Follow Dave Linkedin
Email Dave Email
Human Resources
Dec 20, 2016

Taking Charge: Keep or Replace The Existing Team?

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Hoff - Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Leadership Development, EASI Consult

There are no hard or fast rules when you step into a new leadership role and are faced with whether to keep or replace the existing team.  Either way, you are under a spotlight and the first 100 days can make or break you. 

Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of either decision.

A hybrid of this either/or option happens every time we elect a new president. Every head of every agency submits his or her resignation. The new resident has about 3,000 appointments to make, and can, in fact, “hold over” – essentially reappoint - some individuals from the previous administration. The next level of employees under the appointees are the careerists. They stay in place from one administration to another, and some people feel they are the ones who actually run the government. 

Option 1: Keep the existing team

Pluses
  • You don’t have to recruit all new direct reports
  • The incumbents have a lot of institutional knowledge that is available to you
  • Work can go on underneath you while you formulate your game plan
Minuses
  • You need to do your own assessment of the staff (conducted by you or a third party) so you know their capabilities
  • You team may withhold information or sabotage your efforts
  • The staff you inherited might have been part of or contributed to why your predecessor was removed
  • You still may find that you need to replace people, and if you do it over time, it is more disruptive for a longer period than doing it all at once

Opton 2: Clean house

Pluses
  • You get to pick your people
  • You may have some people who worked for you previously that you could attract and get in place relatively quickly
  • The remaining employees are likely to be more open to change
  • The new staff does not know about - and will not attempt to hold onto - the “old” way of doing things
Minuses
  • People you recruit may not fit this culture
  • You will need to spend a lot of your personal time recruiting, which will take away from getting your arms around the business
  • It will take the better part of six months to get your new team in place
  • Your new team must learn how things “work” here
  • Your team must assess their staffs and develop their game plan
  • The organization’s output will be negatively impacted during all the changes
Either option has several negatives, but you may find a hybrid between the two alternatives. It may be that the new leader, while not from within the current division, came from another business unit of the existing organization. That might mitigate some of the issues of unfamiliarity with the organization for the new executive.

The new leader could assume the reins with the latitude to keep or change team members as he decides. If the person was internal, he or she would have an inside network to ferret out the strong players and those who might need to be changed out. 

Once, when I took over a new group of people, there were two I inherited. My boss said he would give them a severance package if I wanted. I was young and altruistic and told him I thought I could work with them.

Wrong decision. 

I spent way too much time trying to rehabilitate them, which took time away from developing and promoting my agenda. The two individuals ending up leaving the organization within six months. If I had it to do over again today, I would not have kept them.

I have also witnessed organ rejection. When I was at Anheuser-Busch, there was a senior level person brought in with the mandate to upgrade the company’s technology. The larger organization was not willing to change and didn’t want to do work differently. 

There was a very quiet but very intentional resistance and stonewalling that occurred throughout the organization. The most resistant people were the most senior. They felt they had done without technology this long, so what was a few more years? 

One day, I met this senior-level person in the company’s parking garage. He was carrying a box with his personal effects from his office. He was a very capable person, but one with no base of support in a company with an extremely strong culture. 

Making a significant change at a high level in an organization takes careful planning. The decision to make a change in the person may be the easiest, but ensuring that person is successful requires some strategic effort.

EASI•Consult® works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI•Consult’s specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI•Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email [email protected] or call (800) 922-EASI.
 

Other Posts from Dave Hoff

Block ad easi 121411839
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Tonyharrington wrar300x300

Wilmington Real Estate In 2020

Tony Harrington - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Michaelhiggins 41019104338

Preparing For The Loss Of A Spouse

Michael Higgins - Dignity Memorial
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Entrepreneurship In A Pandemic: From CSB To Business Partners

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Trending News

For $100M Waterfront Project, Construction Begins

Cece Nunn - Aug 10, 2020

Developers Plan $8.5M Spec Building In First Construction At Brunswick Megasite

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 11, 2020

Hendrick Acquires Auto Dealership From Neuwirth Motors, Completes Moves

Cece Nunn - Aug 11, 2020

Private Preschool Opening Wilmington Location

Cece Nunn - Aug 11, 2020

Home Sales Jump 34% In July, Realtors Report

Cece Nunn - Aug 10, 2020

In The Current Issue

Next In Line To Lead Ports

Brian Clark becomes the new executive director of the authority, following the retirement of Paul Coz­za, who has served as executive direct...


Planning A Bigger Sandwich Bite

Brent and Michele Brouse opened the Cape Fear region’s first Potbelly Sandwich Shop in July. Take it to the bank, it will not be their last....


Dosher Foundation Gets Golden LEAF Grant

Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation received $378,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation for an on-site well water system at the Southport hosp...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`