The First 90 Days
When I knew I’d got this new job I bought (and I so rarely buy books, being a big library fan) a copy of Michael D. Watkins ‘The First 90 Days’. It’s a book I’ve heard lots about from lots of people (colleagues, leadership thinkers, LinkedIn recommendations etc) and I’ve also thought I would read it when I got a new role.
What reading it has helped me understand is the impact on transition on myself (professionally and personally), on the organisations (that you’re leaving and joining) and the teams. It has also helped me structure (at the moment just in my head, I haven’t committed to anything on paper yet) how I approach my first 90 days and the things I mustn’t take my eye off. There’s a lot in there about understanding what state the new organisation you are joining is in, and why they have chosen you, and what you will need to focus in the short, medium and long term. I’m being disciplined with myself to try and reflect on my weeks, and refer back to the post-its I’ve put in the book, holding myself to account. As with all ‘models’ it doesn’t fit my situation 100% but as a basis of a structure for transition and inspiration for how to think about making that move it has definitely resonated with me and I’d happily recommend it.
Within my first 30 days I am responsible for pulling together our team’s first face to face, all together, day. It is an opportunity for some strategic reflection and planning of course, and for some grappling with ideas and next steps best thrashed through as a group, but also it is important for the team to have time and space together. In the agenda for the day I’m trying to create a balance of engaged time, down time, group time, solo time. I’m aiming for enough structure to move us through some big topics various team members have identified that they’d like to discuss, but also recognising that we may end up beginning conversations that they need to continue on another day too. I’m doing a lot of thinking around holding space and meeting individual’s needs and meeting organisational needs.