Onboarding part 2

This is the second part of our onboarding writing.  We have seen many opportunities for growth and development in this area. In fact, the onboarding process is where those who know little about us, how we work and what we value, are guided toward a fit in our organization.  Our candidate selection and vetting process provided us with the ability to determine which candidate would most likely be a fit. However we have not completed the process with the acquisition, we have only completed the selection.

 Corporate Culture and Growth

If we value the present corporate culture, we must take steps to assimilate the new talent in such a way that our culture remains strong.  If we are moving how we work to some future state (as in continuous improvement along with personal mastery) we work to guide the new talent to this future state.  The talent we are bringing to our organization may now know what is expected of them. Take our previous blog post for example.  The new talent will likely deduce that our company holds little regard for the veracity measurements and documentation.  Their previous behavior may be modified in this light and all subsequent measurements and documentation may also abide by this cavalier approach.  Rather than build new; we contaminate, the new facilitating behavior that is less than the desired and inconsistent with our organization’s development plan and our plans with the new hire.

 Onboarding Improved with Checklists

To improve the situation we should ensure our frontline onboarding personnel, exemplify the core values and mission statement of the group and the company as a whole.  We should not select the onboarding staff solely upon availability.  We should also build a prioritized checklist of the things we need to demonstrate or teach the new talent.  This prioritized list will allow us to focus on increments of learning rather than expecting the entirety in one blast.  Additionally, this list will also allow those new members to be an active participant of their own onboarding.  As Bo Barry, a professor of mine from undergraduate engineering days said of summer school, “it is like drinking from a fire-hose, you open your mouth to catch all you can and hope to hell it does not kill you.”  We would rather not risk this with the new talent, so we prioritize what the new talent needs to know with the checklist and schedule these over a period of time wherein they may be able to acquire the skills and knowledge, for example, over a period of weeks or months.  If metered properly, the experience can be beneficial to both the new and old team members alike.


As we have said in the past, big bang cultural change is mostly disruptive and likely to produce little we could call success.  Real change takes time and is incremental.  Bringing new talent into the company and not managing their integration can actual delay or even shut down our progress toward this goal.  Take some time, plan this out, and make sure you do not contaminate new talent with old behaviors you wish would go extinct.

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