I was at a dinner a while ago with a well-respected Director of sales at Google. We were discussing hiring, and he mentioned one of the things he does with all of his new direct reports. I thought it was really smart and wanted to pass it on.
He requires all of his new hire direct reports to prepare a presentation to him after they’ve been on the job for three months. The presentation is supposed to include things that have surprised them about Google, both good and bad. The theory (and his experience!) is that after three months any new hire will have enough context to clearly see where the problems are, but not have lived with them for so long to have become immune to them. His direct reports all have experience prior to Google and therefore have sufficient background to say either “Wow, this is fantastic” or “Wow, this is really a load of crap.”
The presentation isn’t hugely formal, but this kind of critical thinking at about the three-month point is a great way to get honest and quality feedback about the organizational status quo. (Of course, then it’s up to the manager and his/her team to actually do something about it, but that’s for another time…)
Has anyone else had to do something similar, or required it of their new direct hires?