Picture a workforce aligned around a strong, clear vision, with simple, easily understood processes to streamline their workflow and multiply their productivity. Imagine the impact that workforce could have on your market, your customers, and your bottom line.
Any leader moving into a new role must consider the operational, strategic, and symbolic elements of the transition when determining how best to use their time and energy. In my experience, most leaders focus on the operational aspects. However, for executive leaders, focusing on operations early in a transition actually has the least impact on moving the organization. Communication and creating a sense of connection to you—as both a person and a leader—are more critical. Focusing on these more symbolic elements allows you to galvanize the organization around a common purpose and build the momentum that will sustain you over the long term.
Every company has a culture: regardless of size, age, or industry. What separates many leading companies from their competitors is the ability to intentionally shape and leverage culture to drive the business and create an environment where people are inspired to achieve extraordinary results.
For HR practitioners, the shift is not just about what they do, but about who they are as business leaders.
While there are several guides to making leadership transitions more successful, the one I recommend most frequently is Michael Watkins’ “The First 90 Days.” Paying attention to a few key considerations can help you focus your efforts. While Mr. Watkins organizes his book around 10 such transition challenges, I find it helpful to condense them to just 6: