Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Using CEO transitions to shake up companies

I just stumbled across a nearly 20 years old McKinsey Quarterly article on CEO transitions which I think is still very true and up-to-date. A leader's best chance to shake up a company is usually during the first months of his job. They however face a huge challenge in balancing multiple expectations and initiating the right actions without loosing the sight for the legacy and cultural issues. Like it or not, new CEOs have to start with a bunch of inherited players to discover hidden agendas, insider relationships and questionable loyalty. Selecting the right people to drive change takes time but is more important than speedy implementation. As important as making tough people and measures decisions is communication. Proactive, transparent and timely is surely better than implicit, sliced and later. Focusing on a few simple themes and balancing between short and long term helps people to realize a sense of urgency and react positively to the new direction. 

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