Quote stolen from The First 90 Days:
Joining a new company is akin to an organ transplant—and you’re the new organ. If you’re not thoughtful in adapting to the new situation, you could end up being attacked by the organizational immune system and rejected.Michael D. Watkins
The book says to figure out how things really work in the org you’re joining to make sure you’re not a rejected organ. Here’s a handy checklist it provides:
Influence. How do people get support for critical initiatives? Is it more important to have the support of a patron within the senior team, or affirmation from your peers and direct reports that your idea is a good one?Michael D. Watkins
Meetings. Are meetings filled with dialogue on hard issues, or are they simply forums for publicly ratifying agreements that have been reached in private?
Execution. When it comes time to get things done, which matters more—a deep understanding of processes or knowing the right people?
Conflict. Can people talk openly about difficult issues without fear of retribution? Or do they avoid conflict—or, even worse, push it to lower levels, where it can wreak havoc?
Recognition. Does the company promote stars, rewarding those who visibly and vocally drive business initiatives? Or does it encourage team players, rewarding those who lead authoritatively but quietly and collaboratively?
Ends versus means. Are there any restrictions on how you achieve results? Does the organization have a well-defined, well-communicated set of values that is reinforced through positive and negative incentives?
I have nothing to add; I just thought this was a brilliant way to think about adapting to a new culture.