The chair of an organisation feels her CEO is not responding to coaching. The coach, against protocol, gives advice to both, which is followed. Wrong move? The issue Mary is an executive coach working with a CEO who is under pressure from the supervisory board of her company. Mary has had a triangular meeting at the start of the work with the CEO and the chair. Another one has been planned after five sessions. Two days before this second meeting Mary receives a phone call from the chair, who is almost apologetic: “The CEO is still not addressing the issues […]


A production manager is guiding a major change project in his engineering firm. But his boss’s indifference to his recommendations is making him falter   The Issue Tom is a middle manager, part of a busy production team in an engineering environment. The production team has been charged with delivering a big change project to drive forward efficiency and drive out waste in its manufacturing facility. This is an important and strategic project for the company and is being closely analysed by the senior leadership team and board. Tom is responsible for the smooth running of multiple production lines, reducing […]


Two members of a leadership team are concerned about the stuckness of their organisation. So why is their CEO continually shutting down their concerns? The Issue Stephen and Jane are well-respected members of the leadership team of a public sector organisation in the UK. They’re in agreement that their organisation, while generally regarded as operating well, has stopped ‘moving forward’. In particular, they feel the management group at both senior and middle levels needs further investment in their leadership skills, and support in becoming more adaptive, for example. The chief executive (Karen) is someone they both respect deeply. However, their […]


An IT organisation has grown rapidly in its global diversity. But some individuals are clashing. Is this behaviour personality-led or does it have a cultural basis? THE ISSUE A relatively new software technology company has experienced rapid growth, from five employees a year ago, to more than 50 today. Many come from diverse cultural backgrounds, including Chinese, Italian, German and Indian. Inevitably, there have been problems and complaints with some individuals, including accusations of dishonesty, selfishness and lack of willingness to work with the team. For example, one employee is accused of talking behind other people’s backs, while another has […]


A company CIO has been tasked with launching a digital change programme. He is worried he lacks the expertise to lead it. What can be done to support him? The Issue The board of a customer-facing business expect the CIO to lead a major digital transformation because they view it as “about technology”. But technology is only one aspect of it. It also impacts the customer experience and the way the business interacts with its suppliers and other stakeholders. So the challenge is far more profound: it is a fundamental transformation of the entire business. The organisation also has a […]


A well-known business suffers from high staff turnover and a stagnating culture. The HR director cannot tell why. Could coaching surface the influencing issues? The Issue Simon is the managing director of a mid-sized business with around 500 employees. He is 18 months into the role. Although his business has a globally recognised brand, and some good products, he feels that the business has become stagnant – both in terms of its culture and its sales performance. There is a problem with low morale among the staff, which is manifest in a steady revolving door of people exiting and joining […]


A multinational has lost its CEO and CHRO, denting company morale. With a new CEO in place and restructuring imminent, where should it look for a CHRO? The Issue The chief human resources officer (CHRO), who had worked very closely with the former and recently departed CEO at a large multinational, has also left the business unexpectedly. Her departure has not only left a vacuum at the top, but has come as a surprise to other employees in the business, and other stakeholders. Morale and employee engagement are low, fear and uncertainty about the future are rife. Although a new […]


An international executive repatriated to UK HQ seeks a career change, one with meaning. But why? How can coaching surface and work with a hidden agenda? The Issue Barbara is a high achiever, both professionally and personally, in her 40s, working for a global oil business, who is being repatriated to a role in a restructuring division. The atmosphere in her division is challenging – a critical blame culture underlies fears of redundancy. Her career change goal is to explore other disciplines and industries to find a more meaningful role and realign her CV to suit the external market. What […]


A growing and successful business attracts top talent – then loses them through pressure instilled by its highly driven CEO. She wants to change – but how? The Issue Charlotte is an entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of a very successful and growing IT business. The business has grown from four people to more than 50 over the past five years and is still growing. She is supported by four executive leadership team (ELT) members and a senior management team (SMT), most of whom are managing small teams for the first time. Charlotte is described as ‘fantastically gifted’, ‘innovative’ and […]


A friendly and competent IT manager is popular with her staff. But feedback from higher level job interviews suggest a lack of gravitas. Can coaching help? The Issue Sheila is an experienced senior manager in an IT company. She is based in London, but is originally from the US. She is competent, experienced, warm and extremely approachable. Her style has served her well in building relationships with the people she manages. Over the past few months she has been applying for executive positions and has had three interviews. All were unsuccessful. The feedback says she comes across as competent, but […]