values and what purpose a company provides not just today but above all tomorrow; and telling this story so authentically and convincingly that it inspires talented people. Particularly the digital transformation, with its dynamics and complexity, 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: skepticism 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, since playing the violin was a way for him to find solutions to physical problems.
Don’t worry – you do not need a genius of the century to lead your company into the future. However, you do need managers whose world view and self-image are open, pluralistic and complex. You need experts who are not only masters of their trade but are also willing to balance on its edges. Moreover, you need leaders who are aware that solutions generally have an expiration date 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.
Of course you could. All you have to do is change some of your business model’s parameters, 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? To say the least. However, perhaps you can do without the most important manager of the most valuable company in the world. The best manager(s) 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 would not hurt. While we are at it – we could still think about the climate …
If your budget foresees massive savings because the management staff will have an operating system in the future, then perhaps you should pause a minute. As a matter of course, 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 times of change. When the time comes, it takes intuition and courage, on the one hand, to make a choice but also integration ability and empathy, which ensures commitment and trust as well as averts fears. In short, it takes leadership and not just management skills. However, could you be looking at AI systems that already have these skills in them? Then please let us know – we would appreciate the recommendation.