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Submitted by BJ_Marshall on


I started a new job two days ago. One of the first things I'd like to do is canvass all my internal customers and find out how we're doing. This is per the [url= Internal Relationship, Part 1[/url] cast.

In that cast, it mentions I should create a one-page slide that, among other things, lists my 90 day play to show internal customers I'm on the right track.

But...I thought I wasn't supposed to start any new initiatives in the first 90 days per the [url=]The First Rule for New Managers[/url] cast.

I'm confused. Help!


AManagerTool's picture

What is your 90 day plan?

My 90 day plan was to fit in, observe, analyze our services and meet the customer. That is not an initiative. It's not revolutionary, impactful or dangerous. No risk there at all.

If your 90 day plan is to reorganize the department, renegotiate supplier contracts and outsource your facilities maintenance would be violating the 90 day rule.

BJ_Marshall's picture
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[quote="AManagerTool"]My 90 day plan was to fit in, observe, analyze our services and meet the customer.[/quote]

YAY - that's my "plan" too. I guess I just didn't consider that a plan.


TomW's picture
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[quote="wmarsha1"][quote="AManagerTool"]My 90 day plan was to fit in, observe, analyze our services and meet the customer.[/quote]J[/quote]

To that, I would add "build relationships."

You can do a lot just by learning.

HMac's picture

BJ - Covey nailed it in [i]Seven Habits[/i]: "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood"

You may not choose to cite him directly, but THAT's the spirit of the first 90 days.


BJ_Marshall's picture
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So far, so good.

I've met with two sets of clients today, and did the whole five-minute introduction thing of where we are and where we're going followed by my agenda of questions aimed at discovering how my team's doing on customer service.

One set said something like, "First off, the fact that you're meeting with us to talk about this is noteworthy." They then went on to say how they'd like more proactive communication.

I think the spirit is appreciated.


HMac's picture

BJ - so what do you thinks of following up with your notes from the meeting before Monday? [i]("Here's what I think I heard, and where I beleive the priorities are. Would you mind letting me know if I need to add anything?").[/i]

You'll get the stuff that they remembered AFTER the meeting, and you'll show you're serious about listening and being in touch.


BJ_Marshall's picture
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I see where you're thinking, and I think I may have already done something that achieves that same goal. At the end of each meeting, I did a quick recap of the notes I took. (Usually, at meetings, this takes the form of recapping action items.) It went something like this:

"OK, so before we adjourn, I just want to make sure I have all your thoughts down here correctly. You think we're doing X and Y pretty well - I'm sure my team will love to hear that! You have concerns with A, B, and C, and ...." And so on.

Hugh, your question made me think of something I can do down the line after I compile all my results and share them with my team. It is to go back to the clients and say something like, "My team and I met to discuss the feedback I received from my meeting with you, and here's what we think we can do to address your concerns. Do you think this plan will work?"

Maybe I'm just a huge geek, but I'm really excited at seeing how all these client meetings will turn out. :D


asteriskrntt1's picture

hi BJ

Congrats on your new role and being so proactive.

These are not my words, probably M&M's - and definitely paraphrased :)

There is a huge difference between doing your job and creating new initiatives. What you are doing right now is your job. A new initiative might be something like deciding you need to go ISO 14000 or changing your ERP system just so you can show your team you have authority or establish yourself as a visionary.

Unless you are in an emergency situation (eg, if you don't slash costs by 84%, the company is out of business in 3 months), you don't want to be creating initiatives that will shake up the team or area or department.