First 90 days

Avoid being Co-opted by the Culture

It’s the first day, week or month of a new job. This is the time when many executives are most unfettered in seeing their new organizations. The first ninety days are, most of the time, spent meeting people, understanding issues, developing plans and assessing talent. It is a time when an executive sees things that will be filtered out (intentionally or not) by the end of onboarding (formal or not) with the organization. It is infinitely valuable to capture those perceptions – and to be able to come back to them later. No action is required – just preservation.

Guiding Principle: Capture the thoughts, ideas and insights of the first ninety days – you may never be able to see them again so clearly (or at all) as you integrate into the organization.

For most people, a manila file folder in a desk drawer is all that is required. When something comes to your attention, just jot it down and add a date. On a piece of paper or even on a napkin. Print an email or clip an article. Nothing fancy, nothing pretty. Just a note or a reminder. And put it in the file folder. You can continue to add to the collection indefinitely.

Periodically, review the contents of the folder. It is likely that you will find relevant perspectives and ideas that can be shared appropriately and often made actionable. Your early insights are diamonds that you will want to make shine in the light at the right time. Even those thoughts that are not validated later may provide useful food for thought as to why you had them in the first place.