COACHING

and creating Value

Too many people believe value is created via P&L and the balance sheet. Prepare to be disappointed. Creating value is about that and more importantly managing the Multiple. This is where real value is created and better organisations are built. And let’s not forget money isn’t the only driver and measure of success, for some people it’s simply about achievement of personal goals and life balance, which can be as hard to find as profit.


Coaching changes lives

Often included with the above or simply working with individuals to help them understand themselves and achieve their life and business goals. This ranges from a few focussed sessions to working on a monthly retainer.

  • is now accepted by the majority of CEO’s as a way to help them develop and meet their challenges.
  • More and more leaders recognise they need someone to challenge them, listen to them bring new perspectives and help them clarify and look forward. They may have doubts to share, or ideas they don’t yet know how to develop and who helps the CEO when they feel tired and stressed and perhaps a bit lost?!
  • A good coach will ask you questions that will help you develop broaden and lead your thinking.
  • In such scenarios it does help to have someone beside you who has worked at your level and understands the types of problems and opportunities you face.

When Business coaching I will focus primarily on your performance and 5 key areas; Vision, Culture, Innovation, Systems and structures, Product and Market Positioning. This is where we create Value

While Coaching is about asking questions here are some observations that focus my approach


What Makes a good coach?

Over the past few years I have to admit I am less and less enamoured with the calibre of coach offerings I see. Honestly I think many I meet are average at best.

Perhaps this is because of the amount of smoke and mirror offerings there seem to be? I have been privileged to know and work with brilliant coaches, real life changers and business changers. However I am constantly introduced to new coaches who are “international speakers changing the world”?! Often with a little research we find these lovely people (well meaning as they are) had average jobs and little work experience before they saw the light. Or they wrote a book. They often have a narrow focus.

Now that passion can be good, however is that all a CEO and business owner really wants or needs? You can watch TED talks to get some inspiration and great ideas.

Therefore I’m not yet convinced I can give a solid definition of a coach other than it requires experience and breadth to be able to help with a multitude of issues facing anyone running a business. A coach colleague of mine recently described a top coach as providing a “concierge” type service which is interesting, someone who knows how to do it or can recognise someone else who can help or alternatives.

As a business leader you may need someone to talk with to share concerns, problems, issues, develop ideas and that’s usually not easy within your own organisation, most Chairmen are not coaches. However I find it’s a balance of coaching (listening and asking the right questions to enable learning) and Mentoring, sometimes just taking away the pain through examples of real situations and solutions. The latter only comes from those who have been at your level and beyond. Moreover often you can’t see or haven’t experienced issues and that’s where often I am able to offer a new perspective or option.

I see my work as a balance of helping with quick wins and longer term behavioural and strategic change.

I also believe it helps when you work with someone who has had experience of sitting at the top table and isn’t in awe of title or power, as often the role of coach is to challenge your thinking and methods. In my experience that is better accepted when you are talking with someone who has been there. This also applies to the 6 start ups I’ve experienced, many lessons there!

Increasingly I am working with Boards to develop strategy and individuals, usually as an evolution of the work I do with the CEO/MD /Owner.

What makes a good coach then? It depends what you need. There are scores of inspirational speakers who can lift you and give you a kick. Short term, feel good. However I don’t think there are too many who have had senior experience balanced with deep coach training, by which I don’t mean a 1 week course! With my clients coaching becomes a longer term relationship often starting with frequent and deep sessions to make rapid change and then I find we work together over time as I become the ongoing sanity check where they know they will get an honest perspective based on my business and behavioural knowledge and by then an intimate knowledge of themselves.

This is when coaching really works; this is when I see the 6 fold increase in profits, personal lives being rediscovered and a new energy emerging. That’s my reward.


Culture, is yours working for you?

Often included with the above or simply working with individuals to help them understand themselves and achieve their life and business goals. This ranges from a few focussed sessions to working on a monthly retainer.

  • is now accepted by the majority of CEO’s as a way to help them develop and meet their challenges.
  • More and more leaders recognise they need someone to challenge them, listen to them bring new perspectives and help them clarify and look forward. They may have doubts to share, or ideas they don’t yet know how to develop and who helps the CEO when they feel tired and stressed and perhaps a bit lost?!
  • A good coach will ask you questions that will help you develop broaden and lead your thinking.
  • In such scenarios it does help to have someone beside you who has worked at your level and understands the types of problems and opportunities you face.

