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How fast to make change as the new person

There is a popular idea that says to curtail your urge to immediately contribute and change things when you are new to a job. That your job is to first listen and get context.

I agree. I’d also like to add some nuance.

It is not so much, “Don’t try to make an impact too fast.” Instead, it should be “Don’t make arrogant changes based on best practices that don’t relate to our team’s context.”

For example, I am four weeks into onboarding our new CTO who will be managing Product (which I have been doing). A few days ago, new CTO was telling CEO that he was holding off from making too many process changes too early.

CEO basically said, “We are all grown ups here and want to move fast. So make the changes you believe should be made.”

Don’t optimize for slowness of making change. First, listen and understand. Consider the age, size, and performance of your team. The younger, the smaller, and the worse-performing the team you are joining is, the faster you should make change. The same is true for the inverse.

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