In about 5 weeks, I am going to be starting at a new agency.  With a new team of about 24 people and around 4 directs (team leaders).

As such, i have been reviewing a lot of my "plans" and begun preparing for this transition.

In the interview i asked what would my first task be, and it was to do an assessment of why the business is going backwards and what needs to be done to improve it.

So far my plan involves

1. Rolling out the MT Trinity (O3s first, then after a while positive feedback etc)

2. Reviewing metrics - do they have them, are they accurate/relevant, how do they compare to industry trends, do they cover specific teams/individuals. Feeding data in to calculators to see if we have sufficient staff.

3. Building relationships with my staff(see 1)

4. Understand policies, standards, guidelines that are relevant to my new workplace

5. Building relationships with my management and "influence hubs"

6. Gain an understanding of what the team thinks is wrong

7. Build a vision/misson/goals and values.

I do know that they have been without direct management for over 6 months.

I'm not sure yet as to when I should do some of this.  My gut feel is that I learn the place for the first 3 months minimum, and focus on building relationships and working out what needs to be done.

I would appreciate any input, as I may not be seeing the trees for the forest or vice versa.



jhack's picture

Have you listened to the four part series:


douglase's picture

yup.  i just revisited it yesterday.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


Lots of good stuff in there!

A couple of things I've noticed in general about transitions like yours (and a couple of thoughts specifically addressing your list that may be helpful, but may be based on too thin an understanding, so no worries if I'm off base):

1.  Think of your managerial system as a separate system, just like travel expense reporting is separate from strategic planning.  What I mean is that doing one on ones is just one of your standard, repeated behaviors.  The DOING of one on ones is about relationships, and hopefully you'll think of it as UNRELATED to the problems the agency is having.

2.  So, that means you can STILL spend HOURS talking to everyone about what's going on.  IN ADDITION TO ONE ON ONES, sit down with everybody and develop what's been going on.  I'd recommend a COUPLE of 2-3 hour meetings with your directs, and perhaps a 1 hour meeting with each of your skips.  (This is more of a specific task to get to what is going on.)  Start these RIGHT AWAY.

3. I won't recommend you NOT do it, but Vision/Mission/Values work often takes a lot longer than most of us want, and delivers less value than we'd like.   I wouldn't do it.

4. Don't worry about special efforts to understand policies and procedures.  If you go in with your mouth shut and ears open, and FIT IN, that stuff will come.

5.  1-2 Skip Level Meetings might be good - to tell them what you're going to be doing (tell them the questions you're going to ask them!) and answer questions.  (There's a cast on that.)

6. FIT IN.  You will be tempted to jump to conclusions...and you WILL get pressure to start changing things.  RESIST.

7.  Before you start rolling out plans, meet with your directs and brief them (unless they are the problem.)  DON'T ASSUME that your directs are NOT the problem.

8.  Stay frosty , my friend.  Tight turns and falling rocks ahead.  And FUN.



douglase's picture

Below is a summation of my plan/cheat sheet for my plan.

Day 1
1.    Go through their induction (this will likely involve my new boss and his boss)
2.    Get out of my office
3.    Introduce myself to my team and anybody else I see.
4.    Find the boss and so on
5.    Find the water cooler/break room
6.    Find the bathrooms
7.    Find and introduce myself to HR and if applicable my areas rep
8.    Find printers, printer names, the paper, and how to get it
9.    Find IT. Which should be easy as they are my directs.
10.    Introduce myself to security

Making Other “Friends”
1.    Find the guys that support the tools my team uses to get their job done
2.    Find the other teams that rely on my teams work

Fitting In
1.    Go to all meetings that my predecessor went to.  This may be difficult to find out/do as he has been gone 6 months.
2.    Wear a tie on day one.  Find out if this department continues that archaic mode of dress.  If so, keep wearing a tie.  If not, think about it carefully.
3.    Jump to conclusions and act rashly.. no wait not that one.

Relationship Building with my directs (weeks can slide)
Step    Task    Start in Week
1    Email One on One memo to all direct staff    Week 1
2    Book and run One on Ones with all direct staff    Week 1
3    Announce Feedback Model    Week 6
4    Positive Feedback to Top Performing directs    Week 6
5    Positive Feedback to all directs    Week 12
6    Negative Feedback for Top Performing directs    Week 15
7    Negative Feedback for all directs    Week 18
8    Announce Coaching Model    Week 24
9    Coach Top Performing directs    Week 24
10    Coach all directs    Week 28

Finding out what is wrong and what is right
1.    Meet with directs as a group and ask them what they think is going on.  Ask what is working and what isn’t working.  Ask what they think needs to be done
2.    Meet with all of my skips over the first few weeks to find out what they think.  Do these similar to a one on one.
3.    Review historic reports, validate data 
4.    End of Week 4 (ish) provide report to Boss’s Boss as to what is wrong and suggested improvements, they whys and the hows
1.    Implement my meeting method for any meetings I chair.  If my boss might be coming to it, pre-warn him about how I run them and why.
2.    Don’t spout a new way of doing them to other people
3.    If asked, let them observe. Point them to MT.

This may be heavily influenced by certain management resources I use.