About Resources in Action

Resources In Action is an executive coaching and consulting firm that has been serving leaders, executives and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. We support our clients in achieving their objectives by converting key issues to actionable recommendations. We help both individuals and organizations to successfully manage transitions. Our approach focuses on supporting our clients in clarifying their decision making processes, increasing positive impact on others and boosting profitability and growth.


Making the ROI of Talent Management Work for YOU

Senior executives are changing jobs at rates faster than ever and the consequences of poor talent management are significant. According to one study by Booz Allen Hamilton (2007), global CEO turnover is at roughly 15%. This is the highest it has been in the past decade. Another study shows that 40% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months (Talent Strategies Update, 2006).  In fact, there’s a 50% chance an executive will quit or be fired within his/her first three years. (Aon Consulting, 2005)  With odds like that it is no surprise that leading corporations are investing significant dollars on talent management, onboarding programs, and formal mentoring programs for new or transitioning executives.

If you have recently transitioned to a new role within your company be sure to ask about internal onboarding support and take advantage of existing best practices in the field including individual coaching, leadership style profiles and executive team development. Recognize your company has made an investment in you well beyond your salary and sign-on bonus.  Take the initiative to explore important questions that can make or break your success.

  • What key results are needed now?
  • What attributes are most admired in this corporate culture?
  • What does it take to be seen as a leader here?
  • Who are the informal and formal opinion leaders?
  • What is the story of success in this division or company?

Next, it is key to understand that a successful transition takes time. Research suggests on average a mid-level senior manager needs slightly more than six months to “break even”—he or she begins to contribute to the organization at a level equal to the cost of bringing him or her on board (Wells, S. J.  “Diving In”. HR Magazine, 2005, March).  Set realistic goals during your transition and manage performance expectations to avoid early burn out or worse—deadly mistakes.

Successful onboarding is also a team effort. Make sure that you engage your direct reports in the onboarding process. Leverage their history and knowledge within the company to introduce you to key customers, stakeholders, and other departments.  Listen carefully to the issues that surface, the stories told and the needs for change that are presented to you.  Your team is a vital mechanism  to help you acculturate quickly to the new work place environment.

Perhaps the most difficult element of onboarding is handling your own  “blind spots”. Despite your technical expertise, be aware that it’s the soft skills that often hinder a career.   A transition coach can be an important resource for improving your public speaking, executive presence, or time and project management.

A comprehensive, systemic approach is best for successfully managing the ROI of new talent. Managing the ROI of talent management is a team effort, that requires clear strategy, focus and authentic dialogue to make the most of a successful executive transition.

Emerging Leadership Levers

Highlights from GILD (Global Institute for Leadership Development) sponsored by Linkage Inc. Recently, I attended the Leadership Development Institute sponsored by Linkage in San Diego, CA. Attendees at the San Diego meeting included about 500 worldwide leaders. I served as one of the executive coaches. I thought that this was the best ...


Onboarding? On-boarding? On boarding? Assimilation?

In my readings and discussions I've found that there is a great deal of disagreement about what precisely this specialized type of executive coaching ought to be called. So, I thought we could put it to a vote. I created a poll on an online quiz site: What should the ...


CEO On-boarding Question #2

How do you differentiate between a bad hire and an on-boarding problem? When is it too late to fix an on-boarding problem and you know you have to try again? Reality Even those with good judgment and a good track record sometimes make bad hiring decisions. In our experience the best solution to ...


Coaching New Managers Radio Show on Voice of America

On May 21,2007 I appeared with three other coaches on a Voice of America business broadcast to discuss "Coaching New Managers" with Tom Floyd of IE Consulting. While new managers have some of the same needs and challenges as new executives there are some distinctive differences in the onboarding process ...


CEO On-boarding: Question #1

Which situations are the most likely to cause the worst on boarding problems? How can the CEO (or hiring manager) identify these situations in time to take corrective action? “Begin with the end in mind,” is an old planning adage, which is especially applicable to the on-boarding process.The first on boarding ...