You have reached the 100-day mark in your new job. You put a plan in place, leveraged your Fuzzy Front End to learn quickly, refined your plan, and developed solid relationships with all of your key stakeholders. You engaged the culture and made a strong early impression by delivering a clear message to your new audiences (up, down and across). Your team is energized by its co-created Burning Imperative. You have established a milestone management process to drive accountability and are beginning to deliver early wins. Your team is in place.
So, what’s next?
John Lawler, one of the co-authors of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan suggests you should “Keep going. Keep Building. Begin the process of continual evolution.” (Request a free executive summary of the book.)
Do this across three key areas:
1. Leadership: The 100-day mark is a good moment to gain feedback on your own leadership during the first 100 days, so you can determine what you should keep, stop and start doing – and how – to be even more effective with your team and the organization as a whole.
2. Practices: From there, it is an opportune time to decide how you are going to evolve your practices to capitalize on changing circumstances. You should focus on practices that relate to people, plans, performance tracking and program management.
3. Culture: Finally, after 100 days, your insights on the culture are sharper than when you started. You are also clearer about where you want to evolve the culture. Now is time to zero in on the biggest gaps, and implement a plan to create and maintain the winning culture that will become your greatest competitive advantage.
By evolving your own leadership, your practices and your culture, you are setting yourself up to deliver better results – not only faster – but also, sustainably, over time.
For example, as you look at your team, think in terms of future capability development, succession and contingency planning.
Future Capability Development Planning starts with the long-term strategy and then looks at what human capabilities you’re going to need over time to be able to implement that long-term plan. That creates a Future State Organizational Plan. Compare that with your Current State Organization to identify where the gaps exist between the two.
Generally, you’ll plan to close those gaps with a combination of:
– Developing your current people
– Acquiring people with new talents and developing them over time
– Acquiring people requiring less development closer to the time of need
– Acquiring people ready to go at the time of need.
Succession Planning starts with the people you have in place in key roles and lays out who can take their places over time. Some of those potential successors may require development.
Contingency Planning evaluates who can jump in and fill a position if one of your leaders can no longer do that for some reason. Some of these seat fillers may be permanent. Some may be on interim assignments. Some may be outsiders brought in for a short period.
Extending beyond 100-days:
Your Leadership: Assess your own leadership and put in place a plan to make it even better. Get support to implement that plan.
People: Invest in future capability development planning, succession planning and contingency planning, performance management and talent reviews annually.
Plans: conduct strategic reviews, refreshes and planning as well as operational reviews, refreshes and planning annually.
Practices: conduct business reviews and plan updates quarterly and milestone updates and adjustments monthly.
Program management: invest in this skill set when the sheer volume of change is stretching the organization beyond its capacity to manage with existing processes.
Culture: close the gap between today’s culture and your target culture by engaging your leadership team and deploying tools that will reinforce and accelerate the change program.
Surprises: Adjust to the inevitable surprises based on the degree and length of their impact.
By George Bradt
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