I created this for one of my clients who suggested I share it with the public.

Report to Executive Sponsor after 9 Days

Exec Sponsor: “Come on in!”

CxO: “Thanks for taking the time to talk. I know you’re extremely busy.”

Exec Sponsor: “So are you getting settled in?”

CxO: “Yes. Beyond the normal on-boarding activities, I’ve talked with 25 stakeholders: five from the executive team, ten from operational management and ten from my direct reports. From these initial conversations I’ve surfaced 50 top-of-mind issues. (Fill these numbers in with what you actually have achieved)”

Exec Sponsor: “Wow, I knew we had problems but that sounds like a lot to work on.”

CxO: “Well, fortunately we don’t have to boil the ocean. I’ve looked at them from two directions: popularity and leverage. By “popularity” I mean the number of stakeholders that brought up the same issue. So these issues are generating a lot of noise and probably setting perceptions we need to change. By “leverage” I mean how the issues are related to one another. For example if we solved one it may be the root cause of many more.”

Exec Sponsor: “So what is your plan of attack?”

CxO: “We’re going to attack them on three fronts:

1) First the quick wins, those issues that are relatively isolated but generating a lot of noise and I’ve already spun up two small teams to get these solved. (Give examples)

2) Next, we will attack those issues with Broad Leverage: those that influence the largest number of other issues but have a low number of prerequisite issues to solve. I’ve started a planning group to get these moving now. (Give examples)

3) And finally, the last group, and these are the most important, those strategic issues that are constraining our overall growth & stability. These will require a deeper dive to understand and remove prerequisite issues before we reach the tipping point and gain momentum toward achieving our overall goals (Give example)”

Exec Sponsor: “It certainly sounds like you’ve hit the ground running!”

CxO: “Thanks, but it would not have been possible without everyone being so open and accessible. You have a great team here.”

Here is the full report:

The First Nine Days as a CxO