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Week 3 and 4 are intensive as you learn the business as fast as you can. It is also the point where you start instilling a sense of urgency and firming up expectations. Here are 5 suggestions of what top prioritize during this section.
Learn the business
Might sound like a given. Your appointment immediately steers the flow of critical business issues your way. You want to secure you learn the whole business and not only the urgent burning tactical issues.
Set up meetings to review strategies and business plans. Work through the execution plans and the coupling to execution. Get a grip on your customers, great ones as well as the ones where you struggle.
Dive as deep as you can in numbers. Critical to understand if the team is hitting or missing your numbers. And to understand where reality and numbers are out of synch.
Listening is critical in this part of your 100-day plan. It is hard to learn when you talk. This is your best opportunity to get the big picture from a big group of people. Both from one-on-one conversations as well as team sessions.
Listen to what people want to tell you. Both good and bad things of the operations. Ask questions about what you want to know. Well-articulated questions is your best friend during these explorations.
At this stage you start framing a hypothesis of the business. You want your model to be as close to reality as possible. The better you listen the better are the odds you capture it right. Team members’ collective descriptions will outperform your thoughts/ illusions of the starting point.
Extend listening to customers
It is always a challenge for how early you should engage with customers, before you have any firm view of your plan.
This is the best opportunity you get to take in information unbiased. Get a feeling for the shoes you are filling from your predecessor. Understand areas of major satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Poke for where customers see major opportunities for your company.
As the world goes more digital you want to probe deep into the customer experience and discovery journeys you offer. Expect this are to be the one requiring most development.
Create a burning imperative
You don’t have all details clear but you need to create a burning imperative as a foundation for the change you want to drive.
At this stage you don’t have a clear view of the big picture and long term direction. But you want to communicate a clear picture of what the team need to do now. Stick to the execution your team need to focus on. This will buy you time to define the bigger plan.
Firm up expectations
Start firming up your expectations on the team. Your team need guidance on expectations before all roles are clear. You need to set directions to test the match between your expectations and the capabilities of your team.
Questions to work with
- What are the steering documents used today – your base for understanding the business.
- How well are the plans aligned with reality – applies to both older and recently created plans.
- Which priorities do you see when evaluating plans – trust your instincts and listen for details.
- Which library of questions do you plan to use to get a grip of the business.
- What should go into your burning imperative – keep it focused on driving immediate results.
- Which customers should you meet first – your perhaps most critical selection decision.
- Which expectations do you want to set for the rest of your 100-day plan.
Additional reading suggestions
- New leader transition: the first 30 days [BLOGPOST] – by Workforce Learning
- How sales leaders should spend their first 30 days [BLOGPOST] – by SalesForece.com
- What “Get It” sales managers accomplish in their first 30 days [Blogpost] – by Rainmaker Grpoup
- Succeed in your first 30 days at the new job [BLOGPOST] – by Expert Beacon
- Spend your first 30 days at a new job learning the business instead of making changes [BLOGPOST] – by LifeHacker
- 4 ways leaders fail in their first 30 days [BLOGPOST] – by Forbes