Like a new chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other functional head, a new chief trade compliance director is typically required to be an impetus for change. His or her initial questions invariably may be, “Where should I start? What should I do to ensure that my first 100 days are a success?” The answers usually depend on the industry, circumstances of the organization, and uniqueness of the challenge, yet there are some leading practices that transcend industries.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that one of the more common mistakes a new corporate officer makes is failing to set strategic priorities. Other common errors include neglecting the opportunity to upgrade staff and failing to understand comprehensively the company’s trade profile and its past, present, and future state. That is why formulating a tailored strategic plan, instead of relying on a “cookie-cutter” approach, is so critical to the first 100 days. The plan should also include several short-range wins to demonstrate success and align resources.