31st Aug 2011

New job, new company, new industry – a tall order in 100 days?

We are currently working with the HR director of a financial services company. Henry was one month in to his new position when we began working with him. He faced the extra challenge of adjusting to the banking industry after 20 years in FMCG. At this time he was struggling to cope; he was failing to build relationships with his team and was having difficulty asserting his leadership. While the team he had inherited was competent, the legacy of his predecessor was a point of constraint; his team were wary of his mandate for change. 

We encouraged Henry to approach his first session with us as a fresh start. We worked with him on a one-to-one capacity and developed a 100 days plan, with particular emphasis on team management and relationship building. We encouraged him to start with the end in mind, by identifying his own clear vision for the role. And to be realistic; to exercise patience and resilience with his team.

We met with Henry at 30 days to review his progress against the 100 days plan. Had his patience paid off? Had he avoided derailment? Henry found that he had finally started to come out from under the shadow of his predecessor, so now it was important to build the health of his team. And to seek out opportunities to fast forward the team by assessing if the right people were in the right places. After a full review of his progress in the first 30 days we asked him to reset his actions for the next 30 days.

At 60 days, it is likely that the 100 days plan will have been long forgotten. Henry needed to take stock and review his progress. Was he on the way to achieving his desired outcomes for the first 100 days? Was the performance of his team improving? Henry felt that though he had by now asserted his leadership there was still a problem with his team; an individual who was impacting negatively on their performance. This person had already been reassigned to a new role, but it was not working. We encouraged Henry to make a difficult personnel decision. While this was not easy, it was important for the performance acceleration of his team.

The first steps in a new role are about actions, and at 90 days outcomes need to be assessed. It is essential to have a clear indication of what is working and what is not working. This week we met with Henry again. We asked him if he was on track to achieve the desired outcomes for the first 100 days. Henry now feels that his team is working and his leadership is confirmed. He feels he has the confidence to move forward into a new phase, and start the rest of the year in his new role.

The capacity to build healthy relationships with your team is crucial to the success of you first 100 day in any new position. Henry’s ability to start afresh, stick to his plan, and make difficult personnel decisions allowed him to make his first 100 days a success.

Hilda Goold

As Featured On EzineArticles

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