Changing Roles

The President of the United States gets 100 days to prove himself; you get 90. This line is from ‘The First 90 Days’ by Michael Watkins could not be more fitting to my current situation.

Transitions are perhaps the most unplanned activity in an organization. Given my current change in role and location and having experienced my first transition, I am quickly coming to realize just how much a badly planned transition can affect your productivity. This in turn has a damning effect on morale.

I am currently caught in the middle, managing my entire previous role as well as struggling to fill in the new. No matter how exciting a transition may seem, if it’s a transition within the same organization, there will be a duration when you are juggling between responsibilities. New roles are essentially demanding. The so called ‘honeymoon period’ can be the deciding factor on the image you form on your new stakeholders.

There is however, much you can do as an individual to make the experience better and much more that the organization can do to make the transition seamless. I know of organizations that chart out a detailed Knowledge Transfer plan. I also know that is it equally important for you to establish early wins and the right contacts very early on. And then there are factors that many forget to consider. For eg: My replacement for the current role suddenly had to resign for personal reasons. We are now left in a lurch. It was a situation that my seniors did not envisage.

Right now I am caught in turmoil of activities – more old than new. Given that transitions are an integral part of organizations, it’s surprising how little attention they are given. In fear of this post sounding like a book review, I would encourage you to read ‘The First 90 Days’ by Michael D. Watkins. It’s been a brilliant read so far (I’m only halfway through).

Does your organization have a transition plan in place?

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