The Way Forward: A Message from Marty Parker, Waterstone’s President and CEO

For me and for the amazing team at Waterstone, 2024 feels very different for many reasons – new leadership services, new people, new and expanding strategic partnerships, and the injection of new and exciting clients. And we continue to have the great support of so many of our existing clients who are growing by investing in their leaders – their current leadership as well as new leaders to drive them forward.

New Leadership Services

Last fall, we acquired an exceptional business in Focus Insights which has allowed us to bring our clients expanded workplace assessments and leadership development programs, as well as additional depth in organizational, culture, and team development. Lori Moffatt, founder of Focus Insights and now our leader and managing director of the Waterstone Culture Institute, has already made an impact with so many of our clients’ leadership teams across the United States and Canada with her tailored high-performance leadership teams and cultures optimization services. 

New People and Expanded Strategic Partnerships

We have added senior partners to the firm across North America, and grown our commitments to our strategic partners like MacKay CEO Forums, CEO Coaching International, and CAAT Pension Plan to enhance Waterstone’s purpose of helping our clients build high performance teams and cultures. And we have more to come.

Looking Ahead

What feels most different for me though, is the mindset of leaders as they put purpose and culture at the centre of their focus and strategies. This was the central theme in my book, The Culturepreneur (2021: Page Two) and yet it continues to take a larger, more detailed shape. Today, we are seeing a new leadership paradigm. Susan Goldworthy, Affiliate Professor of Leadership, Communications and Organizational Change at IMD, calls this Apocalyptic Leadership:

“Apocalyptic leadership goes to the true meaning of the word, apocalypse, which is about revelation; ‘a lifting of the veil’ and seeing the world with new eyes.

“This calls for a radical shift from a focus on material success and a dominating, power-over, win-at-all-costs mentality to a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness and intrinsic value of all life… Ultimately, it is about involving others to inspire a collective awakening where the guiding principles of compassion, understanding, and respect for the diversity of life lead humanity toward a future where the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants is our primary concern.”

At Waterstone, we are seeing CEOs and chief people and culture leaders investing deeply with their leadership to understand and build this capacity which starts with self-awareness, is fueled by deep behavioural commitment to change, and is measured by positive culture, high engagement, and retention. And we see these same leaders, in their recruitment efforts, searching for a new type of leadership that espouses this outlook and behavior. They are hard to find, but they are out there – and they make a considerable difference to driving higher performance, as we have seen.

These culturepreneurs, or enlightened leaders, are the biggest change I see for 2024, and my excitement and optimism has never been as great as we forge ahead to build better leaders, organizations and most importantly, a better world.

At Waterstone, we are so privileged to help these leaders achieve their objectives through our services and partnership. My team and I would welcome the chance to connect and talk more about how Waterstone can help you and your organization in 2024.

Marty Parker
President and CEO
Waterstone Human Capital