Shooting for the ST*RS : Building momentum in "The First 90 Days"

Congratulations!  You got the job!  You’ve just been promoted!  You won the project!  Now what?  Enter The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels. This book contains a highly tactical approach for building early momentum that will put you on a trajectory for success, regardless of whether you are in a new position or starting a new initiative.

At the heart of the book is the STARS framework, referring to four broad types of business situations:

  • Start-up
  • Turnaround
  • Realignment
  • Sustaining success

There are clear steps on diagnosing which projects fall into which category and how to develop early wins, as well as avoid common trap

As I’ve been navigating this process in my new role as Director of Strategy for the Corporate Partnership Program here at EDF, one of the most useful suggestions I have found is to, in collaboration with my boss, identify who I should speak to/learn from early on within the team and across the organization.  The book emphasized keeping to the same “script” in each meeting, so that you can collect comparable responses.

The final important step to this process was making sure to feed it back to the group.  This process served for not only introducing me to the team, but also helped build a shared understanding of where the team is; what are the challenges we are confronting; and how we might address them.

Although the title is The First 90 Days, there are relevant and succinctly articulated tips on assessing strategy and implementation that are useful well beyond the early days of a new position or initiative.