What We Did
Following the restructure, the company expressed a need to bring decision-making closer to the customer and move away from ‘command-and-control’ leadership. There was also a desire for leaders to have more open and constructive conversations with their teams about performance.
As the UK Talent Director remarked, ‘….looking forward, we need our people to lead from a very different place’. The evolution towards more of a coaching culture commenced with a realistic appreciation of the time and effort required, as well as the systemic nature of the work involved.
Deep C worked with the client for over two years, on four overlapping phases of activity: creating a shared mindset amongst the senior leadership team, developing the right conditions for the new leadership culture to flourish, building skills and changing behaviour across different leadership levels and finally, sustaining the culture change. The client partnered with us primarily because of our expertise in working with leaders on mindset and behaviour change. For example, in the initial phase designed to create a shared mindset, we persuaded the client to go beyond ‘rational’ approaches, such as relying solely on ‘push’ approaches to asserting the value of coaching and linking a coaching culture to business outcomes.
Mindful of senior leaders’ concerns about changing their own behaviour, we encouraged the top team and other key influencers to experience the power of coaching themselves. Experimenting in a ‘safe’ environment with more adaptive ways of thinking and acting proved to be a powerful catalyst for proactive, top-down sponsorship of the programme. In the final phase of the project, we designed and helped implement a ‘nudge’ strategy for broadening the company’s coaching agenda to include more of an external focus, based on leader’s interactions with customers, investors and suppliers
The Leadership Advantage
- Evolving to a coaching culture was linked to gradual increases in customer satisfaction, contract retention and engagement
- Coaching for performance yielded an increase in decisions and actions taken ‘at source’, and more conflicts de-escalated
- Employees reported significant value from experiencing leaders role model coaching behaviour
- The concept of a coaching culture is now being considered by the company in other geographies outside the UK.