Scenario 1: Founder/CEO wants to grow revenue 20-fold
Selected in a nationwide search from a pool of over 100 coaches. Asked by the founder, who had built his Houston-based service company from scratch, to help him achieve his vision. He envisioned a transition from from a single to multi-product lines with sales of $1 billion dollars, a 20-fold increase.
Helped client to pare down and focus on fewer priorities, leverage what was critical and mold a more cohesive and commited management team. Coached the founder and key executives. Traveled with and shadowed them, fine tuned their approach and help introduce a more collaborative style. The results: the founder overachieved his lofty, seemingly "impossible dream" with the assistance of his team.
Scenario 2: Newly appointed president must turn around flagging revenues and dispirited employees
Newly appointed president was hired by a private equity firm to enliven a consumer products company that had lost its way in the last five years: revenue per employee had plummeted and innovative recommendations were squelched. The president called me within a week of arriving (I had coached him at his previous firm), describing his plight as "dire."
We agreed a quick and comprehensive turn around was required with a aim of transforming the risk-averse culture. After interviewing a broad spectrum of employees and helping the president implement a series of lunch-and-talk sessions across the company, we compared notes and worked closely at bi-weekly meetings to set the stage for change. The result was a more open workplace and creative culture. In less than a year there were demonstrable successes: a big bounce in sales, many creative ideas in the pipeline and improved staff attitudes.
Scenario 3: Executive was under appreciated because of style
A vice president at a major bank was a long term employee who had plateau. Customers liked her, she understood the business line better than any of her colleagues and worked longer hours than her peers, turning out great ideas. However, she was consistently passed over for promotions. She received glowing 360-degree feedback scores from almost everyone but her boss who described her as "too laid back" and "not aggressive." Digging deeper, we concluded that the colleagues who had been promoted were lively and gregarious.
The coachee was introverted, self-depeciating and thoughtful. After some introspective self analysis, she commited to "experiment" with playing the role of a more extroverted leader, first through video taped sessions with me, then in low risk situations. We utilized the MBTI and other instruments to better understand style, in general; then, her style and finally that of others including her boss. Within six months she was promoted and has since been promoted twice.
Scenario 1: An experienced Executive Coach wants to be better
An executive coach with a very good reputation who had run a successful one-person coaching business for many years decided that, despite the plaudites, there probably was a-better-way. Business was steady, even during an economic turndown, but his sense is that he had plateaued professionally. He experimented with tweaking his skills -- but that wasn't very satisfying. He believed he needed a more significant overhaul and turned to us for new eyes and objective, practical assistance. His goal was to be a "master coach," although he could not quite define what that was.
We debrief his modus operandi. We concluded that he was stuck in a rut and needed to modify his mind set, plus there were techniques that he could employ that would enable his coaching to be faster and better. First, we role played the changes and then shadowed him across a variety of clients. They were "wowed" by his increased energy, sense of purpose and unique approaches. The executive coach was able to shorten the length of the assignments (at no loss of fees), received positive feedback from his sponsors and clients, and he felt invigorated by the more flexible and efficient coaching process.
Scenario 1: Screening for fit and skill sets while uncovering untapped talent
My team was selected by the acquiring company's CEO and HR head to evalute the talent of the key employees in the recently acquired firm. We assessed the top 60 executives of this manufacturing firm. We were chatered to determine the cultural fit and uncover talent gaps with a possibility of reorganizing senior management. Writing an assessment report on each person and providing each with developmental feedback based on our findings, we now had the first step for individual development plans. An overall report for the board of directors was rich with suggestions.
The client concluded that the assessments enabled the transition to go smoother than expected and the process assisted them to put training and other programs in place to close the talent gaps. One unexpected benefit was that the assessments uncovered underutilized executives who had slipped between the cracks of the legacy company. Another, fewer than expected key employees left the new firm.
Scenario 1: Manager wants to tear down silos
Brought in by a manager of a service business who headed a virtual team. His desire was to tear down the silos that were interfering with communication across US sales regions. The participants were administered an MBTI, enabling them to gain self insight as well as appreciate the diversity of personal styles within the group.
The workshop included humorous scenarios along with working together in resolving a knotty team issue. The participants wrote their group's mission statement and revealed some of their concerns and pet peeves. The manager reported that there was a much more collaborative and cooperative atmosphere a year after the session.
Organization Effectiveness & Redesign
Scenario 1: Culture change through performance management & organization design
The leader of a division of a very large manufacturing company perceived a looming threat to its product line by a smaller, more nimble foreign competitor. This incursion would jeopordize their profit margains and longterm leadership position of this oligopoly. After evaluating the culture, we concluded that loyalty was prized to such a extent that there were rarely consequences for poor performance. Plus, over the decades, the division had become top heavy and bloated with unnecessary positions. Working with the office of the president, we proposed options for a major pruning (that was later initiated).
We realized however that we first needed to address the reward process wherein almost everyone received the same yearly percentage increase. We studied the company's cultural norms and provided a new system that was later deemed state-of-the-art. This system forced supervisor to substantiate their evaluation of staff member and to rank their performance level against their colleagues. Those who received top rating received the bulk of the money set aside for the "high performance pool." The president's explicit and implicit messages were received loud-and-clear. The division slowly transitioned from a no-consequences to a meritocracy culture.