21st Feb 2012

Thorsten Heins: Review of Progress @ 30 Days

The First100 approach is structured to help the newly appointed executive tackle key milestones during their first 100 days – we believe in reviewing progress against desired outcomes at 30 days, at 60 days and at 90-100 days.  This unique framework centres on implementing an optimal first 100 day plan with the assistance of an experienced First100 Consultant who acts as a ‘companion on the journey’.

This week, Thorsten Heins, the recently appointed CEO of Research in Motion will reach his 30 day milestone. This marker is an opportunity to take stock – Heins needs to stop and really take a good look at his progress so far. There are a number of questions he should be asking himself at this point;

Am I where I want to be?

Let’s assume things haven’t worked out quite as planned – there are bound to be unforeseen factors which have made his situation either better, different or worse than initially expected. He needs to assess how well he has coped with these unknowns and be confident that he figured out how to best address them.

Have I avoided derailment?

Now is the time to dust off that detailed first 100 day plan! Having a firm focus – a guide to keep him on track – will help Heins avoid derailment from his strategic priorities. It is very easy at the start of a new role appointment to get side tracked into immediate fight-fighting and low level detail. However, this is exactly what can stop executives making a strong impact in the first 100 days. If you are spending time on activities that are not in the plan you need to address this, and either stop doing them, or adjust the plan to accommodate them.

Have I dealt effectively with my predecessors?

For Heins particularly, how he deals with his predecessors in the first 100 days will be telling as to how he can handle and communicate with people. It is important that he gives care and attention to his relationships with Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as they are still on the board with him. Yet he needs have manoeuvred for himself the space to implement the changes necessary to turn RIM around.

These are just some of the issues which should be considered at 30 days. After reviewing progress against each desired outcome it is important to reset the actions for the next 30 days. And get on track for the next review at 60 days!

Hilda Goold



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