As a Leadership Coach we often facilitate new leader assimilation for our clients.

What is it?

A facilitated dialogue between the new leader and the team. This process was originally developed and used at GE. It creates a structured meeting for new leaders and the new team to quickly acclimate to a change in leadership.

What Does it Do?

  • Accelerates transition time by providing the team with a structured way to update the new leader on critical information facing the team
  • Provides a process for the new leader to provide the team with critical information that the team will need to know from the new leader.
  • Speeds up the process that typically happens by trial and error where a new leader slowly uncovers the issues and challenges facing the team.
  • Speeds up the process for team members to understand the concerns, new practices, expectations and preferred style of the new leader.
  • Compresses months of “getting to know” the new leader to a few intense hours.

 This process will: 

  • Speed up the integration of the leader and the team
  • Uncover for the leader key issues facing the team
  • Help settle the team’s uncertainty of what to expect from a new leader
  • Address rumors that create gossip and lead to losses in productivity

Questions/Statements for the team to ask of themselves and present to the new leader for discussion:

  1. The things we have heard about this new leader are:
  2. What things would you like to know about the new leader?
  3. What does the new leader need to know about this team?
  4. What things are going well in the organization?
  5. What things are not going well in the organization?
  6. How would you rate the team effectiveness on a scale of 1-10? (1 = least effective and 10 = most effective.)
  7. What are the major roadblocks to achieving team goals?
  8. What concerns does the team have about the transition to this new leader?
  9. List the key issues the new leader needs to address over the next 90 days, with recommendations to deal with the issues.
  10. What support do you need from the new leader?
  11. If you could change one thing about the team, what would that be?

Questions/Statements for the new leader to present to the team for discussion:

  1. The things I have heard about this team are:
  2. The things I would like to know about this team are:
  3. It would be helpful for the team to know these things about me:

Think about and share what you value, how you want direct reports to show up, asking for permission or forgiveness, decision making, team work, collaborating, etc.

  1. My leadership style is…
  2. My expectations of the team are:

What would you need to see your direct reports doing or saying at the end of 90 days that would have you say they are doing a great job and are on the right track.

  1.  My top five accomplishments in my life and career are:
  2. Why they are important to this role and building this team:
  3. The situations where I am most effective are:
  4. My biggest development area is:
  5. The concerns I have about this team are:
  6. I think my biggest contribution to this team will be:
  7. The support I need from this team is:

As a new leader this will jump start your team to accomplish in a half-day what it would take months of trial and error for the team to experience. Remarkably most leaders have never heard of this!

Give it a try!