Question asked by Buddy Willard on LinkedIn yesterday: “Finding a new role is such a challenge, how do you find someone looking for you at the same time you are looking for them?” Here’s my answer:

Buddy, try It’s a Beta network on LinkedIn based on the principle that executive job seekers have alot to learn from dating websites. These are growing in popularity and efficiency. They work because people are very explicit about needs and there is a process to attempt to match these. Given the pace of disintermediation, it is possible that within  a few years the current “vacancy first” model will play second fiddle to  a “candidate first” model.    It will start with senior executives who will declare very explicitly what they want – title, salary, location, sector, challenge, culture etc. These will be published on various searchable lists owned by different organisations – possibly former headhunters – who know that they are currently drinking in last chance saloon. So Buddy, tell the world precisely what you want, if you dare. This is a challenge for many because they want to keep their options open. But that is why everyone is stuck in the vicious circle implied in your question. They won’t commit. And we all know what happens when you don’t commit or focus in business let alone dating.

Ciaran Fenton

“David Cameron is not a chairman. He is the chief executive officer. His Government would run better if that was beyond doubt”. At last, an FT Leader nails it.

David Cameron was poorly advised with his announcement early in his administration that his style would be that of “Chairman”. I felt he was far too young and inexperienced to be Chair of anything. CEO, yes and he should get on with it. The primary role of a Chairman is to appoint, and know when to sack, the CEO. In any event, as voters, we are “the Chairman” (sic). Pleasing therefore to read today’s FT Leader giving him a lesson in Organisation Structure 101. See FT


President Obama says: “Corporations aren’t people; people are people”. He’s right.

According to today’s FT President Obama says: “Corporations aren’t people; people are people”. I think he’s right. The article says he was referring to a statement by Mitt Romney “in which he equated the rights of companies and individuals”. I don’t get this. Companies are, to my mind, merely coalitions of micro-businesses – particularly at the top – for short periods. An acknowledgement of this is good for business and good for individuals because anything which reflects reality rather than artifice must be for the best. If companies were to reframe their relationships with their employees on a joint-venture win-win basis I feel certain that performance would increase. What better incentive to work harder if you feel that the company you work for understands your “soft” as well as hard cash needs? One which strives to help you be what you can be? The carrot and stick argument against this is that it’s a bit “wet”. I disagree. An adult-adult approach to work forces employees to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Careers are not like businesses. They are businesses, in every respect. Professional service firms on legs. If careers are businesses then jobs are joint ventures. And we all know that the only JVs which work are those in which the relationship is carefully managed and nurtured.

Ciaran Fenton