Change Designs Member LOGIN

Change Designs

  • New CEO - Questions to prepare you for success

New CEO - Questions to prepare you for success


The 7 crucial early questions for new CEOs

By Konstantinos Apostolatos

How prepared are new CEO's for success?

In our research we analyzed the difference in performance between successful CEOs (read, those who delivered on average top-quartile Total Shareholder Returns during their tenure) vs. their successors over a period of 15 years and the conclusion was that only one out of five managed to sustain over-performance.

While there are several variables in place and it does not make much sense to try and frame ‘recipes’ for success, we have found that CEOs who invest the time to answer a number of key questions early on in their tenure (i.e. during the first ~100 days) vastly improve their chances of success. For the purposes of this article, I have selected seven critical ones, although there are obviously also others.

1. Are we winning?

I vividly remember a first meeting with the ExCo of a client where I had prompted the CEO to focus the entire session on a single question:winning “Are we winning?”

This seemingly simple question was met with initial astonishment and silence, followed by a very animated discussion around what we actually mean by ‘winning’. There were in fact so many different views in the room as there were participants and one can only imagine how difficult it is to formulate a strategy without having a common understanding of what winning represents.

Imagine how difficult it is to formulate a strategy without having a common understanding of what winning represents.

I was recently speaking to the new CEO of a major F&B company which had under-performed for the most part of 10 years (leading to a very belated decision by the Board to bring in a new CEO) who, upon arrival decided that ‘winning’ represented for the company a doubling of the company value in 4 years (the equivalent of top-quartile TSR vs. a broad set of peers).

It is absolutely fundamental to define and align around a value-relating ‘overriding objective’ early on which clarifies the company's stretch ambition and helps frame a focused agenda to achieve the company objectives.

By the way (as you would have guessed) for the companies that are winning, the question becomes “Why are we winning today and how can we keep on winning in the future?”

Go to full article: New CEO Questions to prepare you for success.

Click on the link above to go to the article, event, blog post or product mentioned in the announcement.

Change Designs
provides resources on Leadership,  Strategic Planning, Change Management, OD ... for organizations, teams & individuals.
Use our member guides & tools to solve problems & achieve success at work.

Customer Service
+27 21 712 2154

Change Designs Featured Product

  • Change Puzzle kit

    Change Puzzle kit

    Change Puzzle: A systems thinking tool to use to diagnose, plan and measure complex changes. Used in strategy implementation, project implementation, strategic alignment, culture change, values roll-out, OD, change management & performance improvement.


    You save: R-9,975.00

    Price: R9,975.00 

  • Winning-The-Game-of-Change


    Winning the game of change. A game used to develop a change management strategy or plan. Use this participative tool in a workshop to plan to implement the people side of a project or develop an OD plan or change management strategy for an organization.


    You save: R-9,860.00

    Price: R9,860.00 

  • Phone or skype coaching for middle managers and specialists

    Phone or skype coaching for middle managers and specialists

    Business and career coaching by the hour

    Retail: R1,500.00

    You save: R0.00

    Price: R1,500.00 



Click here to sign up to our Newsletters.

Your privacy is important to us.

Browse past newsletters

View our privacy policy.

return to top home
RSSRSS feed for new articles and products from Change Designs
Find us on Google+

© Change Designs 2011. All rights reserved. The reproduction of any content or material contained in this website is expressly reserved to Change Designs CC, under Section 12(7) of the Copyright Act of 1978. Reliance on the information contained in the articles, products and other related content published on this website is done at your own risk and subject to our “terms and conditions”.