Your First 100 Days

Want to make an impact as a company’s new CEO, new boardroom chair, or new owner?  My advice is beware …

Rushing in, impatient for change – which is a common tendency – doesn’t always bring good results.  While it is easy to think we can bring a ‘fresh perspective’ and ‘new ideas’, the chances are we won’t.  Challenge yourself before your car crashes: What are the chances that your ideas really will be either ‘new’ or ‘the answer’?

Also, what will be the impact of introducing over hasty ideas – even if they are only partly incomplete – on your relations with the company’s directors, senior managers and employees?

Rushing in with gusto is an easy mistake to make – plenty have fallen flat on their feet before you.  But ditch that impulse.  Look instead right in front of you – at the staff.  If you think about it, they have years of experience in the business you are joining.  And they will have a host of ideas that were unheard, untried or ignored by the former management – what we call the ‘hidden value’ of a business.  Won’t they be a source of more pertinent, thought-through and realistic ideas – and more likely to provide the first steps to achieving your goals?

A Hidden Value Inquiry – How it works 

The staff’s ideas are collected using what we call a Hidden Value Inquiry (HVI) – which incidentally can also be used where there is a failing company division/subsidiary; during a business turnaround or restructuring; or before redundancies, to capture insights before ‘core intelligence’ leaves.

We interview carefully selected representatives of all staff levels in a company – in-depth and in a positive way, with the Board retaining ownership of the exercise – and we supplement the results with business and market analysis.

It’s a skilled exercise. It requires highly qualified Inquirers.  And staff need to be met somewhere confidential, away from the workplace, so there are no time pressures and they are reassured their comments will be welcomed. (Yes, it’s a bit like ITV’s Undercover Boss – only we use experienced inquirers, not camera lenses!)

And the results?

The results of a HVI can be spectacular – take a look at our website below for examples.  Our experience is that it can expose unrealised insights and hidden value in a company.  It can create opportunities that were previously invisible.  It can offer new vistas on familiar landscapes.  And it can enable business turnaround, recovery and growth.

As for your first 100 days, it can avoid some of the trap doors when you are new in post.  Our aim is to get you, the new leaders, fully informed about your staff’s insights and opportunities on Day 1, so you join a workforce enthusiastic for change, empowered by their own approved (by you) ideas.

First appeared on IoD Blog, 23 September 2016 


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