So you appointed an outstanding new leader for your business but just because they were brilliant at their last employer doesn't mean that they will be in your organisation.
The biggest consideration you should have is how their last role differs from their new one. Here are 7 key considerations:
1. The type of company
2. The scope of the role
3. The level of the role
4. The company culture
5. The company location
6. The industry
7. The function that the role sits in
If 3 of these areas differ from the previous role then there is a 50% chance that your new leader will fail in their first 18 months. If 5 or more factors differ then the chance of failure could be as high as 80%.
To increase the chance of success you need to ensure that your new leader focuses on the following 4 things;
1. Align with your culture
Understanding the DNA of your business is critical. How does it operate? How does it respond to change? How success was achieved in their previous company could be redundant if the cultural variation is dramatic.
2. Understand your strategic agenda
Are they on the same strategic page as you? No point changing what is not broken and heading off in the wrong direction.
3. Establish team and management practices
Clarity is critical. The team needs to know what is expected of them and how it should operate. Clear and open communication is very important and should be established immediately.
4. Develop strong stakeholder relationships
Building internal and external stakeholder relationships is very important. You need to guide them and ensure they know who makes up the stakeholder group. They will need to understand who the key decision makers and key influencers are as they will strongly impact on success or failure.
New leaders will need your support. Don't assume success will follow the appointment of someone who has excelled in their previous company.
The uncomfortable truth about executive transitions is that they often fail. Change, after all, is hard, and the degree of change involved in a transition can be considerable. A useful rule of thumb to calculate the amount of change that a transition will entail—and thus loosely predict an executive’s likelihood of success or failure—is to consider the extent to which the new role differs from the old one. Seven dimensions merit particular attention: the type of company, scope of role, level of role, company culture, location, industry, and function. Broadly speaking, if three of these areas differ from the executive’s previous role, the possibility for failure in the first 18 months can be as high as 50%. If five or more factors differ, the failure rate can be 80% or higher.1