Transitions at the Top
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Transitions at the Top : What Organizations Must Do to Make Sure New Leaders Succeed

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Clear, actionable guidance toward managing a major leadership change Transitions at the Top is an insightful, informative guide to navigating a change in leadership. A smooth transition is critical to both the health of the organization and the success of the new leader, but good planning and strong strategy can help organizations come out fresher and more driven on the other side. This book provides the specific principles, guidelines, and actions that boards, C-suite executives, and HR leaders need to guarantee a successful CEO transition. Continuity is key as one leader passes the mantle to a successor, and this book spans the steps and events that take place from when the candidate accepts the offer, all the way through the point where a critical mass of followers have accepted him or her as the established leader. Coverage includes guidance on who should be engaged in the process, as well as role-specific advice for each member of the transition management team. Many books have been written to advise new incoming CEOs, but there is little guidance available for the organization as a whole.
This book provides actionable advice on smoothing the transition without breaking stride. * Maintain continuity during leadership transitions * Strengthen focus on culture, systems, and processes * Engage all influential executives in smoothing the transition * Lay a foundation to help the new leader succeed The transition management team plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the organization during a time of major change. Strong strategy becomes critical when an organization is in flux, and high engagement is key. Transitions at the Top provides expert insight, clear guidance, and a solid plan for a smoother transition.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 161 x 234 x 50mm | 476g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1118975081
  • 9781118975084
  • 1,086,775

Flap copy

It has been estimated that 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job, regardless of whether they were hired from outside the company or promoted from within. This failure rate is becoming enormously costly for businesses. The annual cost of CEO departures is $14 billion dollars in the United States alone. Despite an overabundance of resources targeting incoming executives, this trend shows no signs of reversing. So, the arrival of Transitions at the Top is cause for celebration, because this is the first book that addresses the real core of the issue--the management of CEO transitions by major players within the company.

Board members, outgoing CEOs, human resources executives, and senior managers play an absolutely crucial part in ensuring that incoming CEOs are successful in those critical first eighteen months. Without organization, planning, and strategy on the part of these leaders, CEO transitions are problematic at the outset. Yet major players tend to think their job ends as soon the board's offer is accepted. Transitions at the Top explains why this is a myth, and why it's one of the most costly rrors a business can make. The key people involved with C-suite transitions have the power to ensure that the transition is successful--if they understand their oles and follow the necessary steps.

Leadership transition is more complex than many realize, affecting the company's strategy, operating efficiency, and culture. The authors of Transitions at the Top break down every stage in the process, including the adjustments required by everyone involved. These include individual adjustments on the part of the outgoing CEO, the directors, and others, and also large-scale systemic adjustments that involve everyone, at every level. In many ways, these systemic changes are really where the challenge of CEO transitioning lies. This book details the fundamental strategic, political, cultural, and operational tasks that each of the key stakeholders must perform in order to secure a successful change of leadership.

Transitions at the Top may just be the missing link for the growing number of organizations that need to successfully manage leadership changes. With chapters dedicated to board members, outgoing CEOs, Chief Human Resources Officers, and senior managers, this book delivers must-know information within an overall transition framework that, based on the authors' more than eighty years of combined experience, works. By focusing on the real driving forces on the organization's side of the transition equation, Transitions at the Top proves indispensable to the success of an organization at this game-changing time.
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Back cover copy

Ensure the Success of Critical C-Suite Transitions from Within

It has been estimated that 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job, regardless of whether they were hired from outside the company or promoted from within. This failure rate is becoming enormously costly for businesses. The annual cost of CEO departures is $14 billion dollars in the United States alone. Despite an overabundance of resources targeting incoming executives, this trend shows no signs of reversing. So, the arrival of Transitions at the Top is cause for celebration, because this is the first book that addresses the real core of the issue--the management of CEO transitions by major players within the company.

Board members, outgoing CEOs, human resources executives, and senior managers play an absolutely crucial part in ensuring that incoming CEOs are successful in those critical first eighteen months. Without organization, planning, and strategy on the part of these leaders, CEO transitions are problematic at the outset. Yet major players tend to think their job ends as soon the board's offer is accepted. Transitions at the Top explains why this is a myth, and why it's one of the most costly errors a business can make. The key people involved with C-suite transitions have the power to ensure that the transition is successful--if they understand their roles and follow the necessary steps.

