Onboarding & Integration
Helping incoming and newly promoted executives to succeed
The appointment of any leader to a new role is a decisive moment in both the executive’s life and that of the organisation. Yet while great energy and attention is often given to the selection of that leader in terms of the search process, there is another element to the appointment that, in our view, is equally important: making sure the leader is well prepared for success.
Onboarding of new executives is not just “nice-to-have”
In cases where a C-level hire does not work out, it is often not because of an error of recruitment but due to issues that arise in the first six months of tenure: these can include inadequate preparation; cultural misunderstandings; lack of contextual awareness; misjudgement of internal politics; and a lack of executive committee knowledge. The first three to six months are therefore critical for the success (or failure) of a new hire – no matter how experienced the new leader might be. An organisation must therefore devote significant attention to the transition of that new leader, regardless of whether he or she is an internal or external hire. It is all the more crucial when the new leader is the first external CEO in a family-owned enterprise, and still more so when it is the executive’s first time working for a family business or private equity investor.
AvS – International Trusted Advisors have made it an integral part of any Executive Search process to support our clients – and the newly appointed hire – during the critical onboarding and integration process. We believe that a well planned and executed integration plan, which also focuses on cultural integration, can significantly reduce the time it takes new leaders to reach their full effectiveness and reduce the risk of failure.
Integration is even more important for Chief Executives and CXOs
The more senior the role, the more important an integration programme is. And for a new CEO, it is a pre-requisite. Especially in difficult and challenging situations, such as in an economic downturn or a pandemic, new CEOs will have even less time to prove themselves and build trust. A planned and active integration programme should begin early (before the start date) and continue through the first six months. It thereby provides critical and timely support, and ensures the new CEO lands well, building trust, demonstrating quick wins, and setting the right priorities, so as to fulfil their potential.