Group Coaching & Facilitation

Case Study #1 – Executive Retreat in a Turn Around Company

A first time CEO came into a new turnaround situation.  It was his first time reporting directly to the BOD and private equity.  He was their 4th CEO in 5 years and the ranks were basically just waiting to see how long he was going to last.  The company had had regulatory issues and had recently emerged from bankruptcy.  He brought in several new members to his executive team and needed the old and new guard to quickly assimilate into a cohesive team.  He also wanted to be a source of inspiration to all the employees of the organization who had been discouraged and disappointed over the past several years.  The CEO stood for integrity and was just what the company needed.

We designed and facilitated an off-site retreat for the executive team that included the following:

  • Attendance at a leadership team meeting prior to the retreat to observe dynamics of the executives to allow us to design the retreat.
  • Use of the DiSC communications assessment with each individual and a one-on-one interview prior to the retreat.
  • Each member expressing who they were … when they were BIG (see GettingtoBIG.com ) which allowed vulnerability, connection, insight, and rapport.
  • Sharing the CEO’s vision.
  • Creating the desired outcomes.
  • Collaborating to build their new Mission, Vision and Values.
  • Creating a united “Who Are WE … When WE are BIG Statement” setting the stage for how they would move forward together.

The result was a more cohesive and united leadership team that went on to turn the company around more quickly than expected which resulted in a very favorable exit (sale of the company) for the private equity partners and provided a solid landing place for the employees.

Case Study #2 – Executive Retreat after a Stalled Merger

A CEO was brought into a company after a recent merger of two companies in complimentary industries.  The cultures of the companies, however, could not have been more different.  In addition, the companies were located across the country from each other and remained in separate locations.  A prior executive retreat just after the merger failed to unite the two executive teams.  Over time, trust, respect and collaboration had become issues.

We facilitated a two-day off-sight retreat, which included the following:

  • Interview with key individuals (with some casual coaching) prior to the retreat to allow executives to feel heard and assess they dynamics we were going to need to address in the retreat.
  • Acknowledgement and discussion by each individual of behaviors that have felt disrespectful, behavior that have eroded trust and their greatest frustration with the leadership team.
  • A team building exercise to allow executives to get to know one another on a personal basis, build connection and rapport and demonstrated how little they actually did know one another.
  • A personal branding exercise on how each executive saw themselves, how others might see them under stress and how they would want their personal brand to be consistently perceived.
  • An exercise on Playing with Conflict and Playing with Positivity
  • A commitment statement by each individual on things they would start doing today to have a BIG impact (see GettingtoBIG.com), things they would do to improve the leadership team’s brand and how they wanted to acknowledge and celebrate team successes.

And that was just the kick-off!   The rest of the retreat included exercises, discussions and tools to maintain the connection, momentum and camaraderie.  These included communications assessment results, a discussion on emotional intelligence and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a social awareness tool, a discussion on positivity, a ‘ stop, start, continue’ exercise, an acknowledgement skill building exercise, a plan of action for moving forward, and finally Who Are We … When We Are BIG!

The result was a team that valued and respected one another that moved forward cohesively and collaboratively and had the tools to address disagreements and conflicts in a productive way.

Case Study #3 – Presentation Skills Training

A global manufacturing company had several executives who would benefit from stronger presentation skills.  Each executive had behaviors that were surfacing that were detracting from their overall effectiveness.  These behaviors were across the board from being too high level, not being prepared, nervousness, being too technical, not establishing connection and rapport with the audience, etc.  Each individual viewed presenting and their skill level from vastly different perspectives.

We designed a half-day on-site training session, which included the following:

  • Understanding the executive sponsors perception of the need, benefit and desired outcome.
  • Having each individual complete a questionnaire in advance of the session assessing the last three presentations they made, articulating where they wanted to improve, articulating their strengths in presenting, expressing what got in their way when they were not at their best and establishing a vision of their desired outcome.
  • Taking a positive approach using each individual’s strengths, values and gifts observed in their best recent presentation.
  • Having participants prepare for their next presentation with exercises on understanding their audience, declaring their desired outcome, articulating their message in one sentence, preparing a strong start, articulating their content clearly, simply and cohesively, and creating a ‘call to action’ for their close.
  • Providing skill-building tools to build rapport with their audience, read their audience real time and stay flexible, increase their confidence, maintain eye contact, and be prepared to handle questions (even the one’s that throw them off!)
  • Obtaining a commitment from each individual on 3 simple things they will try first.
  • Building future collaborative, constructive support for one another moving forward to maintain the momentum and allow for continuous improvement.
  • Each participant following up with the group on how the presentation they prepared for went.
  • Follow on individual coaching with participants.

The result has been greater confidence, influence and ease for the presenters and greater understanding and confidence in the executives by their audience.

