- IMD Business School
Alumni Stories · Organizational Behavior

“A common on-boarding tool kit is essential”

Carlo Carrescia discusses his experience in The First 90 Days program for leaders in new roles
June 2018

IMD’s program The First 90-Days is an interactive, 2-day learning journey, where executives in new leadership positions diagnose the situations they have inherited, define strategic direction, build their teams, create alliances, and secure early wins. And they establish a detailed action plan that shows them how to create successful momentum for their first 90 days. It is led by Professor Michael Watkins, author of the best-selling The First 90 Days. 

IMD recently caught up with Carlo Carrescia HRVP at Schneider Electric to discuss his recent experience as a participant of the program.

IMD: How did the experience influence your thinking about Schneider Electric’s internal HR executive onboarding processes? 

Carlo Carrescia: The First 90 Days on-boarding process is the foundation of most on-boarding processes within multinational companies, including Schneider. I was already familiar with the key ideas and we deliver a “First 90 days” book to each new executive to ensure that they understand the challenges of a new role.

Yet, very often, the on-boarding process tends to focus more on understanding the organization and the business than the relational and emotional challenges of entering a new role. The program strengthened my idea that a new role is a challenge that needs to be well prepared in advance, to be successful, it’s critical to have a sound process and be aware of the traps all along the journey. 

IMD: Do you see the benefit of applying a common toolkit, language and approach to transitions at Schneider Electric?

Carlo Carrescia: If the process is not clear, understood and consistently applied, the risk is that each on-boarding process will be different from the other. This creates confusion and mixed results. What we want is to ensure that each new hire/internal move has the same chance and support in facing a different scenario in their career. To do so, a common toolkit is essential.

IMD: Would you recommend companies replicate the course internally as part of an HR strategy (e.g., in a customized workshop format)?

Carlo Carrescia: I would certainly recommend so. The content can be customized to the unique requirement of each company but the “First 90 days” approach offers a state-of-the-art process to succeed in a new role. I would also involve training managers in understanding the basics of on-boarding a new employee. There’s often a lack of understanding of how difficult it can be to on-board in a new role, especially when the manager has not moved from his role from quite some time.

IMD: How did the other participants enhance the experience, what was their contribution?

Carlo Carrescia: Other participants are an integral part of the learning. Each challenge is different and the opportunity to share your unique challenge while learning from others and geting their perspective is invaluable