Having conducted a series of workshops for an Acting Chief Executive Officer and their team, I noticed that they lacked confidence in certain situations. They were newly appointed to the role and had worked their way up through the ranks, so decided to invest in some Coaching support, as they had ‘never been trained to be a leader’.
The business was going through massive change, which involved many people and service adjustments and there wasn’t anyone they could formalise their strategy in confidence with.
During the organisational changes, there were times when they lacked self-belief and there were lots of political relationships they needed to manage.
The final outcome was that they gained promotion to the permanent role of CEO, but also changed the organisational status, winning the tender for their desired services.
A newly appointed Head of Department was responsible for generating personal fees of £12k per month. Their existing fee income was £5k a month, so they needed a plan!
The first thing we did was identify a Vision for their department. Where did they want to be in 5 years time? Once their Vision was formed, we then identified Goals and a 12 Month Plan. For the coachee it was simple things like re-establishing contact with lapsed clients and then arranging events to attract new business. They worked like a trooper, systematically calling and visiting people. After 6 sessions they were generating a monthly fee income of £15k a month.
Working collectively with a team of very innovative Directors, the challenge was to get them to concentrate on the less interesting aspects of their business, for example, which products were most profitable and how they could increase their margins.
They were really passionate about their product range and very loyal to certain lines, but were also unclear about their specific roles within the business. This gave off mixed messages to staff and made it more difficult to handle wilful team members.
However, having analysed how the business was performing and reflected on their leadership behaviour, they were able to streamline their roles, thereby increasing their authority with staff; but also grow revenue by focusing their activities on their most profitable product range.
Our client had been extremely successful for many generations, but suddenly started to lose business. Upon further investigation we realised that the market had changed and that their customers were looking for a different kind of service, which required them to modify the way in which they worked and behaved.
Simply training people to operate differently wasn’t going to be enough; employees would revert back to behaving and performing in line with the existing corporate values, which were driven by the leadership team; deep, cultural change was required.
We began by working with the Chairman to define a Vision; a new destination which took them away from the current path. We then established a series of teams to analyse what existing values were in place, and of those values which were getting them into trouble. Once we’d collected sufficient data and diagnosed the problem, we worked with the teams to define a revised set of corporate values and a strategy to deliver the vision.
The teams worked so hard and we were amazed how passionate and engaged the employees became; another inadvertent benefit was the positive effect the project had on teamwork.
Two years following the project, the Chairman reported that their turnover had increased from £120 million to £140 million in a downturn market.