Impact & Expertise

Press Releases

  • January 03, 2013
  • Newly Appointed Business Leaders Would Be Wise to Question Conventional Wisdom

  • Some of the Traditional Rules for a Freshman CEO Are Seriously Misguided and Need Replacing by More Flexible and Up-to-Date Guidelines

BOSTON, January 03, 2013— During their 100-day honeymoon period, many new CEOs like to initiate bold actions and thereby make an early impact—which does not always equate to a long-lasting impact, unfortunately. The modern business environment has become so complex that generalized “best practices” are no longer always applicable. What counts is the context—not just the specifics of the new job and the culture of the company, but also the CEO’s own leadership style.

For large companies, the issue arises every six or seven years—that’s the average tenure of a CEO nowadays. In other words, at any one time, about 15 percent of CEOs are in their first year at the company’s helm. What differentiates those who make a success of their debut from those who run into trouble? This vital question is one that analysts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have been studying for some time. The result is a sobering new report, Debunking the Myths of the First 100 Days, by Roselinde Torres and Peter Tollman, senior partners in BCG’s People and Organization practice. The authors identify five fallacious theories that tend to lead freshman CEOs astray as they embark on their new role. Against each of these “myths,” the authors spell out the corresponding “reality,” and they illustrate myths and realities alike with telling case studies from BCG’s client files.

The myths and realities cover a wide range of themes: for example, the need for self-understanding as well as understanding the minutiae of the company; the tricky process of setting evaluation criteria for the workforce; and the way to select the members of your leadership team and relate to them productively.

The report, in effect, charts the wrong way and the right way for new CEOs to proceed. It can be read as a mini-manual for boosting organizational performance.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com

Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries.

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