Where to focus the first 15 days of your 100-day plan

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When taking over a new organization you get 100 days at best to move into your new role. Valuable experiences and where to focus what to do the first 100 days are well documented. Sometimes it can be hard to turn all great advices into a suitable execution plan. Here are some ideas of what to focus on the first 15 days of your 100-day plan.

Get a high level view of the business situation

New leaders often come in when an organization need to step-up or turn-around. As a new leader you want to get your own feeling for what your new business look like as soon as possible. You want to build a solid understanding of the current state of the business you will run. Numbers, customers, and expectation centric.

For turn-around situations expect it to be worse than your recruitment brief. It is rare to see new leaders appointed at the point when the need occurs. Nor is it likely you were available as fast as desired. For growth situations you first want to secure the current business is running smooth.  To secure you have a solid platform for an aggressive growth agenda.

Dive into important opportunities and deals together with your sales representatives when you join. Most other jobs can wait.

As the new leader you can also expect an instant shift in escalations to come your way the first day in office.

Interview your team members

As you get parachuted into the new role one of your first priorities is to get to know your team members. Both through meeting your new team members and by getting second opinions from the rest of the organization.

It is important to understand the team and how they have operated. You want to understand if you take over a team or a group of professionals. You seek to understand the balance in the team between different skills and capabilities.

Describe how you are and what you stand for

Expect the team to be curious about who their new leader is. Your team second guess and interpret every move you make in the beginning. You will put your leadership footprint on the organization from day one. You can make it easy by stating what some of your main leadership principles you stand for.

This is the part of your first 15 days you can prepare well in advance of taking over the team

Establish interfaces to the remaining key stake holders

For senior positions you often get interviewed by the key stakeholders with whom you will interact. If you have not been meeting certain key stake holders as part of the interview process you want to reach out as early as possible. Focus on taking in their perspectives on your role, their expectations on you and how you can support them to be successful.

You and your team just represent 2/3 of what it takes for you to deliver. At least 1/3 will come from organizations around you

Get basic governance in place 

Basic governance structures are often defined. But as a new leader you want to get a grip on the situation early and you need to get your team to do the most work for you. The areas I consider a basic governance are three things. First how do you want the team to interact with you and vice versa. Second what are the most important meetings you want the team to attend. And third what formal/informal reports to you start the operations around.

Secure business as usual for execution

The low point of any organization is likely just before an appointment of a new manager. As you enter in the team you need to accelerate the pace of what the team was doing before. There is no point in changing first and then driving up the tempo. Send a clear message for your team to step up the pace with what they are doing and learn from them about their new situations.

While you think and network to understand the landscape you want your whole team to carry the operational load. Results need to come from day 1 even if you initially have little potential to affect them.

Key questions to ask yourself

  1. What have been part of your previous 15 days in a new role – you did perhaps not have a plan but nevertheless took a number of actions.
  2. How good brief have you been given as part of the recruitment process – this is the starting point for your actions.
  3. Which fundamental parts of your leadership style do you want your team to see day one – You are best off by both telling and showing what your leadership style is like.
  4. Who are the key remaining stakeholders and what role do you play in making them successful – for some you will be a threat and for some you will be mission critical ally.
  5. Which governance principles have make you successful in the past – bring your best tools but don’t expect all your old tools to be great for your new environment.

Additional reading suggestions

One thought on “Where to focus the first 15 days of your 100-day plan

  1. Pingback: You need a different 100-day plan to lead Digital Transformations | Tweeter Linder

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