1.Do you specialize in any particular industries?
We have deep experience working in a number of different industries, including: Advertising, Biotech, Financial Services, IT, Media, Pharmaceuticals, and Publishing.
2. What percentage of your work is divided between executive coaching, team coaching, and organization development?
We like to maintain an equal balance of individual, team, and organizational coaching and consulting, although there are times when large OD projects can demand up to fifty percent of our time.
3. What distinguishes your coaching methodology from other firms' methodologies, and why do clients choose to work with you?
Ultimately, you want to engage an executive or team coach who both feels right and has a proven track record of success that's relevant for you. Our results-oriented approach is simple: we employ a pragmatic coaching style that positions the individual or team in the center of a 360-degree feedback-based process that's aligned with your company's business strategy. We view each person, team and organization both as separate and interdependent entities in a system and consider the implications to all three levels (executive, team, organization) of that system during our work with you. Our clients frequently report that we've helped them surpass their highest expectations.
4. Who are some of the executives that you've coached?
We offer coaching to individuals and teams alike. We typically work with CEO's, CFO's and other "C" suite executives, Executive Directors, divisional and functional leaders, as well as the owners of successful family-run businesses. We also provide team coaching to Boards, Executive Teams, and Global Brand and Project teams.
5. What is the one area of executive coaching that you're best known for?
Executive Presence. We've had wonderful success helping our clients increase their ability to positively influence others through the effective use of presence. We guide our clients to discover their authentic self through a process of observation, gentle but firm feedback, role modeling and reflection.
6. Our executives are busy. What is the average length of an executive coaching engagement and how much actual coaching time is required?
A successful executive coaching engagement typically runs from six to twelve months. Some clients request more coaching time than others, but typically it works out to about four hours per month for the first few months, less thereafter.
7. What types of coaching cases do you prefer and are there coaching cases that you will not accept?
We love working with clients who are motivated to learn, grow and achieve things that they previously thought were beyond their reach. We also love working with clients who are able to integrate positive and constructive feedback, who are willing to consider other ways of being. We will not accept a coaching assignment if the coachee already has one foot out the door or if his or her employer has already decided to terminate their employment.
8. My senior team is struggling with interpersonal conflict. Our meetings are contentious and unproductive. What can we do?
Conflict is a common symptom for teams lacking alignment of common objectives, crystal-clear role clarity, and agreed-upon protocols for working together. Our team alignment process has helped many teams move from dysfunction to high engagement and effectiveness.
9. Can you help me design a critical meeting for my executive team?
Yes. We have deep experience bringing key stakeholders together for the purpose of dialog and the co-creation of shared goals and implementation plans. This includes global knowledge summits and strategy sessions. We use a six-step methodology that includes goal setting, discovery, meeting design, dynamic facilitation, action planning and debriefing.
10. Everyone dreads our national/global meetings because we're locked in a large conference room and subjected to non-stop PowerPoint downloads for ten hours a day. What can we do to make our meetings more productive and interactive?
Adults learn in different ways. Based on Andy Satter's work with creativity pioneer Ned Herrmann, we design our meetings to inform and engage the whole person. We pay close attention to ensure a proper balance between content (the "what") and process (the "how") so the content is delivered to and received by the intended audience in the intended way. We know from experience that participants need to process information through the use of different learning modalities and that some of the most important discussions take place during breaks and small group discussions.
11. My company needs to do a better job sharing knowledge across functions, divisions and geographies. How have you helped other clients accomplish this?
A long-standing global client in the service industry recognized that knowledge was being transferred vertically in client-oriented silos, but not horizontally or diagonally across the global organization for two reasons: (1) there were no formal processes or structures in place to facilitate this type of knowledge sharing; (2) there was no financial reward for collaborating in this fashion. We conducted a discovery process with key leaders in the global organization, established a design team that included a member of the company's executive committee and framed out a meeting design that would accomplish three major objectives: (1) establish new business relationship between global client business leaders who had previously never met; (2) share cutting-edge clientand industry-specific knowledge and capabilities; (3) identify new business opportunities and develop action plans for their implementation. We served as co-architect and facilitators for the first two years of this annual global meeting.
12. When morale is at an all-time low, what can we do to prevent stars from leaving?
The best way to retain your stars is to demonstrate your commitment to their professional development. Reward and support them with appropriate promotions, stretch assignments and executive development. In other words, as best-selling business author Beverly Kaye, says "Love 'em or lose 'em." Formal executive development programs and working with a coach or mentor are all great ways to accomplish this.
13. Only 23% of all mergers and acquisitions make back their cost. What can we do to ensure our M&A will be successful?
Most pre-deal M&A activities focus primarily on financials, manufacturing and sales, and too little on the human system. Companies considering mergers and acquisitions need to ask tough upfront questions about chemistry, culture and personal leadership styles. For example, how will the acquiring company onboard people from the acquired firm in a way that excites them about belonging and contributing to the new organization rather than just being relieved to still have a job? What specifically will the acquiring company do to get beyond an us-versus-them mentality?
14. How do you staff large projects requiring multiple consultants?
We have an extensive network of world-class colleagues and strive to match their skills, style and experience with your unique situation. We pay close attention to personal chemistry and geographical location in order to find the best fit for you and your particular requirements.
15. What percentage of your programs are off-the-shelf versus tailor-made?
That's an easy one. We believe cookie cutters are best used in kitchens and bakeries.
16. What role, if any, does sustainability play in your firm's consulting work?
We embrace a three "P's" approach to business: Profit, People and Planet, the triple bottom line. And we encourage our clients to consider following suit. Companies that organize their strategy around the principles of the triple bottom line typically outperform by a significant margin competitors who do not.