How to Survive the First 90 Days: A Guide for Success
  May 2008  

Over the last six months, I have been approached by various clients about how best to assimilate a new leader in an organization. Regardless of whether the person being hired is from outside the company or promoted from within, the challenge for the organization and the new leader is the same.

How do they ensure that after a long and tedious recruitment process, the new leader:

  • Hits the ground running
  • Builds strong relationships with the new team
  • Is successful in the job of driving business success

In the book, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, Michael Watkins provides a roadmap for new leaders whether they are from inside or outside the organization. Watkins gives new leaders practical steps they can take to make the transition as smooth as possible. Whether the leader's new role is CEO, Director of Marketing, or a Senior Scientist, the leader need to pay attention to the first 90 days.

Chief Executive Magazine's January/February 2008 issue specifically addresses the transition for CEOs. An article entitled, "Rx for New CEOs," by Dan Clampa and Michael Watkins provides advice on the importance of the transition process for new CEOs and make some suggestions on how to ensure a smooth transition in their new role.

From the perspective of Human Capital Consulting Partners LLC as well as of studies that have been done by other human resources consulting firms, how you handle the transition into a new role will determine whether you succeed or fail. You must pay attention to the "how," regardless of the jobs you had in the past or level you are in the organization. As you begin your new leadership role, the following are some helpful hints that should assist you in making a successful transition:

  1. Clarify the job deliverables for your position with your new boss.
  2. Meet with your new staff both as a group and one-on-one as quickly as possible.
  3. Establish the goals, objectives, and expectations for your new staff.
  4. Spend time understanding the culture of the new department, group, and entire organization.
  5. Conduct an assimilation team-building meeting with your new direct reports during the first six months.
  6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Transitions are never easy. But by developing a formal transition process for your new leaders, you will ensure that the "First 90 Days" as well as the rest of the time spent in that job will be a great success.

If you need help in developing transition processes for your new leaders, Human Capital Consulting Partners can help you by providing people processes that align with your short- and long-term business goals. Acting as a trusted advisor to management, Human Capital Consulting Partners designs, develops, and implements practical and results-oriented processes that drive business success.

New Clients
Human Capital Consulting Partners is proud to be working with three new clients.

Onconova Therapeutics
Human Capital Consulting Partners will assist Onconova Therapeutics with its day-to-day human resources activities.

Foamex International Inc.
Human Capital Consulting Partners will develop an assimilation program for Foamex's senior leadership team.

Human Capital Consulting Partners will serve as Cardionet's interim Vice President of Human Resources to lead the HR functions and process.

I hope this information will help you formulate your approach in dealing with your human capital issues. If you are interested in any Human Capital Consulting Partners articles, please visit our Resource Center.

If Human Capital Consulting Partners can be of any assistance in helping you solve your people process problems, contact us at 215-244-8110 or info@hccpartners.com.


Jim Geier
Human Capital Consulting Partners

phone: 215-244-8110
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