Around my office I am the “New Guy”. Eight weeks in it seems like 8 months, but honestly how effective are you 8 weeks into a new job. I like to think I am moving the bar already and truth be told we have tackled low hanging fruit. Process issues have already been addressed with quick fixes.
It is helpful for anyone starting out to score a few points in their first game with a new team, or in my case to fix a few things that make the business operate more efficiently and effectively right out of the gate. So I can check a couple of easy wins off my bucket list, then reality sets in. Now comes the hard part.
I was brought in to help transform our organization’s HR practices. To do this I need to challenge the norm’s, change the energy, ask for what I need, and at times take some risks and beg for forgiveness when I overstep or step out of the boundaries that have existed. It’s hard to transform a function and an organization. I am not alone in this endeavor, there are a few new guys and gals in leadership roles that have been brought in the past 12 months. As Marshall Goldsmith often says “what got you here won’t get you there”.
The hardest part is trying to instill new ways or different approaches with a train moving full speed ahead. There is little time to plan or test. No one has extra time to discuss and if it’s not broken why are we fixing it? We ask the “WHY” in everything we do in our organization so it goes beyond change, it goes to culture too.
Some days I go home with that queezy feeling in my stomach, not sure if I am pushing the right agenda, asking the right questions or doing whats best for the organization. It’s not confidence, but direction that is called into question. I know what worked and didn’t in my past roles. I teach this stuff in grad school so I know the technical aspects like the back of my hand. Still there is a level of uncertainty. I keep reminding myself I was hired for a reason.
Once in a while I make a change and do get feedback. So far it has been positive in relation to the process improvements so I feel good for a fleeting moment. Some of the folks here are not comfortable with my assertive and direct personality. I also keep reminding myself that perception becomes reality too. Are they seeing the change or only my personality? Is my style getting in the way of substance?
Change is uncomfortable. Most people think it’s that way for the recipients of the change. Here’s a secret, it is uncomfortable for the individuals implementing the change too. If you’re the new person at work take heart, your feelings and experience is normal and to be expected. Don’t let it overwhelm you.
I have heard some strategic folks say you should “be the change”. To that I say, I am not Gandhi just the new guy….but I am working on it!