Integrating New Leaders with Virtual Onboarding – The Bedford Consulting Group

In the current talent environment, doing everything possible to protect your investment in a strategic hire means committing to a strong Leadership Integration process. In the context of the global pandemic and preparing for a very different future,  implementing this process through a strong Virtual Onboarding program is critical.

Leadership Integration is a strategic and intentional process that positions the new leader for accelerated assimilation by equipping them with a plan for success. This plan of action includes all the strategic elements of a new role, including functional, cultural and organizational leadership imperatives.

Significant time and financial investment has gone into filling a key executive position and yet, we know leaders are not always prepared and don’t always succeed in their transition:

  • A Harvard Business Review (HBR) study reported that 61% of executives are not fully prepared for their new role and between 50-60% of executives fail within their first 18 months on the job.
  • 32% of global executives rated the onboardingthey experienced as poor and replacing each failed executive can cost a business significantly (HBR, August 2018).

An effective process provides the framework for defining what success means for a new leader – it’s a foundation for them to build from and understand what “excellence” will look like in their new role. It provides a comprehensive road map for the organization’s priorities.  We must prepare and support the integration of new leaders and ensure resources are in place for them to be successful.

The shift from traditional onboarding to Leadership Integration is much more than just getting a leader started in their role.  The typical onboarding process is only the beginning – but is an important first step. Even highly experienced executives are entering a completely new landscape and their previous success strategies might not transition successfully to their new one.  They have to re-establish political capital, develop new relationships, learn the culture and connect with their team and new peers.

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