CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 65

the organization, for instance, you need to engage in a

a full-blown turnaround where alarm bells are ringing

lot of reflection about how you're going to do better the

and people are rushing hither and thither, however,

next time. In some cultures, you can go up to people

success often is about stabilizing the situation and

and say, "Hey, look, I screwed up here." Often it's really

letting people know that there's a plan.

important to be seen apologizing and trying hard to
do things differently, but you need to understand the
culture and what is viewed as acceptable. You need to
take stock of where you are by interacting regularly with

You've talked a bit about corporate
culture; how much are leadership
transitions affected by national culture?

your boss, with key stakeholders, with your team.

What does success look like after
90 days?

I think a lot. What's the appropriate way to deal with
your new boss, for example? The extent to which
relationships are driven by positional authority
varies dramatically from culture to culture. The

Again, it depends on the situation. If you're coming

degree of transparency in an executive team varies

into a very successful organization, it may be that, at

dramatically from culture to culture. So does the degree

the end of 90 days, you're coming up the learning curve

of centralization. I write about "securing early wins"

quickly and really beginning to get it, asking good

during a transition, but what does that mean in the

questions, connecting with people, projecting your

context of Indian culture, or even cultures

leadership approach in a way that people find attractive

within India? You have to pay attention to what's

and positive. Simply building people's confidence can

culturally appropriate.

represent success at the end of 90 days. If you come into

What Kind of Change Are You Leading?
As a new leader, chances are you'll find yourself in one or more of five situations, which Michael Watkins captures in his
STARS model. While your organization may fit neatly into one category, it's more likely that you'll inherit a portfolio that
includes a mix of STARS situations, each of which presents its own challenges and opportunities.
Startup: Assembling the capabilities (people, financing, and technology) to get a new business or initiative off the ground.
Turnaround: Saving a business or initiative widely acknowledged to be in serious trouble.
Accelerated growth: Managing a rapidly expanding business.
Realignment: Reenergizing a previously successful organization that now faces problems.
Sustaining success: Preserving the vitality of a successful organization and taking it to the next level.

CIO Straight Talk | 65



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
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
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