BLUF: When one is hired to make changes in the first 90 days, how does one tactfully accomplish that?
Understanding that the "first rule" of business is to refrain from making changes or implementing new processes for the first 90 days, I was hired to do just that: make changes ASAP.
I'm in Day 3 of my new job at an entirely new company in an entirely new state (nope, no more Denver) and I report directly to the President (and also receive guidance from her husband, the CEO.) This is a small-ish privately held company. The business was started by the President 22 years ago. There are approximately a total of 40 employees (including myself.)
As such, throughout the growth of the business, the President has been able to maintain direct control over 90% of the business operations, fielding ALL of the day-to-day, front-line inquiries, client inquiries, process improvement projects, all of it. As one might imagine, with the growth they've experienced (they've hired three of us in the past month and are looking to double in size (client-base/revenue) over the next five years), the hands-on approach the President had for years has become unmanageable. There's just not enough of her to go around.
I've been told directly (though not in these specific words) that I need to serve as the gate-keeper, filter, funnel, to field about 80% of the day-to-day crud that has historically gone directly to the President (and founder) of the company. As a smaller company (read: less structured, not quite corporate, externally professional but not as much as one might expect internally), the expectation is that there will be demonstrable improvements sooner rather than later.
This isn't a giant corporation where it will take two years to develop a project, map out the scope, have committee and sub-committee meetings, have multiple presentations and guest speakers, etc. before forward progress begins.
Similarly, I would not want to start making changes on Day 3 when I know nothing about the systems, processes or procedures in place!
That said, there are some basic changes that I am expected to implement as soon as possible:
- reroute production issues to me (rather than the President),
- make 80% of the calls on client relationship management issues (funneling the other 20% over to the Director of Client Services),
- begin shaping / coaching / providing more structure for the Enrollment Manager to best utilize her team
- develop the functional department heads into stronger individuals prepared for the impending growth without sacrificing current progress.
As it is, during the interview / site visit process before the position was officially offered to me, I had met with those department heads and introduced my M.O. which includes O3's, their function and all of that. We met yesterday and will begin O3's next week.
*I* feel like I am moving at an appropriate though fast pace. I'm getting the sense from the CEO that he'd prefer a magic wand to be waved and all the annoyances that plagued him last week (the day to day stuff) would have ceased by now, Day 3. Meanwhile, the President has been so busy that I haven't seen her since 9am two days ago and she's travelling all of next week. Given the processes she created and instilled on the floor, I'm getting the sense that she has a very different vision to a certain extent. (She seems to like things to follow a very specific order, direction, planned out and so forth whereas he tends to be more conceptual and driven by the end result rather than how or how long it takes to get there.)
I want to be able to do all those things - make improvements, develop the people, streamline processes (down the road), serve as the funnel, take ownership of 80% of the daily grind - while still holding true to the President's vision of how it all gets done. I also don't want to be "that psycho who wanted to change everything the first week" even though that seems to be what the CEO wants.
Words of wisdom or advice appreciated.