Leadership transition is more complex than many realize, affecting the company's strategy, operating efficiency, and culture. The authors of Transitions at the Top break down every stage in the process, including the adjustments required by everyone involved. These include individual adjustments on the part of the outgoing CEO, the directors, and others, and also large-scale systemic adjustments that involve everyone, at every level. In many ways, these systemic changes are really where the challenge of CEO transitioning lies. This book details the fundamental strategic, political, cultural, and operational tasks that each of the key stakeholders must perform in order to secure a successful change of leadership.

Transitions at the Top may just be the missing link for the growing number of organizations that need to successfully manage leadership changes. With chapters dedicated to board members, outgoing CEOs, Chief Human Resources Officers, and senior managers, this book delivers must-know information within an overall transition framework that, based on the authors' more than eighty years of combined experience, works. By focusing on the real driving forces on the organization's side of the transition equation, Transitions at the Top proves indispensable to the success of an organization at this game-changing time.
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Table of contents

Preface xiii Acknowledgements xix Introduction 1 The Transition Challenge 3 The Roots of Failure 7 Complexity 7 Thinking Errors 8 Execution Errors 9 Roles for Success 11 The Board s Role 11 The CEO s Role 13 The CHRO s Role 15 The Senior Managers Role 17 1 Complexity and Critical Crossroads 21 Complexity 25 Individual Adjustments 25 CEO 25 Board 27 CHRO 29 Senior Managers 32 Systemic Adjustments 34 Strategic 34 Operational 36 Political 39 Cultural 41 Summary 45 2 Three Destructive Myths 47 Myths Plaguing Transitions at the Top 56 Myth 1: People Join Companies All the Time It s No Big Deal 58 Myth 2: Our Job Is Done When the One We Want Says Yes 62 Myth 3:We Know What He Can Do 65 How Transition Myths Bar Productive Thinking 71 Lack of Empathy 71 Lack of Learning 73 Lack of Questioning 74 Leaving Tough Questions Unanswered 76 Summary 79 3 Errors of Execution 81 Relationship between Incumbent and Successor 85 Preparing for Only One Transition 90 The Leader Who Departs 90 Derivative Defections 93 Mismanaging the Transition Process 96 Not Organizing and Interpreting the Right Information 96 How Things Really Get Done 97 Culture and Power Structure 98 Power and Influence 104 Not Preparing Major Players for the Right Roles 106 Mishandling the Onboarding of the New Leader 109 Summary 114 4 The Board s Role 117 Directors as Major Players 121 Oversight for the Transition 127 Managing Relationships 134 Judging Performance 143 Expectations 146 Cultural and Political Attention 148 Summary 150 5 The CEO s Role 153 Controlling the Steps and Pace 157 Role 158 The Search and the Transition 162 Ensuring Other Players Do What They Must 166 Self-Management and Self-Awareness 171 Summary 177 6 The CHRO s Role 179 Great Senior Staffing Support 185 Help for the New Leader 192 What the New Leader Must Do 192 Learning 193 Visioning 194 Coalition Building 196 Methods and Mechanisms for Relationships 198 Connecting 201 Listening 203 Summary 210 7 The Senior Manager s Role 215 Shaping Organization Opinion 220 Delivering Support 227 Building Winning Relationships 234 Summary 241 8 Summary 245 Index 253
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About Dan Ciampa

DAN CIAMPA is an advisor on CEO transitions, operations improvement, culture change, and top-level organization for implementing new strategies. He was chairman and CEO for Rath & Strong, Inc., and named by Businessweek as among the top five CEO advisors. He is author of four other books, including Right from the Start, with Michael Watkins. For more on his background, see www.danciampa.com. DAVID L. DOTLICH, PD, is president of Pivot Leadership, a Korn Ferry company, and is an advisor and coach to CEOs and boards of companies such as Telstra, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Ericsson, and DPDHL. He is an entrepreneur who has started, grown, and sold two large companies and is a former executive vice president of Honeywell International. He is the author of 12 books on leadership and has been named one of the Top 50 Coaches in the United States.
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