News & Insight
February 2006

Case Study: Getting Off to a Fast Start In a New company

Most employers will agree that an executive's first 100 days in a new position are critical to the success of the organization and the individual.

Developing effective relationships with stakeholders, adapting to the corporate culture and establishing their personal brand in a new organization are among the challenges that newly hired executives face. The question becomes, how can corporations expedite the assimilation of new executives so that "stars" can more quickly become "superstars"? The answer, for growing numbers of businesses, is WJM Associates' FastStart™ On-Board Coaching.

Significant Position

Recently, WJM Associates worked with a newly hired senior executive with an international leader in digital video technology. The company manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of video security and surveillance systems products worldwide.

The company had created an important new position for a group manager of marketing who would be responsible for the development and execution of marketing strategies and initiatives for the video security and surveillance, biometrics, point of sale, and medical and industrial vision product lines.

In addition to directing all marketing personnel within the organization, this new executive would work closely with the company's brand management group and external agencies/vendors to manage all advertising, Web, and public relations activities.

This was a very significant new position. The global markets for the company's products were growing rapidly, and the organization needed someone who could make a positive impact on the business quickly.

To fill this important position, the company recruited an international and domestic marketing executive who had established a subsidiary company for a U.S. manufacturer that imported equipment from Europe. A graduate of a leading international business-studies program, the executive is fluent in several languages, including German, Italian and French.

WJM Associates' Approach

To help the new executive become productive in their organization quickly, the company brought in WJM Associates to provide FastStart™ On-Board Coaching.

Fast Start™ provides new executives with critical strategies for:

  • Learning about the organization, including its culture and politics;
  • Understanding expectations of the new role;
  • Developing effective communication approaches;
  • Gaining insights into business unit processes and practices;
  • Effective knowledge transfer;
  • Recognizing common pitfalls and developing action plans to avoid or mitigate these risks;
  • Developing high quality relationships with management, peers and subordinates; and
  • Establishing targets for "early wins."

Working with a member of WJM Associates' executive and organizational development faculty, the new executive was able to establish herself in her new position more quickly than she had ever done before.

"I had relocated to this job from another part of the country, so everything was new," says the executive. "Plus, this is the largest organization for which I have worked. I found it particularly beneficial to have an external guide and sounding board who could help me adapt."

Understanding Management Styles

As part of the FastStart™ program, the executive and company president were both given assessments by the WJM Associates coach. The executive and president met together with the coach to review the results, and were able to gain an understanding of each other's management and communications styles more rapidly than they would have had they simply worked together for several months.

For three months, the executive and her coach met weekly to review her FastStart™ objectives and progress.

"My coach helped me set tangible goals each month that were realistically achievable," she says. "He also emphasized the importance of identifying key internal stakeholders who would have an impact on my role here and to really make an effort to establish effective relationships with those people early on. WJM Associates' FastStart™ program definitely helped me get up to speed in my new company more quickly than if I not had a coach there to guide me."

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