|In this Issue
In this edition of Transforming Challenges, Senior Consultant John Reid offers insights into hiring new leaders for an organization and the process that helps them succeed in the new position in his article, “Help Your New Hire be Successful”
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The Reid Group News
- John Reid and Maureen Reid have been hired by Rochester Catholic Schools in Minnesota to assist with a planning project related to a possible reconfiguration of the elementary schools in the city.
- Maureen Gallagher and John Reid will be meeting with the Board and conducting Listening Sessions in early March in Chicago as part of a planning process for the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
- Maureen Gallagher has been asked to edit the Black Catholic Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
- Maureen Gallagher has been hired by the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, Canada to work with the community on the topic of “Spirituality of Community Life”.
- Tom Reid is continuing his Results Based Fundraising project with the Education Across Borders program based in Seattle, Washington.
- Tom Reid was a participant in an Addressing Trauma & Building Resilience Training in Seattle.
- The Reid Group is a strategic partner with Tryon Clear View Group, a cost reduction company that specializes in Purchase Services Audits where they identify, verify and recover billing errors, vendor overcharges which are refundable to organizations. They then secure these reimbursements from the vendors. In addition to telecommunication, copiers, waste management and utilities charges, they also audit postal services and credit card processing. The only fee paid by the client is a percentage of the actual savings. The first two contracts secured by this strategic partnership are a college and a Catholic parish; we have received the first report of savings for one of these contracts which showed savings of $60,000 over the next five years in telecommunications alone. If you are interested in this service, contact us at info@TheReidGroup.biz.
- Our Strategic Partner Joe Sankovich has developed an important resource for dioceses and parishes with cemeteries called TOOLBOX FOR PARISH CEMETERIES. For more information go to: sankovich.com. Joe Sankovich, former director of cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Seattle, and owner of Sankovich & Associates since 1990, has developed an educational tool for parishes with their own Catholic cemeteries. Directed to pastors, parish business managers, cemetery managers/sextons/superintendents, parish cemetery advisory board members and parish finance council members, the six hard copy manuals are formatted in the same fashion as the early diocesan teaching documents for the Second Vatican Council. Sankovich waited until he had worked with/in more than 1,200 parish cemeteries in different areas of the United States, and conducted more than 100 seminars with pastors, parish and cemetery employees/volunteers, to organize and format these manuals.
- The Reid Groupis also a strategic partner with The Steier Group. The Steier Group is a national, capital campaign fundraising firm based in Omaha, Nebraska, with offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas. They provide nonprofits with customized campaign planning studies, guidance from a team of expert project managers and strategic insight designed to help our clients reach their fundraising goals. Contact Nic Prenger, Steier Group president, for more information about the firm’s services. http://www.steiergroup.com.
So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us an e-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.
Help Your New Hire be Successful
John Reid, Senior Consultant
“Well-begun is half-done!”
This adage applies to the process of hiring new leaders for an organization and following up with an orientation process that helps them succeed in the new position, contribute to living out the mission and living into the vision of the organization.
Too often, governing boards and search committees think their job is done when they have hired the new leader. In fact, their job is only half done. The second half—orientation and transition—is just as significant as the important decision to hire one highly qualified person from a field of candidates.
In The Reid Group, we have served as the search consultant for many different organizations in the last 20 years and have learned key lessons that will make the job of governing boards and search committees easier and more effective. While the two groups do not have to do all the things listed below, it is important for the success of the process that the governing board and search committee ensure that the transition process happens and includes many if not all of the following elements.
Begin with the end in mind.
This is one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly successful people, and in this context, involves imagining what the new hire can be two-three years down the road. Having that picture in mind makes it easier to design an orientation and transition experience that moves the new leader from saying yes to the initial hire to saying yes to a new contract after several years of successful leadership.
The transition process also involves the leader who is leaving.
The departing leader has an important role to play in ensuring a successful transition by leaving with integrity and lessening the learning curve for the successor through paying attention to these steps:
- Identifying the tasks they must complete before leaving.
- Beginning a task list for the new leader to consider in the first 30-45 days.
- Bringing appropriate closure to key relationships in the organization. If some of these relationships are strained or broken, the departing leader has a choice to accept that or, where appropriate, make overtures to heal the relationship.
- Saying thank you and goodbye in as many ways as possible. This both facilitates the transition of the departing leader and serves the organization well. When people have a chance to say goodbye, they have more space to say hello to the new leader.
The Governing Board or Executive Director plays a significant role by sharing the organization’s history and clarifying expectations of the new hire.
The governing board or executive director or principal must be committed to sharing the traditions, learnings and challenges of the organization. This sets the stage for conversations on how to honor those traditions, implement the learnings and transform the challenges to new opportunities. It is also important for the hiring group or individual to clarify the expectations implicit in the job description. Answering the questions of what is expected and by when prevents frustration and disappointment in all parties.
Provide coaching or other ongoing support for the new leader.
Most new leaders need to be coached or supported in the following areas:
1. The new leader has specific challenges in the orientation and transition process, especially the need to move slowly at first.
While the new leader is going to feel affirmed by being chosen for the position, he or she needs to remember this is not a carte blanche to make wholesale changes immediately. First of all, new leaders need to leave their current position in a positive way so that they will have the mental and emotional space to enter their new environment. Then, they need to resist the temptation to make rapid changes. Rather, their key task will be to listen and learn before acting and responding. Listening and learning provides the new leader with the opportunity to appreciate how things have been done and why they have been done that way. This approach has the added benefit of affirming the traditions and strategies of the past while giving the new leader an opportunity to suggest new strategies after 3-6 months.
2. Beyond the immediate task of listening and learning, the new leader should commit to in-depth sessions with key stakeholders.
The “new kid on the block” can’t presume the trust of those who have a stake in the organization — the trust has to be earned. Meetings with these groups—Board members, donors, long-time employees, those served by the organization—can forge new relationships while educating the new leader about why these stakeholders are committed to the organization and what their hopes and concerns are for the future.
3. After 6-12 months, the new leader should gather the appropriate people to form a new or renewed vision and plan of action for the organization.
Sometimes a new leader inherits a plan already in place with the expectation that they will continue implementing the plan. At other times, it will be up to the new leader to lead the effort to create a new plan based on new circumstances and new personnel. To be successful, the new or renewed vision and action plan has four characteristics in order to maximize its positive impact.
The new planning initiative must be:
- Leadership-initiated after some consultation with key stakeholders
- Shared and supported with widespread engagement of those affected by the plan
- Positive and inspiring
- Comprehensive and detailed
4. It is also imperative for new leaders to practice self-care.
There will be many pressures on new leaders as they navigate the orientation and transition processes outlined above. In this new environment with a new position and new responsibilities, leaders must be encouraged to make a strong commitment to their own physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. The more that the new leaders keep this commitment to care for themselves, the more energy they will have to care for the organization and the people it serves for years to come.
Finding new leaders and securing their acceptance of the position is the “well-begun” half of the search process. However, long term success requires careful attention to the orientation and transition work that goes beyond the original “yes.” This represents the second half of a successful hiring process. The search consultants at The Reid Group will help you get to this deeper “yes” with your new leaders, ensuring that you accomplish your search goals to a higher degree than you might have imagined.
John Reid is a Senior Partner with The Reid Group, a national consulting firm helping leaders and organizations transform challenges into opportunities to create a better world in the areas of Strategic Planning, Leadership Formation, Leadership Search, Fund Development, Conflict Resolution and Meeting Design and Facilitation. For more information about The Reid Group, its programs and services, visit our website: www.TheReidGroup.biz.
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The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning
Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.
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