At INVIGOREN we cherish feedback and an article or a blog is one of the best tools to generate thought, gain consensus, and most importantly encourage productive dissent.  All too often the "manager in us" is fearful of dissent, especially if we lead with authority,  Yet if we lead with knowledge and lessons, we can encourage productive dissent which can be productive feedback and result in new thought.


The process of joining a new company can be visualized by the feat of attempting to jump on the horse of a moving carousal at a carnival.  The variables include speed, a range of altitude, a non-linear trajectory, endless distractions, and a requirement to commit to some degree of inertia and direction at a moment in time.  All in the presence of an assembled audience sometimes divided by those eager to watch you fail or succeed.  A successful outcome will be an equation of logic, agility, timing, and one’s ability to react to luck, or a lack thereof.

However, most companies provide you with both maps and guides to ease the transition.

Mission Statements, Vision Statements, Core Value Statements, Positioning Statements, Environmental Statements, Community Statements, A Customer Bill of Rights, and many other official documents may exist for the business.  An Operating Plan may exist that identifies key metrics.  The most helpful of all would be a current and thorough strategic plan that details the environment, the Customer, the competition, the capabilities of the company, with identified objectives, strategies, tactics, responsible parties, and a timeline.

In talking to colleagues, I know that over the course of a career we are likely to encounter a wide range of situations, from a benchmark set of documents to a total absence of documents.  In fact, the worst-case scenarios shared with me, generally involved poorly prepared documents.  The most common error mentioned, was when the authors did not understand the accurate definitions of the words “objectives, strategies and tactics”.  In one case, it was related that a strategic plan was really a vision statement, and a mission statement was limited to a boastful list of core values.  Another colleague related that the documents available more closely resembled a pre-adolescent’s fantasy of being a sports star, as opposed to a rational plan that targeted an obtainable business objective.

Much like perception becomes reality, a miss-designed or poorly documented mission or strategy becomes embraced by the culture as “real and worthy”.  Any suggested revision may be instantly labeled that you are “re-thinking” the strategy, or messing with the mojo, even though it may not be a viable strategy.

Guides and mentors will likely be present, but they pose a unique challenge to the newcomer.  Their guidance may be right on, or not, and either way their advice may be hazardous.  They could be caught in a personal or company paradigm, influenced by the culture or past allegiances, or in a situation that is beyond the scope of their experience.  Alternatively, they can have perfect insight, and be “dead-on”, but they may already be labeled by the culture as a renegade.  A renegade, who may be opportunistically waiting for such an allegiance, that is wanting a foil to run political interference for his/her own benefit.

True mentors will shepherd you through both the facts and the minefields of change.  They are easy to identify since they will provide many points of view, instead of a singular and definitive answer to a question.

So regardless of whether a plan exists or not, I would suggest that you approach the company with an easy to remember plan of three key roles that you wish to achieve competency on quickly (and to encourage others to accept these roles as well along the way).  Within the organization, one should focus on becoming the:

 The Advocate of the Customer,

 The Guardian of Franchise (or Brand), and

 The Catalyst of Change

These three points are simple to remember and visualize, while providing a framework to identify Customer needs, match the company’s capabilities to those needs, create change, and manage to a successful outcome.

To be continued….

© Robert S. Islinger 2012 found on Invigoren LLC; Advocate of the Customer, Guardian of the Franchise, And Catalyst for Change. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert S. Islinger and Invigoren LLC; Advocate of the Customer, Guardian of the Franchise, Catalyst for Change, Manager of Metrics with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.











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A word from Bob Islinger, CEO

All of our resources are operators with common experiences, shared values, and a

singular mission.  We strive to be the Advocate for the Customer, the Guardian of the

Brand/Franchise, and the Catalyst for Change.


In-vig-or-en:  from the Latin vigēre, to be vigorus, energize, forceful with energy

and purpose; to make strong and resilient.

Copyright 2012 INVIGOREN LLC

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