First Days in an Executive Role – The 100-Day Plan Template
You’ve been in your role for a month and undoubtedly time has flown by as you’ve been managing the day-to-day performance of your new unit. On top of climbing the learning curve of the day-to-day, you have met with your boss, peers, direct reports, customers, and other key stakeholders to gain a full spectrum of perspectives to assess your new organization. You’ve analyzed the perspectives shared and information gathered, and have drawn conclusions on what needs to be done. It’s time to begin taking action.
To sustain focus, it’s useful to structure actions to be taken into a formal plan. With my clients, the timeframes for their plans have varied. I encourage them to choose a timing horizon that suits their situation and the goals they are aiming to achieve in the short-term. Typically they are – 90-days, 100-days, and 6-months. Beyond that the goals will begin to link into the organization’s annual planning cycle. For this article, we’ll simply refer to the plan as the 100-Day Plan. There are many plan templates that exist and perhaps you’ve used one before. What is important are the critical few “buckets” of actions you will need to consider to create focus and impact in the short-term and lay the foundation for longer-term initiatives. My clients who are in new roles have found the following buckets useful to structure their action plans: strategy, performance, work, structure, people, culture and personal development.
- In light of organization’s current strategic priorities and directions what are the expectations and implications for actions you, your leadership team and employees need to take?What do you need to to ensure that strategic priorities are well understood by your unit?
- Will you need to measure performance differently?What are the critical few things you will need to tackle to improve performance in the short term?
- What actions, if any, will you need to initiate now to improve performance in the long term?
- Are there critical customer or stakeholder relationships that require immediate attention?
- Are changes required to the way work gets done to align with the organization’s strategic direction and performance expectations? Are there changes that can be implemented immediately?
- In light of strategic priorities and directions and current issues does your unit’s structure need to change? Do roles and accountabilities need to be clarified or changed?Are there missing roles or linkages that need to be defined?
- Are there actions that need to be taken to improve collaboration within your unit and externally with other areas of the organization, customers, and stakeholders?
- Are there any immediate changes that need to be made to your leadership team?What needs to be done to sustain/improve the quality of your talent pool?
- What are the critical roles and are there actions required to build bench strength in those roles?
- What actions are required to ensure employees are attracted and motivated to the organization?
- Are there shifts needed in the values, norms of behaviors and expectations of leaders and employees in your unit? If so what actions can be taken in the short-term? What resources can you draw on for the short-term and long-term?
- What resources will you need to draw on to achieve your 100-Day Plan?What capabilities will you leverage?
- What capabilities will you develop or hone?
- What support will you need from your boss? Your peers? Your leadership team? Mentor? Others?
- How will you best communicate to your organization and key stakeholders before, during and after your 100-Day Plan?
Where Consulting and Coaching Can Help with the 100-Day Plan
Working with either a consultant or coach as you develop your plan can often accelerate the process. As with the initial organizational assessment, an outside collaborator can be very helpful when it comes to determining what the critical few actions are within the next 100 days. As you implement your plan, a consultant or coach can be a resource to draw on to sustain focus on priorities, work through new issues that may arise or hone leadership capabilities essential for the situation.