What We Do & Why
KeyStone Search Services
CEO Search & Business Owner Succession/Transition
C-Level & VP Level Search
EOS® INTEGRATOR Search
Why We Do It
We passionately believe Culture Fit, Leadership and Alignment are the biggest keys to growing companies. When leadership teams are accountable and aligned around shared core values, they are built for success.
Who We Serve
Mid-Sized & Privately Held Businesses
KeyStone has extensive experience working with privately held businesses. This includes family owned, ESOPs, partnerships, entrepreneurial companies and smaller publicly traded companies. Our clientele includes manufacturers, distributors, retailers, food producers, technology, construction, medical device and professional service firms.
CEO, ESOP industrial manufacturer
CEO, distributor of electrical components
COO, ESOP distributor of power backup equipment
COO, VC owned software as a service company
CFO, family owned retailer
VP & GM, privately held consumer products company
VP, Human Resources, family owned manufacturer
VP, Sales & Marketing, industrial manufacturer
VP, Operations/Manufacturing, privately held food company
KeyStone clients include healthcare systems, long-term care, hospice, physician-owned specialty practices and other provider environments. In addition, we have strong experience working with payers and other ancillary businesses serving the healthcare market.
CEO, healthcare system
CEO, long term care provider
CEO, insurance payer
CEO, hospice provider
Chief of Strategy & Business Development, physician-owned specialty practice
Chief Information Officer, healthcare system
Chief Nursing Officer, healthcare system
VP, Clinic & Outpatient Services, healthcare system
VP Medical Director, Population Health Services, healthcare system
VP Strategy & Business development, healthcare system
KeyStone has completed numerous engagements in the professional association arena including industry, professional membership and trade associations.
CEO, national equipment dealers association
CEO, national energy industry association
CEO, state high tech association
CEO, metropolitan area builders association
CEO, university alumni relations association
Executive Director, multi-state healthcare association
Executive Director, regional tourism association
Executive Director, state non-partisan advocacy association
Executive Director, state bar association
Executive Director, state nursery & landscape association
The world’s best organizations realize aligning their culture around a shared set of core values has enormous impact to the bottom line. As Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” From our founding in 2002, KeyStone has placed particular emphasis on cultural fit and values alignment in our practice. We know from our combined 75 years of experience in executive search that when an executive is fired it is most often due to values misalignment, or cultural mismatch, versus a deficiency in skills or capabilities.
As Jim Collins stated in his seminal book, “Good to Great”, the best leaders and employees “inherently” share the core values of the company. Core values aren’t something you can change to fit the situation, they are deeply rooted in a person’s systems of beliefs and habits. The difficult part in hiring right is determining which of the many talented executives out there truly share your core values.
This is where KeyStone excels.
Through our Discovery process, and our values based cultural tools, we gain a deep understanding of your core values/culture, your growth strategy, the key deliverables of the open role and how it will interact with Board/Ownership, peers and other team members.
Utilizing this information we are able to recruit and vet exceptional candidates on your behalf, finding those executives who not only have great backgrounds and track records but also those who will fit your unique culture.
If you are interested in learning more about corporate culture, core values and its’ effect on overall company performance, please click on the following resources:
Jim Collins – Good to Great and Built to Last
Gino Wickman – Traction
Nat Stoddard – The Right Leader\
Growth oriented companies know that dynamic CEOs cannot drive a business forward alone. To create sustainable growth, companies must commit to hiring and developing talented and accountable leaders at all levels. When a business is small, it can grow to a certain level through the sheer will of the CEO/Owner and a handful of key employees. However, as the business expands and becomes more complex, the leadership team must evolve to meet the new demands.
Many times this means adding senior leaders capable of full accountability for their particular function or division. In hiring accountable leaders the CEO is then freed to spend time working on the larger growth initiatives to keep moving the company forward.
It is important these new leaders possess experience in companies at “the next level” giving them valuable insight on the systems, processes and people it will take to make the leap forward.
