This may be obvious, but I put some thought into how I was going to approach my new assignment. I recently shared these thoughts with Don Kinkela (Don is my successor as Manager of Designs Engineering). Don shared he was approaching his new position in a similar manner (does two people make it right?).
The learning I would like to share – when in a new assignment you should focus on three things – in order of priority:
- People (who work for you, who you work for (customers), and who you work with (peers and peer organizations)
- Plant (understand the process and technology that is currently in place)
- Work Processes (how does work get done)
Earlier in my career I would have initially focused on the Plant (as most engineers) or the Work Processes (because I am interested in how things are accomplished). But I realize that it is the People that make any place go so I have been consciously putting meeting people (my group, our customers, and the Facilities Engineering peer groups) at the top of my list each day. I am working to learn their strengths and styles, as well as listen / learn from them on what they think is important. I expect I will continue this priority focus over next several rotations as I get up-to-speed. I still will focus on people once I feel comfortable with the assignment, but it will take less conscious effort.