Executive Coaching in Action: A Real Life Case Example

Situation: John was a new CIO for a large consumer products company. He had recently transitioned from healthcare and was tasked with implementing a new ERP system, restructuring the IT organization, and recruiting experienced new talent. The CEO believed that this role, and the future of the IT infrastructure, was a top strategic imperative for the organization as they looked to develop new product lines and expand internationally.

The Intervention: I met with John for his selection assessment and then was asked to work with him for a nine-month executive integration coaching program. When we first met it was critical to identify his top strengths and capabilities, and match them to the key leadership competencies and role expectations for the CIO position. We outlined his strengths and development opportunities, and put together an integration development plan that would drive his early tenure with the organization.

The coaching program involved one face-to-face meeting each month that would include shadowing work with his team and the broader organization. From early on, it was apparent that John’s first priority was to recruit and on-board several VP roles that would help to drive the execution of implementing the ERP system. We worked to get clear on what good VP IT leadership would look like and started a systematic recruitment and selection process.

On the team front, John had to get clear on his top priorities, make sure he was aligned with the CEO and his c-suite colleagues, and provide direction to his people for delivering against the stated objectives. We partnered on building and delivering several team effectiveness off-sites to establish the new norms, leadership characteristics, and culture for the IT organization. We also worked on putting in place development plans for each of his direct reports as he integrated them into the function and the organization.

On the personal front, we focused on cultivating strong relationships with John’s peers, and with leaders across the company. Coming from a different industry, it was an initial challenge to not only learn the company culture, but also accelerate his learning of the consumer products sector. Through discipline and focused effort, we were able to establish strong credibility and get some early wins that built trust and support from his cross-functional colleagues. This established a strong foundation for John from which he was able to begin driving the needed IT infrastructure changes across the organization.

The Outcome: John successfully integrated into the new company culture, and his roll out of the ERP system was met with buy-in and support from leaders across the organization. He was also able to recruit and select key leaders for his IT function, and establish a strong team climate to drive future success. As a leader, John grew immensely over the nine-month coaching engagement. He remained open to insight and feedback, and looked to maximize his strengths and work on his areas of opportunity. His coaching engagement was a success because of his willingness to learn from others, and the humble approach he brought to his leadership.

For more information on how to strengthen your leadership effectiveness through executive coaching, contact Bandelli & Associates at abandelli@bandelliassociates.com.

Leadership Matters. Without It, People Fail.