Welcome to the Notes from the Field Series! In this series of posts, Alice will talk about how she used the five elements of innovative leadership and steps from the leadership development process to select a new job and effectively transition into her new role. She will explore each element and provide examples of how she applied them.
Onboarding to a new position in new field and new organization has inevitably demanded that I explore areas of personal growth. There are new processes, guidelines, time management hindrances, focuses to build organizational habits, and, of course, new people to communicate with. Such new challenges also bring the opportunity for much development and growth, both personal and professional.
Building a Professional Team
Selecting a support team or a team of trusted advisors is a great way to develop and navigate the onboarding process and support my ongoing growth goals. This team will encourage accountability and, ideally, will be mutually beneficial. Different strengths and resources on one side may bridge a gap to the other, and vice versa.
1. Define Vision and Measurable Objectives
Before beginning to assemble a professional support network that can function as an advisory board and building a well-balanced team, I must reflect on personal goals and values. Knowing which direction I’m headed helps define who will be beneficial in helping me succeed. A helpful guide through this reflection and selection of a support team can be found in the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook by Maureen Metcalf and Mark Palmer.
As a refresher – this is MY PERSONAL VISION link.
Onboarding to a new position has shed light on my knowledge-gap within my industry. I’m eagerly learning about our business drivers as well as the drivers for our partners and clients; however, there is still a great deal to learn. My focus has been to understand the business processes of each so that I can effectively communicate to the individuals I connect with, gain an understanding of what is important to them and what is motivating to them. To achieve this, my boss has invested in an industry expert to coach me on a weekly basis to bring me up to speed quickly.
Understanding where I want to go, and what I want to improve on, has been very beneficial and crucial in planning who I want to be part of my professional team.
In building a strong team for onboarding, I decided that I would like input from multiple levels within the organization:
- boss to clarify my goals and direction and provide ongoing feedback
- peers to help me understand how we interact and how my work impacts them
- three junior staff members from other departments to give me valuable insight into the organization from their perspectives in exchange for mentoring
2. Carefully Select a Trustworthy Team
My team represents various individuals who have mastered an area that I am seeking to develop. It’s also important to have a symbiotic relationship with the team to increase the longevity of the agreement. In these examples, our relationship will be mutually beneficial and of value that, does not necessarily have to be a paid arrangement. Following is a summary of the value my support team will get from our arrangement: I
- my coach is paid
- my boss gets great results
- my peers benefit from my understanding how we can most effectively work together
- junior staff will benefit from having a strong mentor.
3. Plan a Communication Arrangement
Creating a structured and successful onboarding plan requires a defined agreement between me and my support team. This includes my plan and communication of what I am looking to change so they know how to help and encourage growth. This step has been very successful because, in addition to communicating what I am looking to do, it clarifies what I am asking of them. We also had to define how much and what form of communication is mutually beneficial for the relationship. I am meeting:
- the industry coach weekly via video conference.
- my boss bi-weekly during the first six months
- my peers in bi-weekly staff meetings and monthly one-on-one meetings monthly for the first six months
- the junior staff meetings will be monthly with three female team members
Overall, my focus is to create a support team that is authentic and diverse, and will allow me to quickly get familiar with the company and build the working relationships as well as the business skills necessary to achieve initial success and continued growth. In return, I look forward to the opportunity to help others as I continue to grow, and to be able to impact further positive change in the organization and in the lives of my colleagues and clients.
Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.
photo credit: www.flickr.com airwolfhound