Coaching brief

I was asked to coach the Director of Marketing UK, Ireland and Europe of a global IT Company.
The coaching issue was two-fold – the Director was struggling to make headway on a global marketing strategy with the parent company in the USA and his frustration often leaked out inappropriately on his team; he needed to restructure the marketing function and influence the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to embrace a new marketing and sales approach – moving from a product offer to a total client solutions company.

I initially met with the European Head of HR and the Chief Executive to agree the changes the business would like to see in the Director. I then met with the coachee to explore his view of how he could benefit from coaching support. The coaching agenda, outcomes required and the overall coaching contract, including reporting and confidentiality was agreed between all parties.

Coaching approach

A programme of six two hour face to face coaching sessions was agreed to be run over a period of six months with an exit review meeting. We also agreed a regular telephone call between face-to-face sessions as a method of keeping up to date with the fast changing business environment and to keep the Director focused on the changes he wanted to make.

Outcomes required

Key outcomes identified included;

  • Increased self awareness of how his frustration develops & options to channel this positively
  • Improved networking and key stakeholder management with US colleagues
  • A clear marketing strategy for the European, UK and Ireland business
  • Have a broader knowledge of the art and skills of influencing and persuading within a matrix
  • A plan to restructure the European, UK and Ireland Marketing function

Evaluation

Evaluation of the success of the coaching was to be a combination of quantitative measures based on improved ratings on a 360 and qualitative – feedback from the CEO and European Head of HR about improvements in how he deals with frustration and engages with key stakeholders in the parent US business.

The coaching process

We initially concentrated on the Director’s frustration and helped him identify what led to a build up which unchecked, could come out inappropriately. We then assessed which of the issues that lead to his frustration he could address and which were out of his ‘circle of influence’. This meant he could start to tackle particular frustrations in priority order. I introduced him to a simple, but highly effective, cognitive behavioural model so he could map events as they happened, and see how he responded to the events at a thinking, feeling and behavioural level. This instantly gave him more control over his frustrations and how he reacted to them

We then looked at the options for the marketing function – fitness for purpose of the team structure; did he have the right people in right role with the right skills? Where did he need to recruit, redeploy or up-skill employees?

Finally, we mapped his key stakeholders and looked at how he could build closer, more productive ties with them. I introduced the coachee to a comprehensive method of stakeholder mapping and management as well as a model for influencing and persuading others in a global matrix organisation.

Achievements

The coaching was considered to have made a significant difference to the Director. He reported that the biggest change for him was his self awareness of how he became frustrated and the options he now had for defusing it. He restructured his department, recruited two senior marketing specialists and produced a marketing strategy for the European business which he presented to the Executive Leadership Team to begin the process of shifting the mindset and culture of the business from a product supply company to a complete ‘IT solutions company’.

Return on Investment

Return on investment from the coaching is ongoing. Clear gains from the coaching are:

  • A re-energised Marketing Director and function
  • A European, UK and Ireland marketing strategy signed off by the CEO,
  • An improved ability to manage his frustration positively
  • Better stakeholder management and influencing and persuading skills.

If you have a current issue in your business that you think could be resolved through coaching, then please call or email me in confidence and without any obligation on 07597 674328 or email philip@philipperry.com