An Accelerated New Leader Assimilation Process

An Accelerated New Leader Assimilation Process

Leveraging group communication technology, expert process design and facilitation to enable rapid connection and alignment

By Lenny Lind, Covision and Andrew Cohn, Lighthouse Consulting

As any experienced executive takes on a new assignment, he or she faces immense challenges. Immediately there is an organization to learn – with systems, strategies, programs, history, personalities, all mixed together with hopes and dreams. And that’s all before the new leader proposes anything new. Each person navigates this transition in their own way, but there are known smart and smarter approaches to draw upon.

For many years, organizations and leaders have used the “New Leader Assimilation Process” as a method for aligning incoming senior leaders with their direct reports. This process of carefully structured conversations is designed to build understanding both ways between leader and team as quickly as possible. Corporations in particular have enjoyed the benefits of this process, including:

  • Open communication and rapid integration among the new team
  • Clearer expectations and requirements among team members
  • Deeper understanding of the people on the team and the issues they need to address
  • Open exchange around the leader’s aspirations, objectives and concerns
  • Higher appreciation of “what works” and “what doesn’t” for the leader and for the team
  • Enhanced trust and alignment

These are tangible benefits created by highly participative conversations.

Now there is an even smarter approach – more accelerated and deep. Consider the value of achieving the same benefits not only with a new leader’s direct reports, but also with leaders several tiers down, or within a whole division. 

New Leader Assimilation

Using the power of communication technology together with innovative design, the benefits of small, highly-engaging meetings can be realized in much larger groups. Can you imagine the same feeling – as a participant or leader — in a group of 500 as in one of 50?

In addition to the benefits of the previous process, the new approach features

  • Large scale dialogue, technology-enabled
  • A dynamic design for drawing out current realities and understanding
  • Expert meeting management and facilitation of the large group, in the room and/or connected virtually
  • Coaching for the new leader and key stakeholders throughout the process

The Accelerated New Leader Assimilation Process provides a new executive the truest grasp of the situation that he or she is inheriting, and a strengthened connection with all of those s/he will be leading.

Further, the new leader can harvest vital input from a broad range of contributors across the organization, safely and inclusively. He or she can give “first reaction” responses to all the input (with expert support, of course) across all the key topics and build mutual understanding and trust simultaneously. Alignment will happen naturally and more quickly than was previously possible, powerfully creating a conscious, grounded, connected path forward – like a roadbed – for successful collaboration.

If your mind works like ours, you might be thinking: “What’s the catch? Is it too good to be true?” The news is good – the underlying method has been used for decades in thousands of important and large meetings, all over the world. It is proven to yield effective results. But now we have adapted the Assimilation Process for larger-scale meetings. The only “catch” is that a leader must invest a small amount of vulnerability and curiosity in exchange for large returns in understanding, clarity, alignment and trust. This process enables the organization to more easily pave the road ahead together.

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For further information and customization to your situation, connect with us.

© Lenny Lind & Andrew Cohn 2017

Lenny Lind is a meeting design strategist and chairman/founder of Covision. Covision provides design and technical production expertise worldwide for clients who desire a quantum jump in the effectiveness of their next large meeting. You don’t need Covision to covision, but it helps to work with experts in the beginning. lind@covision.com

Andrew Cohn is a trusted counselor and consultant to leaders and their organizations across the globe. He works with leading companies, bringing together teams to achieve meaningful success together. andrew@lighthouseteams.com

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