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There are three fundamental resources that executives must manage during a transition: time, talent, and relationships.
Deloitte’s research and insights from its transition labs suggest there are three fundamental resources that executives must manage during a transition: time, talent, and relationships. Focusing on these three resources can help you cut through the inherent bustle of an executive transition and unlock your organization’s potential.
Time: The flood of issues crossing an incoming executive’s desk can be overwhelming. As an incoming or newly promoted executive, you need to develop a clear sense of your organization’s priorities while keeping the existing engines running. We often hear about 60–80-hour work weeks at the outset as incoming executives get pulled into meetings and launch their listening tours to get a handle on the issues.
As an incoming executive, you generally have to address four issues to garner better control of your time:
Time is your one irrecoverable resource, so it is imperative to prioritize and guard it during a transition.
Talent: No senior executive could do their job alone, and you are dependent on your new team to deliver results from day one. Generally, executives have to address a talent agenda with the following four items fairly quickly after a transition:
Given that talent is key to your success, you are likely to spend between a half day and a full day each week to execute your talent agenda. I will expand on the talent agenda in future essays.
Relationships: New executives have to foster relationships with a wide range of stakeholders during their transitions. Dialogues with stakeholders can shape priorities, and good relationships make it easier to move forward on key priorities. In our research and labs, the unhappiest executives are vexed by relationship issues. Thus, establishing good relationships is vital to transition success, and again, it can take up considerable time. Fortunately, there are a wide range of tools available today to help executives develop influence strategies and assess the needs, personalities, and communication styles that are effective with other stakeholders to accelerate relationship building. These will also be explored in future essays.
Takeaway: Effectively managing time, talent, and relationships can help you accelerate the creation of a focused agenda and realistic execution plans that enhance the likelihood of a successful transition.