CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 63

"leadership development through Darwinian evolution"

Exactly. And the questions would be the same ones

or even as hazing. Very few organizational cultures

I'd ask managers assuming a new position about the

were set up to welcome people and help them make

organization they're joining: Is it a startup? Is it a

successful transitions. So, the question for leaders was

turnaround situation? Will the organization be able to

not just "How can you, regardless of the situation, get

sustain success? How do you get early wins?

up to speed faster and more effectively?" but "How can
you navigate your way through a minefield? How do you
avoid becoming a fatality in the process?"
In the past decade, I've done a lot of research about

Don't people's experiences affect their
transitions into new positions and the
risks they are facing?

how to help organizations help people make successful
transitions, both onboarding and internal moves.

Yes, there are a lot of factors that affect both the length

Frankly, it's just good business sense. If you can get

and nature of the transition period: Are you onboarding

everyone taking a new role up to speed 30% faster -

into a new organization? Are you being promoted

that's worth something.

internally? Are you moving internationally? Are you

What's changed in the past ten years for
people stepping into new roles?

moving from one function to another? The list goes on.
If you're joining a new organization, cultural and
political learning is really, really important; you want
to be seen learning quickly. If you're making an internal

One big thing is the impact of technology. You're

move, building a different set of leadership capabilities

increasingly dealing with virtual and cross-cultural

might be more important. In all situations, you want to

teams. So, how you connect with people early on and

be doing things early on that build your credibility and

begin to build momentum has changed dramatically.

launch you in the direction you feel the organization

Another huge issue is that the average time a person

needs to go.

stays in a position has unquestionably gone down. In

And many leaders experience multiple transitions at

a Fortune 100 health care company I work with, seven

the same time, for example being promoted and moving

or eight years ago the typical person at the director

their families to a new location. The more types of

level stayed in a position for three years. Now it's about

transitions going on in parallel, the greater the risk.

2.2. And we've seen the average tenure of CEOs drop
dramatically. So there's even less time than there was
just a few years ago for people to establish themselves,
make an impression, and begin to have an impact. You

Our readers will want to know what's
important for CIOs making transitions.
What do they need to be thinking about?

need to hit the ground running.

Maybe your next book needs to be The
First Nine Days.

One obvious thing is that because technology is now
the core of so many businesses, the CIO plays a central
strategic role.
I was recently working with a CIO who was coming

Someone suggested The First 90 Minutes. I've had many

into a traditional print and publishing company that

great suggestions for books. My favorite is The First 90

was trying to go digital. His role was as central to that

Nights: A Marriage Manual.

endeavor as you can imagine. This made the transition

I know you have extended The First
90 Days brand into government and
various industries, but now you're going
into the cauldron of marriage.

that much harder, because it wasn't about him coming
in and learning about the IT infrastructure and the
existing systems; it was about how he was going to drive
this business forward into a new era.

CIO Straight Talk | 63



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
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