Do you remember when you first started at your new job? Remember, you were full of ideas, saw all the things that didn’t make sense, the opportunities that were being missed…but what to do with those ideas?

Put them out there in the first 30 days (give or take) and risk being told “you’re new here, aren’t you?” to maybe be followed up with some “you’ll understand how we work once you’ve been here for a while”.  It is de-motivating, embarrassing and a great way to ensure that you never share your pearls of wisdom again.

Or you could wait til day 31 and risk forgetting the opportunities, becoming embedded in the organisation’s way of thinking and then not creating the change that made sense to you when you first arrived.

Each time an incumbent blocks an idea just because you are new, chances are that their objection will not be to the idea, but to you.  How dare you walk in the door and see something that they themselves have not noticed.  You are challenging their experience, their expertise and if you receive this objection, then you have made them feel very uncomfortable indeed.

So why not try something a little different.  Pay special attention in those first 30 days, noticing the things that are clunky, out dated or that simply don’t make sense – and write them down. Notice the opportunities that you see and every option for innovation that you can find – and write them down. Capture every thought you have, when you have it, why you have it, and what you would like to do with it, and then wait for day 31.

So what do you do on day 31? Start sharing your gems a little at a time; you’ve been there for a little while and people should be a little more comfortable with you challenging the way things are done.  And when someone new comes to you and shares an interesting idea, you can say “you’re new here aren’t you?” and follow it up with a “thank god you’ve arrived”.


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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.