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Petra Tuitert and Justa Van Heertum, IFSA week ago, I started in my new job as Vice President HR and Organizational Development in IFS.

As preparation for my first 100 days, I put together a long list of people that I would like to meet. Because my job is very much about people: ensuring the right behavior, the right competences and driving the necessary changes.

As I have already been working in IFS as a consultant for some time, I have come to know IFS as a company with a strong culture and people that are driven by pride in what they do. I believe this is an excellent starting point.

But it also made me wonder… How do you get under the skin of an organization? And how do you figure out what the right behavior is, what competences we need and what changes are necessary?

I decided to ask around!

Going forward, I plan to meet people on all levels, in different roles and with various backgrounds. By getting to know people’s visions, expectations and experience, I hope to be able to understand the drivers of our success, and where we should focus to improve.

Hopefully, I will also get some good advice on the way.

I will meet with some of our customers as well so we don’t forget the outside-in perspective (which is really the reason why we are here).

I have also decided to share my observations on this blog. I hope you will follow me on my journey into IFS and contribute (here or in the real world) by telling me what I need to know.

After 100 days, I have promised to share my reflections with our Scandinavian Management Team as well so we all have the best possible prerequisite for taking the right decisions and driving HR and communication in the right direction.

De Forste 100 DageI recently read an excellent book which talks about increasing the likelihood of success in your new leadership role: De første 100 dage – Succes som leder i nyt job by Lars Bo Hansen (in English: The first 100 days – Success as a leader in a new job).

Although it’s in Danish, I would recommend this to all new leaders. There are similar books in English, too.

Amongst other things, the book’s author Lars Bo Hansen talks about the importance of the signals you are sending during your first couple of days. For example; do you start by meeting the management team or your own team? I thought a lot about that. I really want to show my colleagues in the management team that I am here to make a difference.

On the other hand, I am fully aware that I am not going to make it without my team! Well, I decided to do a combination of the two and started my first couple of days meeting half the management team, some of my team members as well as some of our employees.

In the rearview mirror, I guess that says a lot about the way I wish to drive the HR and communication agenda here in IFS. My true passion and, I believe, HR’s real ability to impact lie in the field between business and HR.

More to come on that topic later.

Next week, I am off to Stockholm for more meetings and hopefully getting a bit closer to understanding what makes IFS special. I look forward to sharing some insights with you afterwards.

PS. My very first boss lived by the principle known as “walk the talk” which is all about doing the things you say you are going to do and leading by example. As an employee, this meant that I really felt I could trust him and already then I decided to adopt the principle myself as this is exactly the kind of leader and colleague I want to be.

Well, I have spent a lot of time in my office planning to meet people. Now I will go out and do it!

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