Should New Executives Practice Adaptive Leadership?

Written by Datis Admin

July 18, 2018

Should New Executives Practice Adaptive Leadership?

Turnover for executive-level positions within Health and Human Services organizations can be a challenging yet exciting time for everyone involved. Both the new executive and the organization have so much to offer one another, but there is always the possibility that your organization may be hesitant to adapt to the new executive’s processes and vice versa.

While change isn’t always bad, too much change brought about by an executive could lead to an unhappy and disengaged workforce. Tensions between the newly onboarded executive and their new organization could also lead to a higher turnover rate in the upcoming months. So what exactly can be done to ensure that the new executive is properly adjusting to a new workplace? Can the new executive practicing adaptive leadership techniques ease the process?

Practicing Adaptive Leadership
It’s important that newly hired executives understand that they are entering a workplace with a pre-established culture and identity. While it is important for these new members to contribute to the team, they may benefit even more from taking a step back and learning from the mistakes and successes of their predecessors.

QVC’s CEO, Mike George, does an excellent job of this by requiring his new executives to spend their first six months learning about the organization before jumping into their position’s responsibilities. This not only allows the new executives to better understand the workings of their new organization, but also allows the team to see if the executive will be a smart fit for the organization. While this may not be a practical process for all organizations, particularly smaller ones in a rapidly changing industry, it allows new executives to familiarize themselves with the current practices, softwares, and culture that already exist within the organization. This can ultimately reduce the cost of a bad new hire, especially for those essential executive roles.

An Adaptive Workplace
While new executives should learn to adapt to their new organization, it’s also important for the workplace to be open to the executive’s ideas and future plans. It is important to have faith and trust in the new executive’s judgment and decision-making skills.

On average, 47% of Health and Human Services nonprofit executives that leave their organization will continue working in executive positions within the nonprofit sector. New executives, especially those with relevant backgrounds and experiences, can help take their new organization to new heights. Being adaptable to new changes implemented by newly-hired executives can be very rewarding in the long run.

The New Workplace
In order for this new found relationship to excel, both parties are going to need to adapt. Organizations need to be accepting of the perspective that new team members bring, and newly appointed executives must be aware of the current culture and work environment engrained within their new workplace.  Trust and understanding is required by both sides when bringing in a new, experienced executive.

While this transition period is an exciting time for organizations, it must be treated with precaution. Rushing into the hiring and onboarding process of a new executive could cause unnecessary costs for an organization if it doesn’t work out. Fortunately, if this transition is approached the right way, it can be a valuable change that helps accelerate organizational growth.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carlos Lozano, DATIS, on May 4th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.