KeyStone has assisted hundreds of privately held businesses, healthcare organizations and professional associations in evolving their leadership teams for continued growth. Likewise, we have assisted companies who have become “stuck” because of leadership teams that have been outgrown by the company, or for whatever reason, do not have the ability to take the business to the next level.
KeyStone’s C-Level Practice focuses on critical leadership positions reporting directly to the CEO. We are adept at identifying leaders who have proven abilities to take full accountability for their functional area as well as playing a key strategic role in the growth of the company. Of course, cultural/values fit is critical and all C-Level searches are conducted via the KeyStone Values Based Search Process.
KeyStone’s KeyLeader Practice assists companies in identifying and hiring management talent who can play important roles today, but also have the capacity to be your strategic leaders for tomorrow. Cultural/values fit is equally important at this level and all searches in the KeyLeader Practice also follow the KeyStone Values Based Search Process.
Companies are never more vulnerable than when transitioning the CEO. Reputation, key relationships and even financial viability can be quickly turned upside down by a poor hire at the top.
Hiring a talented CEO is not enough!
The prospect of a CEO transition carries many inherent risks, but also promises great rewards of new growth and success, if done properly. Unfortunately, many companies jump into this transition with very little thought or preparation. The thinking seems to be if we simply land a highly talented CEO, everything else will fall into place.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Many talented executives with impressive track records in previous companies have failed when joining a new one. This happens for a variety of reasons, but most often it is because 1) the company or leadership team was not ready or equipped for the departure of the previous CEO 2) the cultural fit was not right 3) the new CEO was not on-boarded or properly assimilated into the company.
KeyStone has assisted numerous companies in healthcare, privately held business and professional association space to seamlessly transition from one CEO to the next. Through the KeyStone CEO Transition process, we help our clients through all three critical phases of the transition: 1) Assessment/Team Readiness 2) CEO Search and 3) On-Boarding/Assimilation and Structuring for Success.
If you are preparing for a CEO transition, or if you are a business owner and are considering a step back from the day to day operations of your business, please contact us for more information.
Upon founding KeyStone we set a goal to create one of the best executive search firms in the nation; not the biggest, but the best.
This is why, from day one, we have been passionate about Cultural Fit and Core Values Alignment. From our many years of experience we know the success of any executive rests just as much on their “fit” with the company, as it does on their pedigree and skill set. We also know that teams aligned around a shared set of core values achieve far more than teams built purely on individual talent.
We have built a robust practice working primarily with privately held businesses, ESOPs, EOS/Traction companies, mid-market companies, healthcare organizations and professional associations, all of whom share our passion for aligned cultures and understand the critical role it plays in their success. We are privileged to have become trusted advisers to the owners, CEOs, and Board of Directors of these great organizations.
We invite you to reach out any time and let us know how we can assist you.
Our core values
They represent what we stand for at KeyStone. They guide our day-to-day decision making and provide a guidepost for our behaviors, both at work and at home.
Concern for others
We have a strong concern for others in all that we do. This relates to how we work with our clients, how we treat our co-workers and how we give back to the community.
We strive to maintain a healthy balance between our work lives, family lives and personal interests.
We all achieve more by combining our talents to work in the best interest of our clients and each other.
We have a constant eye on the future, looking for ways to improve ourselves, our services and our company as a whole.
Subject Matter Experts
Our beliefs around Culture, Leadership and Alignment are built upon the thinking of some of the world’s foremost business authors.
Good to Great – Jim Collins
Built to Last – Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
Traction – Gino Wickman
Get a Grip – Gino Wickman and Mike Paton
Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
Leadership is an Art – Max Dupree
The Right Hire – Nat Stoddard
We believe in giving back to the community that gives us so much.
KeyStone continues to give a percentage of partner income to charity on a yearly basis. We give time to the community in addition to our donations. Each principal at KeyStone serves on at least one non-profit board of directors. We proudly support the following organizations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.