Culture is palpable; you can feel it when you walk into an organisation and listen to its people I’m often amazed at how many people don’t understand how it affects everything, or they do understand yet don’t plan to work at it. Culture drives Excellence


Vision and Purpose the essential drivers

I never assume these are clear, I hope they are and if not I see it as THE priority.

If you can’t express the vision in a few words it needs work.

Do you really understand your Purpose, the WHY you do this? and do you know how important this is, especially to younger employees.

  • More importantly can your organisation express your Purpose and do they believe in it? Sounds simple, it’s not. When did you last take significant time to work on this?
  • Do you see creating vision a one off event or a way of life? do you live your Purpose and does it drive your decisions? who is stopping that?
  • A clear, shared and inspiring vision and Purpose creates real value.

Innovate in every bit of your business, your product, your people, everything It’s also a key driver in building Value, so what do you do to make sure you Innovate?


Innovation provides energy

  • Another area that often gets left behind as growing businesses start to fight fires.
  • Some think innovation is the job of the leaders/ founders; well we can dispel that myth, if you want to know how to create a culture of innovation.
  • Once again we are in the strategic space. Innovation is the fun bit that often gets businesses started and gives it continuing growth.
  • Innovation is energy and nowadays it’s essential if you are to gain and retain a leadership position.

Innovate in every bit of your business, your product, your people, everything It’s also a key driver in building Value, so what do you do to make sure you Innovate?


Systems and Structures

  • Do you see this as a cost or an investment or a revenue generator?
  • Are you structured the way you were 2 years ago? If so you are probably having a few problems?
  • Business structures need constant review, adding people is rarely the solution to growth, you need to know what your current resource capacity is and decide where it needs to go next.
  • Are your systems fit for purpose and do you know when they will be second rate? Having up to date efficient systems brings profit, efficiency, helps staff morale and adds value.
  • Do you actively plan to change or are you comfortable?

How do people feel about your Product

  • Usually an area that gets a lot of focus yet is often the one place great changes can be made.
  • Are poor sales a result of a poor sales team (fire another Sales Director?) or is it that the positioning isn’t right and are you working with the right channels.
  • Does everyone in the process of generating revenue collaborate? Or do you work in Silos’ and do you know who is involved in the revenue generation process?
  • How do you make the most of your products? Have you got enough options or have you got too many. What can you do over the coming years, extensions, options, new products and new markets?

Great products with great positioning and brand recognition add significant value as long as the sales and profits are on track.

It all sounds commonsense and quite easy? Yet much of the above can take a long time to understand and then implement, not forgetting you still have a job to do while you refocus on all these great ideas. Once it becomes a new behaviour it manages itself.

It takes courage to make the changes.

Why can I help you?

  • Nearly 30 years at Board level building leading companies and generating value
  • A breadth of experience across sectors and roles
  • International experience, 3 years in the USA and then Europe
  • I Continue to grow my skills in behaviour and people management
  • A Leader and Innovator, a qualified Business Coach
  • Business energises me, success rewards me, I learn every day
  • I still run my own business and am Non Exec. It keeps me in touch.

I have been creating value for over 30 years, am used to very high growth businesses where change is a constant. Being involved with a company called Innovex was remarkable, from 9 employees above a dress shop in Henley to a $4.5 Bill business today (Quintiles Transnational Inc.). After 13 years we sold for 72 times earnings (probably a record in its day)

As Chairman of a small Logistics business we saw growth from 60 – 800 employees and market leadership over 7 years. The Business grew from 55 to 144 Clients and achieved a sale price around twice that of the sector and the management team are now all enjoying success in other businesses.

I have started a number of companies, turned around a care home group, raised funds for those I had a Non Exec role with and continue to help clients to create wealth.

I also had the horror of liquidating a business around the era of the recent “depression” as a result I understand how to steer business away from that abyss. Have we mentioned Cash flow?

Apart from success in the past I recently had exceptional training with a global leader in the value creation field and remain a current business owner so am attuned to the issues faced in real businesses. I have no issues with creating profit.