Odgers Berndtson Bridges Leadership Generational Gap with Fourth Annual CEOx1Day Program

Exclusive job-shadowing opportunity provides invaluable insight into leadership trends

Canada’s most promising future leaders have the opportunity to see first-hand how prominent CEOs lead their organizations while experiencing the realities of the working world. Today, and for the fourth consecutive year, leading global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson is launching its CEOx1Day program, which pairs select third- and fourth-year students enrolled in a university or college degree-granting program with 19 leading CEOs from across the country for a job-shadowing experience known for shaping young careers.

The program’s success is made possible by Odgers Berndtson’s supportive partners, including McKinsey & Company, Hogan Assessments, the Globe & Mail and its newest partner, TalentEgg. An online career resource and job board for students and recent graduates, TalentEgg will make it possible for CEOx1Day to expand its existing selection process by opening up applications to a broader network of ambitious hopefuls. They will follow the real-life experiences of those selected beyond the first round to create and publish learning materials based on the challenging selection process.

“We are thrilled to be working with Odgers Berndtson, and believe it’s an exciting opportunity for our student users to compete for a once-in-a-lifetime career-building experience,” said Mary Barroll, President at TalentEgg. “We look forward to sharing the finalists’ inspiring CEOx1Day journeys on our TalentEgg Incubator, website and social media channels which will offer unparalleled skills training for students and grads across Canada.”

As part of the application process, students share their understanding and perceptions of what it takes to be an effective leader, thereby uncovering their motivations and indicating how Canadians can expect the corporate culture to shift in the years ahead. Trust is expected to remain central to the new cohort, as many students have voiced that the most influential leaders have integrity and operate ethically. Increasingly, young people are emphasizing the ability to communicate well, citing the need for CEOs to have a powerful, inspirational vision, as well as a willingness to listen and show empathy.

“Millennials have a very unique perspective of what they expect from today’s leadership, and the CEOx1Day program has proven instrumental in bridging the existing generational gap,” said Eric Beaudan, Global Leadership Practice Director at Odgers Berndtson. “While the program provides students with a unique opportunity to experience leadership in action, it also gives us tremendous insight into their professional wants and needs, and allows us to better advise organizations of these priorities.”

How best to motivate younger generations poses real challenges for HR professionals and companies planning across all aspects of their business. “In assessing today’s leaders, we typically look for executives who are very results-oriented, independent, self-reliant and organized, but what we’re finding is that ambition and a desire to get things done is not as important to Millennials as is an eagerness to collaborate and be part of the team,” continued Beaudan. “If they haven’t done so already, companies should begin rethinking their approach to developing their future leaders.”

Odgers Berndtson first launched the CEOx1Day initiative in Germany 12 years ago, subsequently rolling it out across offices around the world. Today, almost 350 organizations and over 700 CEOs and students have taken part, generating a wealth of insight on the changing nature of leadership and workplace culture. This year’s application deadline is October 28, 2016.

Participating CEOs include:

Ana Dominguez, Campbell Company of Canada
Kevin Frey, Right To Play International
Robert Hardt, Siemens Canada Limited
Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corporation
Kristi Webb, Element Fleet Management

Debra Hewson, Odlum Brown Limited
Jim Lightbody, BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC)
Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan

Gianna Manes, ENMAX Corporation
Dave Mowat, ATB Financial
Kim Truter, De Beers Canada Inc.

Hubert Bolduc, Montréal International
Nathalie Bondil, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Pierre Gabriel Côté, Investissement Québec
Christiane Germain, Groupe Germain Hotels
Annick Guérard, Transat
Hubert T. Lacroix, CBC/Radio-Canada

Meg Beckel, Canadian Museum of Nature
Goldy Hyder, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Conrad Sauvé, Canadian Red Cross