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Issue 66 - 02 | Beyond Sink or Swim: The Case for Accelerating Leadership Transitions

By Michael Watkins and Doug Soo Hoo
Published Jan. 13, 2010 10:56 p.m.
“Given the magnitude of the overall organizational impact, it is surprising how few companies invest in helping their precious leadership assets to succeed during transitions—the most critical junctures in their careers. A few companies (GE, for example) explicitly train their managers how to take charge. More common are “on-boarding” programs that introduce outside hires to the strategy, businesses, and culture of the company. While useful, such programs seldom provide systematic guidance on the process of managing a successful transition. And the vast majority of companies do not provide any support at all. Why do so many companies leave their people to sink or swim?”

About Michael Watkins and Doug Soo Hoo | Michael Watkins is the Chairman of Genesis Advisers. His new book is Your Next Move: The Leader’s Guide to Navigating Major Career Transitions (Harvard Business Press; hardcover; Oct. 5, 2009). Michael is also the author of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels,which published from Harvard Business Press in 2003. Doug Soo Hoo is an affiliate of Genesis Advisers. He recently retired as Director of Learning and Development after 21 years at Johnson & Johnson.

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