3 Challenges of a New CPO

Welcome back! Just joining in? In my last post I discussed A.T. Kearney’s framework of tips on how to successfully navigate through your first 100 days as a CPO in a new role. Today, I’ll share three of the most challenging dimensions within the framework and suggestions to tackle those challenges.

According to Chris Clements, Director at A.T. Kearney, the following are the three most challenging dimensions in the framework:

1-Understand the organization’s culture. The goal of understanding the organization’s culture is to learn the formal and informal networks within the organization. How can you implement change that is significant and long-lasting? Understanding the culture is not necessarily about the hierarchy. You need to determine the cultural dimension when building the plan moving forward. But remember, culture is not grown (or understood) overnight. Be patient and consistent to implement long-lasting change.

For example, at Iasta, we pride ourselves on having a personable, creative and collaborative culture! We recently updated our mission and core values, and collaborated with the entire company for feedback and ideas to start the initiative. But this initiative didn’t happen overnight. We created a team of employees that provided feedback and set up a series of sessions to collaborate over the course of several months. By being patient and following a consistent process, we were able to create a new mission and core values that our entire company could feel a part of – and better understand our company’s culture.

2-Manage expectations of key stakeholders within the business. Once the new CPO arrives, the organization expects change immediately. A new CPO should understand the business objective and how to manage those expectations and objectives. Capture and monitor expectations as they occur. If an objective isn’t going to be achieved until after a particular date, communicate that expectation so no one is disappointed or discouraged. By effectively communicating objectives and expectations, you reduce the risk of a negative effect from what you’re trying to achieve.

3-Understand your role within the organization and what is expected. What is the key expectation from a budgetary and management perspective? Are you fully aware of what is expected from you as a new CPO? Establish a clear understanding of your role upfront so you can better meet expectations and effectively follow office procedures moving forward.

Although becoming a CPO in a new role is challenging, it’s a great time to share who you are and what you’re passionate about. Talk about change and what change you’d like to deliver to the business, so you can set the stage for moving forward. By following the framework in Part 1 and reviewing the tips above, you’ll have a starting point / guide for new behavior and plans.

What tips and tricks do you have from your days as a new CPO? Or what did you learn the hard way? Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @iasta!

Click here to listen to the full podcast from A.T. Kearney, “The First 100 Days as a New CPO”.

Still quiet here.sas

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