Data collection should begin, if possible, before you even join the organization. Obtain any history regarding the history which might include annual reports, books, magazine or newspaper articles, press accounts, or industry reports. Then, once you are on board your learning can continue.
Keep the following in mind:
- Understand how the organization has performed in the past and the root causes for the good or bad performance
- Understand the changes the organization has weathered and who made them
- Speak to past incumbents in your position to gain their insights
- Talk to current and past employees, clients, equity owners and other stakeholders
- Learn the stated vision and strategy of the organization currently