Putting a New Edge on Ockham’s Razor

Putting a New Edge on Ockham’s Razor

Category : 2017

Hanlon’s is funny – “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

Alder’s is allegedly sharper – “If something cannot be settled by experiment or observation, it is not worthy of debate.”

Rand’s is a bit of a head-scratcher – “Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity, nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity.” Huh?

But since the 14th century, Ockham’s razor has sliced through more layers of complexity than any other philosophy. Friar and philosopher William Ockham proposed that “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

If Ockham were sitting in a corporate board room instead of his convent, he’d likely say something like, “Simplicity and focus lead to the best outcomes . Don’t waste time assuming anything, especially that more options result in better choices.”

Companies often use assumptions to complicate the selection of a search firm . . . assumtions like-

  • Bigger is better. Individual search practitioners – not the size of the firm drive search success and produce results.
  • Diversified service offerings like assessments, leadership development, and succession consulting lead to a more effective search.  Staying with Ockham’s theme, people supporting diversified services are not actively engaged in an executive search. Complexity doesn’t generally produce efficiency.
  • Search firm brands attract talent. The best search leaders use resourcefulness, relationships, and hard work to find the best talent and effectively present a role to the candidate as a valid career option.
  • Contingency firms are the most cost effective way to complete a search. A “contingency” is an event that cannot be predicted with certainty.  To be retained is to be “engaged in one’s service.” The second option sounds more like you will get singular attention and meet a few of the best talent, not meet a parade of options in an effort to fill an order.
  • Global search firms are best suited to perform domestically based roles. While an international pedigree is impressive, if your search is in Atlanta, a firm’s offices in Dubai and Singapore won’t be much help.

In a quest for simplicity, here is our point. The focus at Leapfrog Executive Search is retained search for key HR leadership roles – the same focus we’ve had for over 16 years. Clients value our ability to simplify the search process, identify the ideal candidate, and build client relationships with excellence. The result is consistently exceptional outcomes. Or simply stated – clients get the quality of talent they expect and the dedicated attention their executive search deserves.

Call us today to discover why companies continue to trust us to fill their most important HR roles.