When Chip Bergh was made President and CEO of Levi Strauss, he spent the first month mostly listening. He came up with a set of standard questions: What three things must we preserve? What three things must we change? What do you most hope I will do? What are you most concerned I might do? What advice do you have for me? He sent the questions out to every board member, and to the top 65 people in the company. And then he spent an hour with each person and basically just listened and took notes as they answered the questions.
What was interesting was that after about 15 or so interviews, it was pretty clear what the objectives needed to be. People inside the company knew what needed to happen, and it was pretty consistent.
Source: “Navigating the First Year: Advice from 18 Chief Executives”
Original Publication: strategy+business
Subjects: Leadership, Management, Organizational Behavior, Personal Improvement