In an organisation when there is a new leader at the top the first thing that walks in through the door is CHANGE.
Whilst change is often not visible physically it does permeate every nook and corner and has different levels of impact across the organisation.
With the new executive, in walks a different perspective to the organisational tasks. There’s trepidation, hope, expectation all on the outside. There’s nervousness with regards to the image communicated and a desire to make a unsaid power statement from the new member’s point of view.
The Impact is Colossal
From my personal experience in managing brands and businesses cross-industry and across geographical locations there are a few important do’s & don’ts.
- Settle in and understand the culture
Each organisation, like any communal group, has its own set of behaviour which creates the work culture. Getting to understand this is extremely important in knowing the functioning of the organisation. Does that mean you need to take all the time in the world? No. Depending on the executive’s emotional intelligence some can get up to speed within a month whilst others can take much longer.
- Talk with rank and file
Get in and get to know the people across various functions and designations. Being available and going ahead and introducing oneself and having a conversation enables one to know about the concerned person and helps in making observations. Often times, these first impressions are valid as they are the outcome of a one-to one interaction which enables our brains to size up and provide us a good, bad or ugly sort-of score card. Where the executive is a matured and well experienced one, such impressions are usually bang on in terms of character assessments.
- Share your thoughts with the team leaders
This is a critical one. As soon as possible get the team leaders on board with your thought-process and work style. Why? Team leaders are the ones who will get your work done, through their teams, for you. Therefore, they need to be made to feel secure in terms of their functions and they need to feel comfortable with your thinking and work style. Nothing upsets existing team leaders more than a newbie to the organisation trying to show that he or she knows better!
- Be courteous
Sounds very simple but, and this is more applicable across Asia, at a senior level as a new entrant we often forget courtesy in our one-off interaction with rank and file. Nothing earns more bad wishes than having a new leader of the organisation not acknowledge or smile when someone crosses path.
- Walk in and shoot-from-the hip
What you were told by the board, or the recruitment consultant, or the HR of the organisation during your interviews should not be what you base your early days on. That’s close to committing executive suicide! What you were told is the key points the organisation wants to achieve and for which they evaluated if you were the right person. That does not mean those points need to be delivered in your first 100 days.
- Point out what you consider mistakes
No one likes being told they were wrong. That’s just how we are as human beings. More so a group of executives whose laboured over their plans and activities.
- Change processes and functional responsibilities
There is a reason why the processes and functions are the way they are in the organisation. If you haven’t come from the same industry give yourself a bit of time to understand why certain processes exist as they do. Making a change as soon as you walk in is only going to earn you the displeasure of your team leaders.
- Don’t have half-day long meetings
This is connected with #3. If its knowledge of how a process works the way it works use #3 from the Do’s list. Talk to the team leaders and get a perspective. But calling an all-team meeting out of the blue for hours simply communicates an utter disregard for colleagues time and schedule.
That’s my list of do’s & don’ts that I’ve practiced across my career and been rewarded with developing some great teams who have delivered amazing results for the organisations.
I’d love to know your list of do’s & don’ts and how it’s helped you.