Where to start?

Congratulations, you get promoted or get a new position in a new company or get hired as a consultant. You are in charge of development!

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What to do next?

Go and talk to people.

One of the things you should look at immediately is the culture of the organization. 

There are 4 typical workplace culture which tries to define most of the characteristic of a company.

These are clan, adhocracy, marketing, and hierarchy and most of the cases one becomes the dominant behavior.

Clan culture (internal focus and flexible) – A friendly workplace.

Adhocracy culture (external focus and flexible) – A dynamic workplace

Market culture (external focus and controlled) – A competitive workplace

Hierarchy culture (internal focus and controlled) – A structured and formalized workplace

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There is a great benefit to talk 1 on 1 with everybody in your department.You can start by creating a cozy atmosphere by asking question about the person’s life out of the work to make it comfortable as possible. Don’t show off and avoid telling “how great you are, bla, bla”.

Later you can start asking questions about the path, the impact and the ease of the things a person thinks we should do inside the organization.

  • What do you think, is the most time waster thing, inside the company?
    • Time wasters are low impact and difficult to achieve ideas that are probably wasting resources.
  • What kind of tactics we should do?
    • Tactics – Ideas that are easy to execute, but that will not significantly improve the situation.
  • Where do you think, the winning moves are for the company?
    • Winning moves are high impact and high ease ideas that, you should probably begin acting on immediately.
  • And lastly, Do you have any crazy ideas, and feel free and be creative?
    • Crazy ideas that appear difficult to achieve, but that could lead to significant strides to you advancing along path. Innovative companies tend to keep ideas alive.

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When you start looking the answers, you should not just interested in action items. You should try to understand their ownership and personalities. People who have lots of “time waster” removing ideas, but not so many winning moves/crazy ideas, will struggle when you start making changes.

Some of the other questions, you should ask:

  • What is the biggest thing company trying to achieve?
  • What is the most difficult part of your work?
  • What is the biggest risk for the company at the moment?
  • Where is the companies leading edge?
  • How can we outperform competition?

You would love to work with adhocracy culture. Fail fast, learn fast. Things are in motion.

This is a culture where most of the innovation happens.

If the company has some written values, you should try to understand if they feel it or not.

After the interviews, you should go through and organize your thoughts. Please avoid putting people into boxes. You should remember they don’t know you, and it will take time to earn the trust. It will take some time before you hear the real truth.

Trust comes from predictability. People don’t know the outcome of the things, they don’t trust. You need to earn it and easy way to do is to show your personality and show who you are.

During the conversation, you should try to show what you think early on, especially with the things you agree. Just sitting and asking questions will not help. After the meeting you should try to keep the same tone as well.

If you make any changes on something as they wish, you should try to catch them later during the launch or at the coffee machine and tell them what you did and how glad you were for their idea. This way they can see the impact and you open the channels of communication.

Thanks for reading.