Out of the blue, someone deep in your organisation sends an anonymous memo to the Chairman of the Board raising doubts about the risk management processes being applied to critical investments.
What do you do?
Well, the answer - as our Coachee discovered - has many elements!
First, it’s important to look objectively at the claims and find independently verifiable proof that they are incorrect or have already been dealt with. No one - especially Boards - believes ambit claims (‘that’s been dealt with’).
Second, it’s important to front the person involved - not easy when the communication is anonymous - and work through the reasons why they didn’t use the chain of command, and opening those channels again. And providing the same independently verifiable proof as that being provided to the Board.
Third, arrange for a trusted external party to audit the risk management processes and provide a report - including any recommendations - which then goes to the CEO for discussion.
Fourth, find out if there are any other issues that particular person has that may be in play also.
And that’s when there was no substance to the questions that were raised! A careful, considered approach was required and the CEO was satisfied with the thorough outcomes of our Coachee.
Your company is bidding for a multi-year contract with the Federal Government. The Government asks for a one-on-one interview to clarify an aspect of the financial model that could be construed as not being in the Commonwealth’s interests.
Your CEO comes to you as the CFO and effectively says ‘You got this?’
You’re not a sales guy. But, a time-efficient coaching session with us discovered that the CFO has a very useful natural trait: the ability to use figures 'on his feet’. Combined with some preparation on the ‘Questions I hope I am not asked’, and how a shorter explanation is always better, the Client interview exceeded the Client’s expectations.
The CFO said ‘I remembered exactly what Matt had said to do’.
'Practice really does make professional’.
You’re in HR and, despite a manager’s statement ‘I’ve got this in hand’, you feel you must take action on the clear warning signs of prolonged stress in an employee reporting to that manager.
You don’t want to step in - that sends the wrong signal.
You organise a coaching session for the manager - and because the coach is external - the manager sees the session as an opportunity to review all the options for assisting his employee.
In the coaching session, he discovers that the level of relationship (’transactional’) he has with that employee is blocking his ability to show his concern for the employee. He decides to work on that in parallel to asking the coach to work directly with his employee.
The employee discovers that she is not able to adjust her work schedule to manage urgent requests, resulting in long nights and weekend work also. She decides to learn a way to adjust her priorities so that she spends the time she needs to on urgent requests, her work hours reduce and she uses some of that time to get mental and physical exercise.
You’re a CFO who’s also responsible for HR and every year you know that the annual Performance Development Reviews (PDRs) won’t ‘just happen by themselves’.
You decide that you can get some welcome additional focus from your organisation’s managers by raising the bar: you tell them that the point of doing annual Performance Development Reviews is to drive before and after performance improvement for all their staff - good performers as well as lower-than-average performers.
You know they are busy, and that this is a major reason for the delay in annual PDRs, so you make the offer of an external coach to work collaboratively with them and their lower-than-average performers. But to take up this offer they must get their PDRs done on time.
As the PDRs come in, one manager completes hers and you arrange for the coach to engage with her and start coaching some of her lower-than-average performers.
The coach - because he is external and doesn’t come with any preconceived ideas - helps an employee discover that his tendency for arrogance comes from a deep desire to be the subject matter expert on a particular topic.
Together with skills development, this employee is able to separate his expertise from his communication style. His manager is delighted that the employee was able to do this himself and reports a clear ‘after’ result to the CFO.