26 Jul 2023

Shakespeare’s Globe: How a Values-Based Search Found the Perfect CEO for an Iconic Institution

Shakespeare’s Globe needed a new CEO, a high-profile role at one of the UK’s most iconic cultural institutions. Green Park’s experts analysed the job profile and advised the client to broaden the search and look outside the theatre industry to identify the best possible selection of talent, resulting in the appointment of the perfect candidate from a diverse shortlist.

  • Green Park commissioned to find a Chief Executive
  • Analysis of job profile highlighted opportunity to expand search across the creative sector 
  • Rigorous search project analysed individuals from diverse vertical markets and backgrounds
  • A seven name, diverse shortlist delivered, with an excellent final candidate selected
  • New recruit found from within the creative sector – who is now a catalyst for organisation evolution


The Challenge

Shakespeare's Globe is an iconic brand; best known for its theatre, it also has well-respected research, education, and visitor engagement arms. It was recruiting for a new chief executive for the first time in about 14 years. The appointment of such a high-profile, strategic role came at a challenging time for the theatre sector, still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. 

Shakespeare’s Globe recognised the need to evolve, while continuing to attract global visitors and nurture its roots in the local community. It was looking for a Chief Executive with the vision of how to bring the next generation of theatre goers into a space deeply rooted in history. The successful candidate would be collaborative, good at engaging people and able to create a golden thread through the different facets of the Shakespeare's Globe’s operations.


The Project

Green Park was approached because of its track record of helping organisations think differently about talent. A recruitment process that maximized opportunities to attract a diverse range of candidates including neurodiverse individuals was a key part of the remit.

The team from Green Park put together a transparent and inclusive recruitment process supported by an accessible microsite. The search was led from a values-based perspective focusing on the behaviours that candidates could bring as leaders rather than focusing on the skills and experience of candidates. Rather than target the theatre sector only, Shakespeare’s Globe and Green Park recognised the opportunity to expand the search more broadly across the creative industry.


The Results

A strong partnership approach with the client allowed conversations with candidates to focus on the strategic challenges afoot. The recruitment process also gave final stage candidates insight into the organisation’s culture and took in different touch points from a broad range of stakeholders to bolster the decision-making process and ultimately helped to forge a more rounded view of candidates at the final stages.

Shortlisted candidates came from within the creative space and the majority had theatre experience, or similar. They included experienced chief executives, those preparing to step up from director level roles and people from smaller organisations looking for opportunities with a larger organisation.

A comprehensive search concluded with a two-stage final process. A strong shortlist comprised seven candidates of which four were female and three were male. Two of the seven were from the global majority. Of the final four candidates, three were female. The combination of an engaged client, a nominations committee committed to being open on all fronts and an equitable and transparent process ensured the excellent appointment of Stella Kanu to lead Shakespeare’s Globe into an exciting future.

“Working with Green Park made this important and potentially challenging appointment process smooth and easy to navigate. The recruitment professionals that they assigned to the project communicated consistently and articulately with the variety of different stakeholders involved in the process; they were sensitive but did not steer away from being honest about the difficult realities involved in this recruitment campaign which resulted in expectations being expertly managed and trust being embedded. The candidates were fully prepared for the interviews and the interview panel felt that they could concentrate on assessing and appointing the right candidates rather than worrying about logistics or process. I would highly recommend Green Park for senior executive search campaigns, especially in the culture and creative industry.”

- Charlotte Cowan, Head of People & Culture, Shakespeare’s Globe.

Take the next step: find out more about the work of Green Park’s Executive Search Practice.

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