Keeping employees engaged during times of change means 26% more productivity. Being engaged is a decision everyone has to make just like leading is a decision.
Accusations of insensitivity and even racist comments were threatening a heretofore ‘High Performing’ Vice President’s continued career success at a 100-year-old financial services company. Her credible and well-respected subordinate’s performance was also slipping, and the entire department was being negatively impacted by their new Vice President’s style.
Hired privately by the HR department, Denise Cooper coached the subordinate directly and taught her how to form a trusting relationship with her Vice President originally graded by both as a ‘3’ on a 1-10 scale, to a ‘9’ six months later. Focusing on increased self-awareness and communications style, Denise helped both understand their very different management styles, perspectives and cultural differences and create empathy between them.
As a result, both employees worked together to implement an important company initiative expanding the company’s scope of influence from handling products and services relevant only to individual life events, to broadening the company’s relationships across investment products.
Problems creep in when we organizational systems are unclear, shifting or poorly designed. For the strategy to work, the organizational structure has to support everyone knowing what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
The decision to spin-off a high-profile media company from its much larger parent threatened the performance of the newly independent media company. Tasked with helping lead through the transition as well as upgrade talent throughout the spun off organization, the EVP of HR reached out to Denise Cooper for her help through the contentious transition. By helping the team connect ‘talent and fit’, better understand the expectations of high performance organizations, develop specific desktop tools to help company managers implement those high-performance behaviors across the organization, and individually coach struggling HR team members and executives, the company was able to achieve growth objectives for 4 years.
The HR department was also recognized by the CEO and Board of Directors as a key reason for the media company’s continued growth.
A key role of a leader is to set the direction but also bring others along. Sometimes new leaders with bright ideas need help leaning how to influence and lead effectively.
An international not-for-profit professional services teaching and mentoring organization expressed concerns over maintaining relevance in a changing industry, indecisive leadership by their Executive Director, and a real risk of losing their largely volunteer workforce during the resulting management turbulence. Denise Cooper was hired to help diagnose the specific pain points, recommend a way forward and coach the Executive Director to a stronger leadership skill set. Denise evaluated the Executive Director and identified considerable weakness in giving actionable, clear direction designed to get performance results and in demonstrating a more action oriented management style overall. In bi-weekly coaching sessions, Denise helped the Executive Director transition her ‘analysis paralysis’ and evasive behavior into decisive action, eventually resulting in the crafting of an overall plan and recommendation which was presented to the Executive Committee by the Executive Director.
The strategy and implementation plan was approved and Denise continued her work with the Executive Director to help her coach her staff to implement the plan with confidence. The organization’s Executive Committee rated the Executive Director’s communication and leadership skills as a ‘9’ from the original ‘3-4’ and a strained relationship between the Executive Director and the Board Chair was repaired.