If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. With 40% of new leaders failing in their first 18 months in a new job, onboarding risk is definitely worth assessing and managing. Thus, this article propose a simple onboarding risk calculator that will enable individuals to assess and manage the risk they face before they accept or start a new job based on the insights in The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan.
- 40% of new leaders either get fired, forced out or quit within their first 18 months.
- Failures in new roles almost always come back to either poor fit, not getting done what needed to get done, or failing to adjust to something changing down the road.
- People evaluating new situations need a better way to assess and manage risk.
1. The organization I'm joining has a bias to risking more and gaining more versus protecting what it has now.
2. Communication in the organization is generally more informal/face-to-face/verbal than formal/directed/written.
3. The organization makes decisions with open debate and conflict encouraged versus more controlled and hierarchical.
4. Personally, I generally prefer to risk more and gain more instead of protecting what I have now.
5. I prefer to communicate informally/face-to-face/verbal versus formally/directed/written.
6.I prefer decision-making that is diffused with open debate and conflict encouraged versus controlled and hierarchical.
7. The organization's strategy and ability to implement that strategy gives it a high likelihood of success.
8. I, my new boss and key peers are aligned around my role and expectations.
9. I personally have the right strengths, motivation and fit to succeed in this role.
10. I have spent/will spend many hours with my direct supervisor before day one.
11. My supervisor or another mentor will look out for me and guide me in the new organization.
12. On average I worked in my last three organizations for at least three years each.
The assessment of fit risk comes out of the alignment of individual preferences and organizational culture.
The assessment of delivery risk comes out of the organization's strategy and ability to execute, alignment around role and expectations, and personal strengths, motivation and fit. (Yes. Cultural fit impacts the ability to deliver.)
The assessment of adjustment risk comes out of your relationship with your supervisor or other mentor and your track record of adjusting.
- If there's a manageable level of risk, follow the same prescriptions as if the risk level were low while keeping your eyes open for the particular risks of your situation.
- If there are potentially mission-crippling issues with this role for you, you will need to address them before you start to reduce your likelihood of failure.
- If the risk is extreme, consider walking away or at least having a back up plan.
Note this tool provides a structure for your own assessment. But this may be counter-productive if you have bad information and/or fail to account for your own biases. The more complex the situation, the more help you'll need in gathering and assessing information.
With that in mind, if you want to assess your risk and improve your likelihood of success, access the tool.