6 Tips For The First 90 Days

Photo of workers in an open office environment

The first 90 days at a new job are like tennis, a game best played by two: yourself and the outfit that is bringing you in. But what happens if your partner is a no-show? Or they show up and can barely play—a poor orientation program? In any case, the ultimate responsibility starts and stops with you, and 5 Dynamics can help.

This past month, LinkedIn (one of our newest customers) published a message board about the first 90 days at a new job. The post has drawn nearly a half million views and 700 comments, many of them hostile to the original poster. Who knew this was a charged third rail?

The web foams over with advice on the topic, some of it consistent (make 30-60-90—day plans for yourself and pick “easy wins”, and some of it contradictory: keep your head down, do your job and learn! Or, be bold!

Cherry-picking through all this stuff is a big job, and obviously subjective. Speaking of subjective, the best book on this is The First 90 Days: Critical Strategies for New Leaders at all Levels. The author, Michael Watkins offers advice that’s common and a lot that may be unique. Sorting through it, here are some tips embellished with 5 Dynamics resources that can speed your onboarding journey.

5 Dynamics‘ Tips for your First 90 Days:

Determine your situation: startup, turnaround, realignment, sustain success. Each requires a different onboarding strategy.

Each of these situations also causes from a different formulation of the 5 Dynamics. Figure out which is needed, and invest yourself there.

Have five topical dialogues with your boss: situation, expectation, styles, resources, personal development.

Deciphering the boss’s learning style will greatly enhance the conversation. Depending on his or her learning style, some of these topics will be easier to approach than others. A boss high in Execute and low in Explore, for example, is more at home discussing expectations than big-picture situations.

Higher up the food chain, you need to align strategy, structure, systems, skills and culture.

This looks like an adaptation of McKinsey’s famous 7s model. For each other these, 5 Dynamics‘ Success/Satisfaction model is a valuable lens for interpreting where the enterprise is in all these areas.

Build your team.

The 5 Dynamics team reports rapidly and uniquely tells you where your team is likely to concentrate or not apply its focus, time, and energies. Use this insight to avoid problems.

Create coalitions.

This is essentially about influence. Use learning styles and our new Application Influence Guide to expedite this process.

Keep your balance by: Adopting Successful Strategies / Enforcing Personal Disciplines / Building Support Systems.

  • Successful strategies: paying constant attention to the work’s location in each Dynamic raises your odds of success.
  • Personal Discipline: Look at your Energy map. Your Execute Energy is the best leading indicator of whether you can stick to a regime. (More Execute makes it easier).
  • Build Support Systems: Take your Excite temperature. If you’re low, look at this as your biggest challenge. Build your stamina here at a realistic rate.

In future blogs we’ll be looking at team onboarding, case histories, and more. Do you have any tips to share? Please let us know.

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