It has been my immense privilege to co-found FSG with Michael Porter and to have been part of its journey these last 18 years. It is an equally great privilege to announce FSG’s new CEO team of Lauren A. Smith and Greg Hills, 2 leaders whose powerful and complementary talents will shape the next stage of FSG’s evolution.
The ability to learn and evolve has always been central to FSG. Our best thinking about catalytic philanthropy, strategic evaluation, impact investing, collective impact, shared value, inclusive markets, emergent strategy, systems change, and equity all developed out of the learning from working with our clients, funders, and partners and from the passionate intellectual engagement and commitment to impact among my colleagues.
The ideas we’ve shared have led us to reshape the organization in ways we never anticipated—adding a strategic evaluation division, launching Community Foundation Insights, creating global communities of practice on shared value, collective impact, and impact hiring, bringing in the inclusive markets group in India, and partnering with PolicyLink on equity. Yet throughout all of these changes, our fundamental commitment to delivering excellent strategy consulting services to clients around the world has never wavered.
Just as our ideas and practices have evolved, so too must our leadership. For nearly all of its history, John Kania and I jointly led FSG in a partnership that made each of us better leaders. Over the last couple years, John shouldered that responsibility on his own, but both of us knew that this was a transitional period. That is why, nearly 9 months ago, we began a succession planning process led by Jane Wales, our board chair, to consider the leadership FSG would need for its future.
Our task force included board members (Lance Fors and Angela Glover Blackwell in addition to Jane) and managing directors from each of FSG’s offices around the world, supported by the executive search expertise of Spencer Stuart. We considered both external and internal candidates. And we unanimously decided that the combination of Greg and Lauren offered the vision and skills to lead FSG into the future.
I have no idea how FSG will change in the coming years, but I do know that we will continue to learn and evolve. I know that Lauren and Greg will preserve the best in our organizational culture, maintain the excellence of our work, and continue the flow of research and ideas to help all those who strive for social impact in the world accelerate their progress.
And it is also my privilege to continue to serve FSG as a managing director and board member, to support Greg and Lauren in realizing their vision, and to continue my own growth as a consultant, researcher, and author. We have had an amazing journey so far, but I believe that the best is yet to come.