Monday, March 12, 2007

A new role

About 2 weeks back I mov ed to a new role as CTO of a large retail company. While I was getting ready to handover and move on, a lot of thoughts dwelled in my mind on what to expect in the new place. The incumbent had left a few months earlier. At the sametime I realized that the position that I am vacating will remain unfilled for sometime until the new person comes onboard.

So I was preparing the "handover document" which I discussed with my manager and team members on what to expect. All present agreed on the overall direction and steps outlined for continuity of projects and other issues. Overall I would say a relatively easy task. Yes, there is an impact when someone leaves, but that can be reduced with some planning.

My expectations in the new place were based on my behaviour at the last job. So when I came on board, I expected some kind of handover document to be given to me to study and get along with the job after a brief induction. But that was not to be.

Over 2 weeks, I have had meetings with business heads who have been taking great pains to put me at ease with the organization and its culture. It's been a journey with fast track learning of the opportunities and challenges; the marketplace and some references to IT. Meetings with my new team members talked about what exists and some of what is planned. All in all I did not miss the proverbial "handover document", as the picture emerged clear during the discussions.

I found this refreshing and participative approach work better than what it would have been if I had been provided with a document. So my frame of reference is people and not a document. I believe that this is a better approach.

What has been your experience across job changes ?