How well you perform at your new role will largely be affected by how well you interface with new manager(s), colleagues, staff, stakeholders, decision makers, influencers, clients and certainly others. If you don’t create good alliances with this group of people, projects you work on will be at risk, and resultingly so will your on-boarding.
For each project or exercise ask yourself which decision makers are essential to move forward.
Decision makers are in turn influenced by the opinion of their trusted network for advice and counsel. This network, and we all have them, is essentially a shadow organization. Each of the individuals in trusted network brings influence due to either their expertise, control of information, connections to others, assess to resources (money and people), and/or loyalty. Any of these people can positively impact your efforts or derail them. You need to identify who these individuals are.
Ask your new manager for list of key people outside your group whom she thinks you should connect with (by now you should have met with key people within your group). Using the strategy in an previous blog, strive to ask these people the same set of questions.
Detractors from your efforts or projects usually caused by to one or more of these reasons:
- Desire to maintain the status quo.
- Fear of looking incompetent. E.g. adopting new technology they don’t understand.
- Threatens their power. E.g. Removing their control, recognition, or usefulness to the business.
- Negative consequence to their allies. E.g. Your changes may negatively impact people or business units they care about or feel responsible for.
The above may not be adversaries if you can just manage or mitigate any impact. Think hard about how to make it hard for them to say no. Avoid asking them to make a decision that will involve any of the above impacts.
Find alignment with key players where you projects/work can mesh or leverage each other.
Build alliances that will help you advance your work. You need Technical advisors, Cultural advisors and Political advisors, and a mix of internal and external advisors. You may have been hired to make changes that may regrettably, but unavoidably, impact others, however, for the good of the overall business. If so, you will need your own network soon.
Remember that in today’s business climate, no senior-level manager (perhaps you) is hired to maintain the status-quo. They (you?) are hired to make impactful changes to the business.