Business Benefits of a Career Transition Strategy

Why is executive career transition critical? 

“About 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months.” Anne, Fisher, Fortune.

Managing a career transition can be more stressful than bereavement or moving home, yet only 28% of organisations effectively prepare newly appointed leaders for the considerable change required to take on their new role. 

Failures in new roles are predominantly a consequence of:

  • lack of support and coaching
  • poor cultural integration and relationship building
  • applying practices that worked in a previous role
  • not establishing clear achievable objectives
  • something has changed
  • making the wrong decisions by acting too quickly

When bad decisions are made, opinions are formed and credibility is lost quickly. Once confidence is lost, at the worst it is unlikely to be reinstated, or at the best, will take a long time to rebuild.  


According to research from HR consultancy firm Towers Watson, a quarter of the UK workforce does not have confidence in their senior leaders - one of the top reasons why employees leave an organisation. Without confidence in leaders, managing business performance, growth and sustainability are precarious – like building a house on sand.

Research from the Harvard Business Review indicates that, on average, it takes a new mid-level manager 6.2 months to reach the break-even point.  That is the point at which leaders contribute as much value as they have consumed from it.

With executive recruitment typically costing over £30k, and low UK productivity, there is a compelling justification for organisations to look at reducing inefficiencies and to increase their business performance, by providing an effectual career transition programme.

The benefits of a career transition programme far outweigh fiscal expenditure. Accelerating success and minimising risk are critical factors in assuring sustainable, inspirational leadership; strengthening employer brand; reducing turnover and potential employment tribunal claims.

An effective career transition coaching program will significantly aid newly appointed executive leaders during their crucial first 3-6 months. 

At Collingwood, we are qualified and experienced in accelerating the point at which new leaders contribute as much value to an organisation as they have consumed from it – ensuring a smooth transition, and reduced business disruption.

After all, if a CEO’s mobile was not working as it should, how long would they leave it, before taking action?  6.2 months? I very much doubt it. 

So why aren’t organisations investing more into their long-term strategy, and protecting their enterprise, by putting in place an effective on-boarding program that supports leaders new to the role, with career transition coaching?

Perhaps, because they are still to be convinced of the business benefits that can be realised.

I will be continuing to share with you the what, why and how of career transition, over the next few weeks, but would love to hear any of your challenging experiences or successes.

For more information download our guide which addresses some common leadership transition challenges affecting organisations; we highlight the risks of doing nothing, the benefits of taking action and our recommendations.