What Makes for a Smooth Leadership Transition?

Change is personal and all pervasive. As leaders, we are all working on a multitude of projects, and our roles are developing and evolving in response to the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) business context.

So, in the business world, how can leaders make a smooth transition? 

We’ve analyzed the VUCA in our recent Strategic Speed research. Businesses are transforming, and our talents are mobile. Most people are now in transition on a number of fronts, and this can impact their ability to absorb and embed change and keep focused on their strategic goals and targets.

AchieveForum’s Strategic Speed research focuses on how leaders accelerate the execution of plans and strategies and sustain speed over time. It revealed, among other things, that role transitions are only one of several types of transitions that impact strategic speed. Leaders who are successful at transitions seek to reduce the time it takes them and their teams to add value to the organization during their transitions.

These leaders focus on:

• Increasing clarity, by carefully considering the impact of their business situation on transition activities and using it to create a shared, clear understanding of the direction with their own manager, team and stakeholders

• Increasing unity, by being strategic about choosing with whom to collaborate to further their objectives and by skillfully building and maintaining alliances

• Increasing agility, by building their own and their team’s willingness and ability to turn and adapt quickly in ambiguous situations

As most employees, leaders and customers accommodate the changes they experience around them, they are in a state of perpetual transition, so the focus now is not on just the first 100 days but on having a leadership approach that will help leaders and their teams continue to be successful as they evaluate and accommodate change.