Michael Watkins, Genesis Co-Founder and Bestselling Author of The First 90 Days, Genesis Michael Watkins, Genesis Co-Founder and Bestselling Author of The First 90 Days
Genesis Advisers is an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing US company (2021) and a pioneer in transition acceleration coaching and consulting for leaders, teams, and organizations. The company’s solutions are based on the influential work of its co-founder Michael Watkins, Ph.D., a Thinkers 50 ranked global management influencer, who is the best-selling author of The First 90 Days, Master Your Next Move, Predictable Surprises, and eleven other books and countless articles on leadership and negotiation. Watkins is also a professor of leadership and organizational change at the IMD Business School and previously taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and INSEAD. We work with leading global organizations across industries, both public and private.

Following is the conversation that Manage HR magazine had with Genesis VP of Marketing and Business Development, Michol Munns.

What are the pain points CLOs face today? How is Genesis effectively addressing these issues?

CLOs are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities coming out of the COVID-19 crisis and the shift to hybrid and remote work from in-office. We recently surveyed our global network of 60+ Genesis Leadership Consultants about what areas of focus were foremost in their work with senior executives and leadership teams at global organizations, and they rated managing remote teams, remote onboarding and integration, and organizational culture change as the most prevalent themes, with digital transformation, shifting business situations, and initiative overload also ranking among the top areas of focus in the past 18-month window. Genesis specializes in helping companies solve precisely these types of challenges and has done for almost 20 years. Our programs accelerate change at the right pace and in the right ways with proven frameworks and applications that have been honed and perfected over time at many of the biggest and most successful organizations in the world.

Would you please walk us through the Leadership Development services that you offer on the basis of its methodology, features, and benefits involved?

When organizations reach out to us to support key leaders, powerfully align an executive team, or implement an organizational transformation program, we can deliver a standard solution or co-create one to their exact needs leveraging proven core frameworks adapted to the nature and complexity of the transition(s) involved, the number and seniority level of the team members, the associated timeline or urgency, and other key strategic variables. We recognize that our partners may want to offer our award-winning programs on an internal corporate LMS/HRMS and we have API and SSO capabilities to deliver our content in the manner that best suits their requirements. We also offer train-the-coach and train-the-trainer skill-building so that our programs can be delivered self-sufficiently by internal coaches and managers.

We attract, screen, and train our diverse global network of Genesis Leadership Consultants to ensure to the greatest extent possible our ability to consistently deliver an unrivaled transition acceleration experience anywhere in the world. Many of our coaches have a background with top-tier management consulting firms or as faculty at leading business schools, and all possess a minimum of ten years of experience in leadership roles at global organizations.

Sometimes HR Business Partners are faced with a near-term, urgent need to provide targeted support for a senior leader or cohort of senior leaders, in which case our Acceleration Coaching® or First 90 Days® Resources with Virtual Coaching scopes are the answer. Another scenario might be a company that wants to support waves of inbound senior executives in a compressed window, for which we would form a hand-selected “bench” of transition coaches from our network based on our unique chemistry-matching process, to provide 1:1 and cohort coaching with instructor-led training, known as The First 90 Days Experience. For more high-profile occasions that call for an eminent leadership transitions expert, our founder is available for master class events, leadership team interventions, Town Hall meetings, or the like, be it in-person, on a webinar, or via livestream.

Please elaborate on a case study where Genesis has enabled clients to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes.

We were very fortunate to host the Chief Learning Officer and HR Vice President of Intel, Noah Rabinowitz, and Intel’s Executive Onboarding Manager Drew Jensen on our Power Onboarding Webinar series in March 2021 to share Intel’s enterprise onboarding success story with our audience of 250+ business practitioners. In 2020, Genesis Advisers and Intel partnered to design and implement executive onboarding best practice for inbound senior executives. Intel was looking for a company to partner with and needed to move very quickly so the ability to “buy versus make” an onboarding system with proven efficacy and impact was key in their decision to work with Genesis.
Together, we designed and implemented an executive onboarding journey that ensured that key stakeholders were clear on their respective onboarding roles and responsibilities and that ownership of and accountability for the newly hired executives’ onboarding journey was built in and clear. Having a single transition framework meant that the benefits and ROI of our enterprise onboarding program could be readily cascaded to other leader levels within Intel, embedding a common language for navigating transitions into the culture. We are proud of the work we did with Intel as they set out a new corporate vision and welcomed their new CEO.

What differentiates Genesis from the other players?

The most important differentiator is that we are the only company in the world equipped and authorized to provide First 90 Days® transition acceleration solutions based on the pioneering and seminal work of our founder Michael Watkins, Ph.D., whose intellectual property is at the core of everything we do. Our leadership development consultancy’s primary purpose is to understand and solve the transition challenges faced by leaders, their teams, and their organizations. We specialize in it. Another advantage is our use of industry-leading frameworks and methodologies, practiced over time with proven efficacy in the leadership corridors of some of the world’s best known global organizations.
  • When organizations reach out to us to support key leaders, powerfully align an executive team, or implement an organization transformation program, we can deftly deliver a standard solution or custom build one to their precise needs

A third factor is our top-tier global network of consultants, who we attract, screen, and train in our methodologies to deliver our solutions as designed, across time zones, to meet the evolving needs of an increasingly diverse and multi-generational world of leaders. Genesis consultants have a minimum of ten years of experience coaching leaders and have held leadership positions within large organizations themselves. They are seasoned and passionate mentors, to a one. Finally, our programs are powered by a high-performing team of client success managers supported by digitally optimized operational processes to deliver an exceptional client experience.

What does the future hold for Genesis?

Over the past 18 months, we have teamed up with a well-known pharmaceutical research organization at the forefront of vaccine discovery to create and deliver a highly successful leadership academy designed to develop project managers into leaders. We are currently focused on creating a derivative version to apply in other contexts and industries.

In 2022, we are also rolling out a new team solution to address the shifts in skills and team dynamics stemming from the new multimodal ways in which we work. We were ranked among the fastest-growing US companies by Inc. 5000 this year, and we are experiencing a surge in demand for our solutions owing to the pandemic and the concomitant shift from in-office to hybrid and remote work. We have been delivering our solutions remotely for many years at this point and guarantee among the highest service levels in our profession. We are constantly innovating and responding to the shifts in the workforce and their impact on leadership transitions, including the changing skills required of leaders to manage remote and hybrid teams effectively.

The insights of our founder on future of work trends are well established and have been published in leading business journals throughout 2020 and 2021. He recently spoke at the Peter Drucker Forum (Nov 2021) on the pace of change and was ranked anew among Thinkers 50’s top management influencers globally.

In 2022, our co-founder Michael Watkins, Ph.D., will release an updated edition of The First 90 Days to incorporate his latest research and guidance as we navigate through an unprecedented period in the history of leadership transitions and the world of work.