Transition Strategies to Overcome the High Cost of New-Leader Failure | People + Strategy

Leadership & Culture

The high failure rate of newly hired and promoted executives within 12-18 months in their new roles is well-documented. According to a report by DDI, nearly 50% of externally hired executives and 35% of internally promoted leaders fall short of performance expectations in their positions. As the business environment and workplace issues become increasingly complex, leaders, especially those transitioning into a new role, will face several challenges they will need to overcome. This article offers a framework for facilitating smoother executive leadership transitions. It includes nine factors, each with three related questions (27 in total) that organizations can use to help leaders build a clear transition plan with goals for ongoing development. A few factors and questions include: Situation (e.g., What leadership behaviors does this situation require?), Self-awareness (e.g., What will the leader need to stop/start/continue doing to be successful?), Organizational Change (e.g., What expectations need to be set? How do you align others with those expectations?), State of the Leadership Team (e.g., Are the right people on the “bus” and in the right seats?), Engaging with the Culture (e.g., Where is the balance between fitting in versus transforming the Culture? How much Change and how fast?). The article presents a case study from Schneider Electric, illustrating how integrated transition coaching can help leaders navigate complex transitions successfully.