Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Onboarding the President of the United States

Isn't it great the way we onboard the President of the United States? After the President was "hired" on November 4, 2008 we provided a transition period for him to prepare for the new job. He was able to spend time with his predecessor and plan his strategy. On his start date, today, January 20th, 2009, we celebrated his hire, introduced him to ... err ... everyone, heard his shared vision of the future and acknowledged the work that he and his "colleagues" (us) must do to achieve it.

Imagine if President Obama was onboarded the way most employees are onboarded.

The job offer is extended and accepted on November 4th, 2008. The start date is set for January 20 2009. Relocation information is provided and the new hire and his family begin their move into corporate housing. On January 20th, he reports to the oval office for his first day of work.

New Hire President Obama sits down at his large desk. He wipes away some pretzel crumbs from the previous occupant. His secretary pokes her head in the door and says she is sorry that she didn't have a chance to clean out the files. "No problem, " he smiles, "I'll take care of it." He spends the morning emptying out his new desk thinking about the problems he will tackle and planning how he will meet his new staff and wondering where the bathroom is and if there is anyone with whom he can go to lunch. A few people murmur hello when he walks through the halls of the Whitehouse. Most chit-chat among themselves and wonder who this new guy is and what he is going to be like. By the end of the day, he realizes he is on his own.

Maybe we should start welcoming our new hires in inaugural style. How about a little fanfare and celebration and introduction and vision sharing with all of our employees as if they were as important to us as the President of the United States?

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