The First 100 Days as a CEO

The approach a new CEO takes during their first 100 days can determine whether they succeed or fail

FIRST impressions count!  The approach that a new CEO takes during their first 100 days can largely determine whether they succeed or fail.  But how to get it right?  In an article in the second issue of the SVA Consulting Quarterly, six non-profit CEO’s – including Goodstart’s Julia Davison, Jonathan Crowston from The Centre for Eye Research, and Jan Owen from the Foundation for Young Australians – open up about how leaders can make the biggest impact and best impression during their first 100 days.

Here are five lessons from the article:

  1. Engage with the organisation before your first day: There are a range of ways to do this, for example, asking for papers from recent board meetings, polling staff about key issues, or shadowing the existing CEO before they step down;
  2. Gain visibility by meeting as many people as possible: CEOs will typically set out to meet board members, direct reports, other staff, external stakeholders, and people in other organisations working in the same industry;
  3. Clarify management and governance arrangements: For example, make sure that it is clear who has decision-making responsibility and what is the approved line of communication between the board and senior management;
  4. Understand the organisation’s finances: This includes understanding the organisation’s financial statements, how finances are administered, and what systems are in place for disclosure and control; and
  5. Assess the organisation’s strategic direction: Is the organisation performing well, or does it need a completely new strategy? Unless there’s a crisis, or you have prior knowledge or direction from the board, it is best to spend time assessing the organisation for more than the first 100 days before making any major strategic decisions.

For the full article: click here.

Insights from Australia’s Leading Social Sector Consulting Firm

SOCIAL VENTURES Australia (SVA) is a relatively new non-profit organisation.  Founded in 2002, SVA invests in social change projects to help increase the impact and build the sustainability of high potential organisations in the social sector.  SVA currently supports a range of promising organisations including AIME, STREAT, and Teach for Australia.

The consulting arm of SVA, aptly named “SVA Consulting“, is an even newer beast. Founded in 2007, SVA Consulting has quickly become Australia’s leading specialist consulting practice for the social sector.  Over the last 5 years, SVA Consulting has worked with over 160 organisations and delivered over 350 projects. Think of SVA Consulting as the “McKinsey” of the social sector.

Australia has a long history of coming up with innovative ideas: the Hills Hoist, the black-box flight recorder, and Cochlear implants. However, up until recently, the non-profit sector in Australia has borrowed heavily from ideas developed in the US, in particular from insights developed by the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Building on Australia’s long history of thought leadership and innovation, we are excited to report that SVA Consulting has decided to make their hard-won insights freely available to the public with the view to creating positive change in the social sector.  Launched on 16 August 2012, the SVA Consulting Quarterly is a new online publication dedicated to sharing new ideas, tools and methodologies with leaders, managers, and thinkers in the Australian non-profit sector.

To read the first issue of the SVA Quarterly, please click here.