When is a chief executive past their peak?

As regular readers will have noticed, the Eye isn’t always a fan of the borough council.   (Of course, we’re not damning EVERYTHING that the council does – just the disappointing bits.)

We tend to agree with the old army adage – there are no bad soldiers, just bad officers. And we’ve recently been reading a back-number of the Harvard Business Review about the effectiveness of company chief executive officers (CEOs). The article that caught our attention is titled ‘Long CEO Tenure Can Hurt Performance’.

CEO performance

The text summarises research and concludes that – typically – the longer a CEO serves, the stronger the bond between employees and the company becomes. However, a point is reached when the relationship between the company and its customers weakens, “and the company’s performance diminishes, no matter how united and committed the workforce is”. Such CEOs “may be great motivators, but weak strategists, unifying workers around a failing course of action”.

The obvious question – when does a CEO’s effectiveness peak? The article provides an answer – “All this allowed us to arrive at an optimal tenure length: 4.8 years.”

Which brings us closer to home. It’s clear that the borough council – the ‘company’ – doesn’t always care about its ‘customers’; the saga of the out-of-service lift that we mentioned only a few days ago demonstrates that. The council’s aim of becoming a ‘top 100’ town in the fairly near future is obviously a failing course of action – it’s an unachievable  distraction.  The council’s sixteen year ‘commitment’ to improving the pedestrian environment in the High Street is indisputably a failing course of action; there’s been no significant improvement over the whole of this time.   So, recall that the current borough council chief executive was appointed in October 2010, and that the optimal tenure length is 4.8 years.  Do the math…

(You can read the Harvard Business Review article here: https://goo.gl/bFFrXh  Apologies, the link probably won’t be visible in Facebook for a few hours.  Blame the gremlins.)


9 thoughts on “When is a chief executive past their peak?

  1. She is useless and should quit. The regeneration had failed, the high street looks worse than ever, and parking is nightmare. Meanwhile is is drawing a fat salary and doing nothing to improve the situation. Like some many in her position, she talks a good game, but in reality theres little to back it up. I vote No Confidence.

    • I usually delete negative comments about individuals, Steve. But I think that the role of Chief Executive is one that it’s legitimate to criticise if the post-holder’s performance is inadequate.

  2. There are some councils in the UK with ideas, vision and dynamic. Not here..the town of Camberley is dieing on its feet and with nothing to offer except a plethora of moderate eating places and an increasing number of unnoticeable businesses (like.estate agents) the non achievements of the CEO are there for all to see. One action which one would think is easy would be sort out the UK,s most incompetent and customer hostile Parking Team ,who contribute massively to increasing business in Farnboro, Meadows, Blackwater Retail anywhere but Camberley.

  3. Sadly, we have no influence on choice of Officers – only on Cllrs, and this lot seem incapable of pushing the Council Management into doing anything …..

  4. Totally agree with the above comments. I spoke with a young lady from Fleet last week in the main square car park who was totally shocked how dangerous that car park is for pedestrians returning to their cars after paying ludicrous charges . She said she would shop elsewhere in future …. The main lift?? Why has it been decommissioned? The High Street is a disgrace and the A30….aaarghhh !

  5. When you make an official complaint to the Chief Executive and they don’t have the courtesy or ability to bother to reply within the timeframe as stated in their own guidelines. I wish we could all have such apathy with our own jobs.

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