What makes a good corporate affairs director?

The results from our first Cultureview survey have come in, giving us valuable benchmark data on the capabilities that corporate affairs directors (CADs) value most in the role and the cultural traits they desire in an organisation.

We based the survey on a slimmed-down version of the questions and themes covered by Cultureview, the unique culture diagnostics tool we developed with employee research consultancy Ipsos Karian and Box.

It gave us a snapshot of corporate affairs professionals’ views on aspects of leadership and the extent to which it applied to their role. Over two thirds of respondents selected influencing others, setting strategy and vision and team leadership as the most critical elements of their role.

As well as the roles’ priority capabilities, the survey revealed the top five most admired cultural traits in an organisation:

·       Collaboration – 48%

·       Operating with integrity – 42%

·       Agility – 32%

·       Looking ahead – 29%

·       Trustworthiness – 28%

Respondents chose from a list of 32 cultural traits and characteristics, scoring and ranking those they thought most important. We also asked whether there were other capabilities they would like to see included in Cultureview and were delighted when one said, “None. This is a good list”.

Advising the leadership team and board spurred the most suggestions. For example, one person described their role as: “Bringing the outside in, whether market or comms trends, challenging perceptions and norms and ‘group think’ internally”. Another saw “acting as a connector” and being “driven by data” as important as conflict resolution and facilitation skills.

The survey highlights the benefits Cultureview can bring to the search process, removing bias and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion by asking companies and candidates to focus on competencies and cultural preferences rather than background and previous experience.

To find out how Cultureview can focus hiring decisions on capabilities, please get in touch on hello@birchwoodknight.com, and we’ll send you a sample report.

Birchwood Knight is a specialist executive search firm focused on corporate affairs roles. We help CEOs to hire their corporate affairs leaders, and we help corporate affairs directors to hire their direct reports.


23rd November 2022

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