Case Study #4 – Brainstorming Session on Starting a Company

An individual client who had spent 25 years in corporate America was exploring starting his own retail supply brokerage business.  He had no idea where to start or if it was even possible.  His head was spinning with too many details, excitement, opportunity, and doubt.

We brought together several All-Star clients who volunteered their time to help.  One loved details and had just started his own consulting business.  Another had come from small business.   All loved the opportunity to brainstorm and help others.

We facilitated a one-day session where we explored everything that needed to be considered including, among other things:

  • The financial feasibility of the venture and how profitable it could be
  • Supplier arrangements
  • Whether he would need to take title to the inventory
  • Whether he would need a warehouse and logistics management
  • What kind of systems he might need
  • How many people he would need and what positions
  • What questions needed to be answered
  • What he needed to negotiate with his anchor client
  • What was holding him back
  • All the nitty-gritty details that would have completely derailed him
  • We even established a year one budget for him

The results were the following:

  • A go-no decision on a company that has been in place for over 8 years now producing more income annually than my client made in corporate America.
  • The pairing of a big picture guy with one who loves to organize and orchestrate the details that made this venture possible.
  • A simplified business venture that allows my client to hold a separate full-time job as part owner and CEO of a family run business.
  • A CFO position at that family run business for the detail-oriented consultant who initially volunteered his time, after several years serving as a consultant to the company.
  • Two lives forever changed!

Case Study #5 – 1st Ever Strategic Retreat for Company

An individual client who had spent 25 years in corporate America was exploring starting his own retail supply brokerage business.  He had no idea where to start or if it was even possible.  His head was spinning with too many details, excitement, opportunity, and doubt.

We brought together several All-Star clients who volunteered their time to help.  One loved details and had just started his own consulting business.  Another had come from small business.   All loved the opportunity to brainstorm and help others.

We facilitated a one-day session where we explored everything that needed to be considered including, among other things:

  • The financial feasibility of the venture and how profitable it could be
  • Supplier arrangements
  • Whether he would need to take title to the inventory
  • Whether he would need a warehouse and logistics management
  • What kind of systems he might need
  • How many people he would need and what positions
  • What questions needed to be answered
  • What he needed to negotiate with his anchor client
  • What was holding him back
  • All the nitty-gritty details that would have completely derailed him
  • We even established a year one budget for him

The results were the following:

  • A go-no decision on a company that has been in place for over 8 years now producing more income annually than my client made in corporate America.
  • The pairing of a big picture guy with one who loves to organize and orchestrate the details that made this venture possible.
  • A simplified business venture that allows my client to hold a separate full-time job as part owner and CEO of a family run business.
  • A CFO position at that family run business for the detail-oriented consultant who initially volunteered his time, after several years serving as a consultant to the company.
  • Two lives forever changed!

Case Study #6 – Training Series for Local Professional Services Firm

A local professional services firm was looking to provide some additional training to their partners, managers and seniors.  Specifically, they wanted some guidance in leadership, communication, mentoring and project management.

We met with leadership to fully understand their needs, designed individual training session for the firm and facilitated the series over their summer months.  On certain topics, we co-facilitated with experts with deep subject matter expertise to provide the highest-level content yet highly tailored to our client’s specific needs.

The result was an entertaining, thought-provoking series that spurred reflection and insights, provided easy to implement concepts and tips to carry forward, spurred energy and enthusiasm among the participants and created commitment to continuous improvement.

Case Study #7 – On-boarding Off-Site for New Company President

A President coming into a new company wanted to ensure key stakeholders were aligned as he took on his new role.  The owner and CEO of the company had brought him on in anticipation of the ultimate retirement of his Chief Operating Officer in a couple of years.  The owner and the COO were both highly passionate about the business and had deep experience and expertise in the industry.  The President, who had no prior industry experience, was brought in to ‘take the company to the next level.’

We facilitated a half-day session, which included the following:

  • Building trust among the 3 individuals
  • Honoring and respecting the relative strengths of each individual and the historic contributions of the CEO and COO
  • Defining and aligning on what “take it to the next level’ meant
  • Gaining alignment on roles and responsibilities
  • Establishing authority and responsibility for each position
  • Establishing the company’s mission, vision and values

The result was a smooth transition with our client entering his position, a real-time demonstration of what ‘the next level’ might look like in terms of structure, alignment, communication, leadership, teamwork, etc., and a smooth exiting of the COO as he retired.  The CEO who hired him is now the Chairman; our client assumed the CEO role and has become an owner; and the business has doubled in size.

Recommendations

I have used Kimberly as an executive coach, observed her deliver keynote presentations and, also used her to facilitate an offsite retreat with my executive team. She provides credible, practical and actionable information filled with real world examples that drive the points home. She is disarming, allowing her audience to overcome resistance and actively participate. As a facilitator, she brought our leadership team together quickly to better understand one another, align, collaborate and leverage our individual and collective strengths. She will inspire your team to play BIG!

– Guy Marsala, President and CEO at Saxco International LLC