Sue Shellenbarger wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal about “How to Gain Power at Work When You Have None.” She makes some excellent points about the value of internal networking, building valued expertise and showing interest in others. It struck me that these approaches are at least as valuable for an executive onboarding into a new organization with power.
Executive onboarding is the key to accelerating success and reducing risk in a new job. People generally fail in new executive roles because of poor fit, poor delivery or poor adjustment to a change down the road. They accelerate success by 1) getting a head start, 2) managing the message, 3) setting direction and building the team and 4) sustaining momentum and delivering results.
The application of Shellenbarger’s article is to practical fit. Even if a new executive’s preferences for behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and the environment exactly match their new organization’s culture on paper, it doesn’t matter until the members of the organization hear it, see it and believe it. This is why it’s so important to converge into an organization before trying to evolve it.