I’m proud to announce a partnership with my friend Will Barfield, President & CEO at Barfield Revenue Consulting (BRC). The First 100 Days program helps leaders at the VP level and above who are new in their role to make good use of those super-critical first weeks on the job.
A 2017 study found that 60% of executives surveyed stated that it took more than six (6) months to have a significant impact in their new roles. Failing to grasp how their new organization really works, not finding their fit within the established culture and struggling to build critical alliances early on all contributed to slow starts (Onboarding Isn’t Enough, Harvard Business Review, May-June 2017).
This report reinforces what we have seen at Stone House for years. In fact, the First 100 Days program was conceived several years ago, when a Fortune 50 senior executive with whom I had worked closely for years called me and said, “Scott, I’ve got a new leader taking over one of my shops and he has a lot of raw talent. I want you to work with him to make sure he gets off on the right foot.” This senior executive understood the importance of first impressions. He had seen well-meaning leaders fail to forge critical alliances early on, because they couldn’t find their fit in already-established cultures quickly enough.
We’ve all seen the bull that charges into the china shop with his or her grand plan for change without understanding the lay of the land. Or, equally ineffective is the leader who doesn’t seem to display enough urgency about moving the company in the right direction.
Like any great process, The First 100 Days has been developed through iterative change over the years. The process we follow today recognizes the importance of building self-awareness as well as developing a deep understanding of the existing culture as quickly as possible. It puts an emphasis on showing respect for the prevailing company ethos as well as for the people who built it. Only after that message is conveyed and accepted will a new executive be able to start building personal rapport and trust by letting people get to know him or her. Further, only after laying all of these critical foundations can a new leader truly begin to lead by sharing his or her vision for the future as well as the plan for achieving it.
Stone House’s partnership with BRC is so exciting because it allows us to begin this important work when it can have the greatest impact – before a new executive begins his or her first day on the job. If you’re planning an executive-level hire, I urge you to reach out to Will and his team. Together, Stone House and BRC can help you get the right person started off the right way – from moment one.