So impressive it should be a template

September 12, 2023 Share this article:

Richard Sterling Blog Post 1

By Richard Sterling, Partner at AltoPartners Australia.

This article was first posted on LinkedIn. To read the original post, click here.

Recently I worked with the board of a faith based not for profit organisation to help them appoint a new CEO. The board was very committed to supporting the executive search but equally and perhaps more so, committed to the new CEO’s onboarding.

The board Chair, a veteran of the financial services industry, recognised that the appointment of the CEO was not the end of the board’s efforts but rather the starting point for how they would continue to be a successful provider of critical community services.

Well before the first day on the job the new CEO was invited to a series of one to one and group meetings with the board and the executive. These meetings addressed politics, protocol, culture, context, individuals and potential problems lurking around the corner.

The objective was to establish how the board could best support the CEO and reduce the potential for any manner of failures or mistakes because of misunderstandings or insufficient information or poor information.

Furthermore, the board and the CEO explored how they would communicate with each other, the sort of information needed for decision making, how they would go about building trust and critically, how they would go about defining and measuring success not for just the CEO but for the whole organisation.

What was truly impressive was their novel solution of providing a guide to the new CEO to help with church language, rituals and conventions and the nuances of the faith.

I’ve rarely seen such a comprehensive onboarding effort in which the board was so proactive. I found it to be inspirational.

What has your experience with onboarding or being onboarded been like?