Got a New Team? Here’s how to avoid wasting time on storming & norming!
Can your people openly talk about risk? Find inspiration here.
Got a New Team? Here’s how to avoid wasting time on storming & norming!
Can your people openly talk about risk? Find inspiration here.
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Got a New Role? Here’s How to Get Up & Running Faster 

Changing roles is becoming increasingly common. It presents both opportunities and challenges. That includes getting up and running fast. Here we share some tips and tools to help.

Moving into a new role can be exciting, but it is also challenging. You want to get off to a good start – to get fully up and running fast. But a lack of clarity or alignment regarding your role can get in the way. This affects more than 1 in 4 roles. The result is frustration, underperformance and even friction.

For effective teamwork, people need to appreciate and understand each other’s roles and how they interact. But what is on paper or in the org chart only goes so far in defining the role and the requirements of success. Ambiguity on paper is ok, but when it extends to the daily running of a project or team engagement, effectiveness and success can suffer.

Is there sufficient clarity and alignment for your new role?

Pause to reflect:
1. What is the level of clarity in respect of your new role: (a) for you? (b) for others?  That includes the work, the responsibilities, the results, etc. 
2. How clearly is the role aligned with: (a) the success of key priorities, projects and teams  (b) the expectations of key stakeholders?
3. How long will it take to get up and running fully and to have an impact in the new role? How can this time be reduced? 
4. What are the risks and dependencies (if any) in respect of the role?  

Here are 7 ways to boost role clarity and alignment and a powerful tool to guide you:

1. Clarify what success is and how it will be measured (KPIs and metrics).

2. It is essential to clarify your role in the context of the key priorities, projects and initiatives that define success.

3. In planning for success in your new role, there is a powerful yet simple mantra: Right people in the right roles doing the right work, in the right place, working together in the right way, with the right rewards and resources, at the right time, to achieve the right result(s), the 9 Rights is the Swiss Army Knife for individual and collective performance.

Here is an example of this analysis below, showing an executive's reflections on the level of clarity and alignment regarding roles (and the other factors) across 3 priorities or teams: 

This analysis shows how complex roles can be.  It suggests that there is a high level of clarity in respect of priority (or work area) 1, but falling behind for priorities 2 and 3.  Although priority 3 is rated green (good) in terms of roles, there are 6 related areas that are rated amber (can be optimized).  

4. Review the 9 Rights regularly (with others) across key priorities, projects, work streams and teams, continually looking out for marginal gains in ways of working.

Priority, Project or Team1 2 3 
Right People (and skills)    
Right Roles    
Right Work    
Right Place (WFH/WFO)    
Right Way of Working Together     
Right Resources    
Right Rewards    
Right Time    
Right Results    

5. Remember, the most important of the 9 rights is right results. Without clarity and alignment here, some role ambiguity is inevitable.

6. Engaging key stakeholders in clarifying the 9 Rights is key to managing expectations and generating buy-in.

Clear communication regarding the role is key. Some degree of noise and chatter is inevitable in the absence of effective communication.  Even if you have full clarity regarding the role and the responsibilities that go with it, that does not mean that others do too.  

Role changes can have a team wide (or network) effect, as changing one role has an impact on all the others that interact with it. Engaging people in a conversation about roles and role changes can neutralize the potential negative impact of any role changes. It enables people to make sense of changes, as well as to make peace with any undesirable effects. 

7. Determine some quick wins to build confidence and credibility. Plan out the first 60 or 100 days.  

8. Identify the risks and dependencies for your new role.

9. Maximize the impact of your role by connecting to key business needs and priorities. For example, if you are the head of HR at a time when efficiency is the key priority, then find ways to connect your HR strategy to the business goals for consolidation and cost-cutting.

10. Adapt. In the context of a high performing team, roles are dynamic rather than static. However, that does not mean that job titles or the org. chart need change.

Here are some other tips from our coaching team:

  • Plan for a smooth and efficient transition, handing over responsibilities from your current position and taking them over in your next. 
  • Determine the key skills and mindset that are required in your new role, both now and into the future.   
  • Moreover, talk to the person who is leaving the role that you are taking up and taking over the role that you are leaving. Listen to and learn from them. Offer encouragement and support. What is required to transfer knowledge and skills? Will the person leaving act as a mentor?  
  • Be human, regardless of the role. ‘Be nice to the people on the way up, you might meet them again on the way down’. That may mean that you need to put your ego in your back pocket.

Need greater clarity or alignment regarding roles or any other aspect of ways of working?

If yes, why not talk to us.

SOLUTIONS & SERVICES: Here are some of the ways that our research & insights are put to work by our clients:

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