CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 59

{Big Thinking

A CIO'S FIRST

90 DAYS
However you measure it - 90 days or 100 days or three
months or a fiscal quarter - this crucial period in a new
job calls for strategies that will set you up for success.
You're about to start in a new position. Whether you have

an ongoing series of articles at Forbes.com, called "The

been hired from outside your organization or promoted

CIO's First 100 Days" [emphasis added], says he settled

from within, you will face an array of new challenges.

on that formulation because 100 is a "round number that

Which ones do you tackle immediately? What should be

people could sink their teeth into." What he sought to

your first moves? How do you lay the groundwork

convey was the idea of someone's first quarter in a new

for success?

job - and somehow "A CIO's First Quarter" just didn't

In this special "Big Thinking" section, two experts

cut it as a catchy phrase. (High is quick to point out that,

- Michael Watkins, a renowned authority on executive

while a calendar-year quarter admittedly will never total

leadership transitions, and Peter High, an adviser to CIOs

100 days, it will only total 90 days when February is the

and the author of two books on IT strategy - offer advice

middle month.) Watkins and High are in agreement on

on laying the foundation for success during your first few

one thing: Many of the success strategies that can benefit

months on the job.

people in a new position have application beyond those

Watkins and High quantify the duration of this crucial

initial months on the job. For example, such strategies

transition period differently, but there is no magic to its

can be useful to those who have been in a job for some

precise length. "I would love to tell you that [90 days]

time but are looking for a role reboot - a resetting of

was the result of systematic research, but it wasn't,"

goals and expectations for the position.

says Watkins, the author of The First 90 Days: Proven

Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.
"I had been in government, where the first 100 days of a
presidency is very much a focal point. That didn't seem
right for business contexts, so I picked a business quarter
as a reasonable planning time frame."
High, who has interviewed nearly two dozen CIOs for

The interviews with Watkins and High in this issue are
part of a broader CIO Straight Talk initiative focusing on
a CIO's first 90 (or 100) days. For example, Peter High
recently gave a webinar on the topic, in which he expands
upon the ideas of this interview. You can view a recording
of the webinar at: http://bit.ly/11CNiMi.

CIO Straight Talk | 59


http://www.Forbes.com http://bit.ly/1JYlUbT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 5
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
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