What does a HR/OD Partnership typically involve?

The primary objective is to transfer knowledge and build capability. This can be one-on-one or with a team. We use an action learning approach to address a real-time business need that provides the opportunity for you to build your skill set in the culture space while at the same time providing value to the organization.

The first step is to scope out the engagement which includes identifying specific business outcomes and learning goals. Defining the future state culture and using different methods to define the current culture are two examples. We select the specific methods and tools that you are going to use, such as the Culture Safari, Culture Camps and Chocolate Factory Simulation. This can also include one of the Culture-Strategy Fit surveys that you interpret and debrief with leaders.

Working together, we create a plan which is our blueprint for action. This consists of a series of 3 month modules with specific milestones. You decide the scope - start with one 3 month module or contract for a series. It's up to you. The cost depends on the scope of the assignment and extent of our involvement.

What is the M&A Culture Toolkit?

There are two toolkits:

  1. M&A Culture Due Diligence - This is used prior to close as part of a risk assessment or to inform integration plans. It is a methodology designed to be included in broader due diligence activities. Members of the due diligence team are trained in the use of guided observation (cultural ethnography) to assess culture. A workshop is held at the end of the observation phase to process the findings and their implications.
  2. M&A Culture Integration - This occurs after close, preferably within the first 30 to 90 days. Leaders from both organizations, including members of the integration team, work together to develop a shared understanding of cultural synergies and potential tensions. The CSF M&A Culture Survey or Scan provides a common language and starting point for this discussion. Leaders use the insights gained to critically assess and refine integration plans.

How are you different from other coaches and OD practitioners?

Culture, Leadership and M&A Expertise - I have personally been working in the culture field since 1988, which means I have a LOT of experience. I've worked with leaders, their teams and HR/OD professionals in Fortune 500 and other companies to intentionally shape and change culture. Projects have involved changes to business models and strategies, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and business transformations.

I've also been responsible for Leadership and Executive Development in a global company. I know what it takes to develop leaders and leadership teams - a pragmatic, business-driven approach. I bring a combination of an in-depth knowledge of cultural practices, culture change and leadership development to every coaching assignment.

Business Experience - The first 15 years of my career was spent in management positions in telecommunications and high tech companies. My first job was an Installation Manager in a telephone company. This was followed by progressively more senior management positions in Finance, IT, Customer Service and Human Resources, which included a General Management role on the senior leadership team of a high tech company. I know the challenges leaders face in running their business. I also understand how organizations work and use this knowledge when designing an approach and working with leaders and their teams.

Global Perspective - The societal values of national cultures is one of the most important factors influencing an organization's culture. Knowledge in this area has proven essential to the success of many of our client engagements. Many of my colleagues, including myself, have worked with global and non-US based companies. Clients who require support in EMEA, Asia Pacific and/or South America can rest easy knowing we have resources located around the world to support them. On a personal note, I chose to complete my PhD at Lancaster University in the UK in order to gain a global perspective.

Who is 'we'?

I am a member of a virtual, global team of top class professionals with diverse skills and expertise. We assess your needs and pull together the right people for your project. This allows us to take on large projects that would otherwise be outside the scope of a sole practitioner.

What tools and techniques do you use?

Executive Coaching - We primarily use the DiSC assessment, observation and an interview-based or survey 360 leadership assessment with a few interviews.

Team Coaching - DiSC assessment, observation and a team effectiveness survey. When required, we also use custom surveys to monitor team progress.

Culture - We have access to a wide range of tools and  workshop designs from our sister company, Culture-Strategy Fit Inc.

  • Cultural Ethnography - a methodology for discovering the rich story of culture and subcultures
  • Future State Culture Definition Workshop - a half day design where participants describe the culture required to execute the organization's strategy and achieve its goals
  • Values Definition - two approaches: storytelling process or facilitated workshop activities
  • Culture Safari - current culture experience captured in photos
  • Culture-Strategy Fit suite of surveys - tells the story of the current culture in context
  • Chocolate Factory Simulation - leaders experience the ways they personally and as a team shape culture
  • Culture Cards - cards with culture patterns (practices and behaviors) used for both current and future culture activities
  • Culture Bingo - activity to explore different perspectives on culture
  • Culture Images - a set of photos used to trigger conversations about the current and/or future culture
  • M&A Culture Due Diligence Toolkit - workshop design, interview guides, observation guides and 14 item survey
  • M&A Culture Integration Toolkit - workshop design, interview guides and on-line assessment
  • Culture Game Plan - our culture change methodology

What does a typical coaching engagement look like?

A typical coaching engagement has six parts: 1. Contracting; 2. Assessment; 3. Development Planning; 4. Coaching; 5. Progress Check; 6. More Coaching; and, 7. Evaluation.

  1. Contracting -  The objective is to clearly define the reason for coaching and expected outcomes. The contracting phase includes face-to-face or phone meetings with the coachee, his or her manager and HR.
  2. Assessment - The objective is to identify the leader's current behaviors and practices. This includes an on-site assessment (observations and interviews), 360 leadership and DiSC assessment.
  3. Development Plan - The objective is to create a blueprint for action that builds on the leader's strengths. This is what is really different! Development plans are anchored in the business taking into consideration the present and the future. The intentional use of cultural practices is front and center. We aren't changing the person. We are equipping the leader to be the best they can be.
  4. Coaching - The objective is to increase self awareness and intentionally use behaviors and practices to increase leadership effectiveness. Coaching sessions are in person and/or by phone every two weeks.
  5. Progress Check - The objective is to monitor progress and make course corrections as needed. This involves an on-site assessment and conversation with the leader's manager.
  6. More Coaching - The objective is to deliver on expectations. A laser-like focus on commitments accompanied by challenging dialogue is typically experienced during this stage.
  7. Evaluation - The objective is to assess progress made and identify next steps for the leader's development. A meeting is held with the leader, his or her manager and HR to discuss progress and next steps.

What is the difference between Executive and Team coaching?

Team coaching follows a similar process as executive coaching except:

  1. Assessment involves a Team Effectiveness survey, DiSC survey, on-site observation of the team in action and interviews with team members.
  2. Team Off-Site is an additional step that is used to process the feedback from the assessment and develop a contract for improving team effectiveness.
  3. Development Plan includes rules of engagement and guiding principles for planning and conducting team meetings.
  4. Coaching is observation based and conducted on-site. We attend a team meeting once a month where we observe the team in action, provide feedback and, as required, facilitate modules to increase team effectiveness.