Executive Coaching

BACKGROUND:

We are currently working with one of the UK's leading children's charities who run over 400 projects across the UK to transform the lives of children and young people every day. Their work includes:

  • providing fostering and adoption services and support,
  • helping children break free from sexual exploitation,
  • supporting young carers,
  • helping children living in poverty.

One of the recently appointed directors was taking the lead for this challenging and diverse part of the charity at a time of austerity measures following changes in Government funding. At the same time, the new director would be managing the team she had previously been a member of. The Operations Director felt that at this critical time coaching support for the new executive would be the key ingredient to success. VBL have supported the non-profit organisation for a number of years and were delighted to offer executive coaching to the newly appointed Director. In line with our own values, we were able to offer this coaching at our not for profit rates.

SOLUTION:

The director needed a short term intervention at the beginning of this new appointment to develop the strategic thinking and tough decision making that would be required for the months ahead. An initial chemistry session was set up to identify and understand the situation the director was in as a result of the recent appointment and a set of clear coaching objectives were developed. Six face-to-face coaching sessions took place over an eight month period in their offices.

The coaching objectives were based around three very specific areas of strategy:

  • to increase the amount of work the charity did in one specific area of expertise by 50% on the previous year,
  • to develop efficiencies and effectiveness of the work done by the team in line with the budget and in light of economic cuts,
  • to direct activities and take on the position as Employment, Training and Skills Director for the whole of the UK.

Executive coaching has a very clear emphasis on the strategic development and leadership style of the person being coached. Time is taken to understand the natural style of the executive and determine what additional skills and areas for development need to be learnt, so they are able to think and behave in a strategic way. This means they need to understand the specific skills of such activities like delegation. They need to be consistent in their approach to how they lead and how to behave in a strategic way without abdicating responsibility.

A personalised development plan was established in order to meet the coaching objectives and addressed the specific situation that existed at the time. It included a variety of concepts and models relevant to establish new learning, good role modelling and a variety of opportunities for the director to develop and practice the newly acquired skills. Throughout the eight month period, these skills were developed and refined to enhance confidence until such time as the director could self-coach and no longer need an executive coach.

OUTCOME:

The director has been able to achieve the objectives set for coaching. In terms of the efficiencies, the target set nationally was exceeded and the director was praised for their success in this area. They were also able to make clear the distinction between being a member of the team and being a director in charge of managing the team. Positive feedback was received from the management team on the transition they had made. The charity continues the important work it does, benefitting from the strong leadership of it's current director.