The 36-year-old Walton officially took over as the Lakers coach after completing his run as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
The former Lakers player returns to a franchise that has fallen on hard times since he played on teams with recently retired Kobe Bryant that won two NBA championships.
"There is work to be done," Walton said Tuesday during an introductory news conference at the team's practice facility in El Segundo, Calif. "But that's, to me, exciting. That's why you do this. The timetable? Who knows?
"It's us coming to work every day. It's us working hard. It's watching improvement in the young guys that's exciting. It's watching us get better as a team. That's what I'm looking forward to doing."
The climb back to respectability is steep. The Lakers finished the 2015-16 season 17-65 after struggling to an only slightly better 21-61 record the previous season.
Walton hopes to use what he learned while serving as an assistant with the Warriors, who won the NBA title a year ago and lost in seven games to the Cleveland Cavaliers this month.
While serving as interim coach while Steve Kerr recovered from back surgery this season, Walton led the Warriors to a 39-4 record before Kerr returned to the bench and the team finished the season with an NBA all-time best 73-9 record during the regular season.
The Lakers don't have nearly the level of talent in place that the Warriors have with players such as Steph Curry, but Walton's objective is to create a winning mentality similar to what Golden State has.
"What I can affect is what's going to happen next year and the year after that," Walton said. "We're going to put a stamp on the culture that we want, and it's going to be joy. Our players are going to like coming into practice every day.
"We're going to play a brand of basketball that the L.A. fans will appreciate. We're going to compete. All these things going forward, with my vision of how we're going to do things, is what I can control."
The Lakers aren't completely devoid of talent. The roster includes D'Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and Julius Randle.
And the Lakers have the second pick in this year's draft, which likely will be Duke's Brandon Ingram, and $55 million to spend in free agency now that Bryant has retired after 20 years and five NBA titles.
Walton was already trying to sell the Lakers to potential free agents as an attractive destination.
"As far as being a young coach and being able to help rebuild an organization and a team that I love and that I grew up with, it's all exciting to me," Walton said.
Russell is excited about the prospect of playing for Walton, who replaces Byron Scott.
"A lot of us are coming out of college and just really want to be able to experience and play and have fun," Russell said. "He just mentioned having fun and being able to run as much as possible. So I think that's what we need."