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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Not planned to Succeed.

The seeds of an incoming new Manager's failure particularly coming from another enterprise, is oftentimes sowed even before he/she arrives on the horizon. Top Management transition into in a new Company, is never easy. Inadequate thinking reveals itself through the negative assumptions built around these transitions. This only furthermore complicates the story.

No matter how bright, previously successful or experienced the incumbent may be, newly appointed leaders cannot succeed in the new Companies they are so appointed, entirely on their own. The entire eco-system needs to be harmonised to make the new incumbent succeed in the role he is appointed.

However, either through miscalculated behaviours of the new Management, or due to ignorance leading to not establishing appropriate ground-level processes to absorb the new Manager within its folds or some times through structured negative actions of the existing Management, the new Manager's job of transiting into the new role becomes many folds hindered, particularly during the early stages in the Company.

When I see new Managers in the new Company where they are appointed - failing , my mind races to identify this consequence to one of the 5 Cardinal Blunders associated with that Management. I believe each of these could be avoided if one was conscious of the possibilities of their overt or covert influence and prevalence.

To be able to do so, one must first identify these five cardinal blunders..

🤔What's so Special 😍Pile-up the Bundle 😫Premature Withdrawal 😓 Un-reconciled Sweet-hearting ✊ Know Him Well

👉 'What's so Special'...the organisation does not make any special preparations to receive the new person. Many senior people have joined the system earlier and through trials and tribulations they have somehow found their place within the system - What's therefore so Special, this time ? Smooth entry into a new Culture has to be systematically planned or this myopic belief of the organisation will be fraught with costs and consequences as energy already invested in identifying and selecting the best candidate, will operationally - Fail

👉 'Pile-up'.. Immediately after the candidate post his selection has said 'Yes' to the job offer, the organisation stops taking all critical and also not so critical decisions. It piles it on with huge expectations to the joining of the new incumbent. So much thus eventually gets piled-up awaiting the coming of the new incumbent that the whole organisation is pregnant with expectations. Even before he is enculturised or socialised, the new incumbent is deep into operational decisions making.

👉 'Premature Withdrawal'.. through the entire process of 'Induction-Enculturisation & Socialisation' of the new incoming leader, the Senior Management team has to be seen sponsoring an protecting him. It is a very delicate state that needs to be provided protection till the new incumbent is ready and sufficiently soaked in the culture to move on . Sometimes, the Boards/CEOs or Top Management withdraws their hand-holding rather too early. This poses a problem for the new leader who has moved-in as much as it leads to the problem in the system.

👉 'Un-reconciled Sweet-hearting' !! Expectations of some internal aspiring candidates may have been bashed upon appointment of a new candidate from the outside. It generally is more serious than mere sulking. These issues of the old Sweethearts has to be reconciled. If not, the new incumbent becomes the 'displaced' punching back of the old incumbent and undesirably , he gets dragged into unwarranted political showdown and political polarisation that lead to collapse of the system.

👉 'Know Him Well'.. somehow the CHRO, CEO or the Board, post their interview seem to believe that they know 'him' (the new incumbent) rather well. This misplaced assumptions about knowing the incumbent and his abilities etc. rather well, without actually seriously gauging the short-comings of the incumbent, is a contributor to early failure of the new incumbent.

Success of a new incumbent appointed in senior most roles particularly moving into the alien culture of a new enterprise has many collateral expectations from the eco-system that it needs to thrive on. Any of the 5 cardinal blunders discussed above, contribute to denigrating the critical 'success' support expected by the new incumbents from the enterprise eco-system.

These cardinal blunders are grossly destructive by nature. They lure smart people who are appointed into senior roles, to fail in their new roles particularly where the successors to very senior roles are parachuted into the Co from other cultures and expected to implement culture transformation and a change agenda in that enterprise. A sure-shot recipe for disaster !

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