In companies of all sizes, newly hired or promoted leaders have a relatively short window—typically 90 days—to make an impact. Those first 90 days are written about in books and articles, which should be read with your own job in mind. Each role has different priorities, so create your own checklist based on your department’s needs.
I recently interviewed Linda Lu, chief litigation officer of Nationwide Insurance. She started in March 2013 as one of four new direct reports to the company’s general counsel. Her team has 55 attorneys and staff members who manage all corporate litigation. Linda described the process she used to learn about her team and the job while considering changes.
In June 2013, Linda and the litigation team leaders worked together to whiteboard what an optimal organization might look like: 1) To support talent development and create growth opportunities for her team; and 2) to guide litigation leaders in gaining a more global perspective to provide better client service. In addition, the group articulated a value proposition for internal and external visibility. They agreed that the team would enhance communication and develop processes that identify and help minimize risks. They would enhance collaboration with the company’s business-facing lawyers who could help bring the litigation perspective to the table earlier.