March 31, 2015

No Foolin'

I turned in the first draft of my research proposal four days ago (last Friday). I sat at the school library for seven and a half hours until I got it done. Well not all done, but as done as I could without going blind - went home and cooked dinner for my peeps then put on the finishing touches. Whew that felt good but I was concerned that it wasn't good enough - I really lost steam towards the end. I got feedback today and you could have knocked me over with a feather. "Bravo!" to quote the instructor. I was so shocked - thank goodness it's not April Fool's Day! I might make it through this afterall.
My research will focus on effective ways that leaders learn abut the organization they are transitioning to from their employees. I really wanted to address how new leaders "fit" into a new company and believe there is a significant gap in engaging direct reports to learn about the organizational culture. 
Here's a piece of my proposal intro -

I recall sitting with two executives with whom I was having a finalist interview several years ago. Though I was willing to leave a company and people I loved for a growth opportunity, it was important for me to assess how I would fit in at the new company. I asked the executives to describe their organization’s culture. One said ‘dynamic’ and the other nodded emphatically in agreement. My interpretation of the term was positive, that the company must be progressive and I was in the market for something new. I made the move and reflecting on my tenure with that company, I would definitely call it dynamic. In nine years I experienced six bosses, five job titles, three chief executive officers and associated executive level changes, as well as countless restructuring and mid-level personnel adjustments. It was a culture of constant change with a revolving door of new leaders at every level. And quite honestly I never felt like I fit in.

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