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Employee Alignment

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

We designed and built a bespoke, computer-based business simulation modelling the full breadth and depth of the client’s business. Using an interactive gaming board, participants ran their own look-alike companies in competitive teams. This showed participants the connectivity between their business units and geographical regions, and more importantly the contributions and the challenges and opportunities in each of the core business functions such as sales, services, operations, R&D, as well as the support functions.

Teams’ participants were mixed across functions, business units and geography with the simulation focused on enabling participants to understand the ‘what, why and how’ of the client’s business, skilled facilitation helped to embed a thorough understanding of what was driving value throughout the business, and how that value is recognised by investors.

At a subsequent strategic event we built on this foundation with drama-based workshops, using actor role-players, to enable business leaders work the core behaviours that were seen as paramount for collaboration and continued business success. After this assignment the client said that the “planning and execution by Morgan Clarke was exemplary” and that our team was “professional, knowledgeable and exceptionally astute in identifying our business challenges, linking these to the core behaviours, and then translating it into learning at the workshop.”

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Leadership Alignment

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

  • We facilitated an internal review with the existing senior management team, in order to identify issues, test perceptions and gather evidence on whether they could or would be able to embrace a programme of change
  • External review of market data in order to test the business strategy. Key clients were contacted to seek feedback on their experiences as customers and to identify relevant factors. This was then taken into account in the design and formulation of the way forward
  • Designed and delivered an Executive Team workshop which enabled all members of the executive team to arrive at a common understanding of the drivers of the business strategy, also agreement on what that strategy meant in terms of focus and daily activity at both an individual and team level
  • Worked collectively with the team to arrive at a clear understanding of what was required by team working, where that differed from current practice and coached each individual in the design and implementation of individual action and personal development plans

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Assessing Leadership Capability

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

The Morgan Clarke approach encompassed three activities:

  • Development Centres A development centre with three skilled Morgan Clarke observers using a mix of bespoke case studies (e.g. on one, participants were required to be insightful and demonstrate commercial acumen) and simulations of real day-to-day situations using actor role-players (to work on self awareness, self management, goal setting, giving and receiving performance feedback, handling difficult conversations, etc), plus a senior level group discussion and presentation
  • Team Agenda The team agenda required facilitated sessions to accelerate team bonding and team development (e.g. the team agenda a ‘Team Charter’ describing norms and ‘how we will work together’) through to storming/norming phase
  • Individual Coaching To work on, assimilate and embed leadership behaviours and to enable each of the six members of the senior team to ‘step up’ to the plate as a business leader and make the broader contribution demanded by the head of the business, each individual was matched with a appropriate executive coach

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Leadership Development

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

We could see the need to instigate a process to change the relationship between directors and senior managers. We addressed this critical business requirement with a development approach which operated at two levels:

  • Skills – developing the commercial acumen, leadership behaviours and business skills of the senior managers so that they were equipped to take on broader and deeper roles, whilst at the same time improving the coaching and mentoring skills of the directors so that they could facilitate the process
  • Behaviour – addressing ingrained behaviour patterns that mitigated against change and tended to maintain the status quo

We worked with the directors to explore what new or different behaviours they needed from the senior managers in order to make progress. In parallel we asked the senior managers what behaviours they needed from the directors to allow them to play a bigger role. Later, these behaviours were consolidated into a 360° questionnaire and feedback process that enabled all parties to understand how their current behaviour was perceived and to what extent progress was being made. As with most change initiatives we hit resistance at first, before the value of the process was perceived, accepted and then embraced by all.

For both the skills and behavioural development we employed a blended approach from our Learning Mix™ of self-directed learning, commercially-focused modular workshops, coaching and business improvement projects. A series of short, bespoke workshops were held for the directors, combined with coaching sessions, to help them grow in role be less ‘hands-on’ and facilitate change.

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Leadership Coaching

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

Our Director of Coaching, Philip Perry, met with the CFO (to whom she reported progress on the strategic project) to agree the full scope, establish the business outcomes required and how these would be measured. They were:

  • Implementation of a single financial process and reporting platform across the Group within an 18 month period
  • 10% improvement on the team’s KPIs for customer service within 12 months
  • A 100 day plan detailing the key milestones on the strategic project and the resources required to ensure on-time, in-full delivery (OTIF)
  • 15% cost reduction within 12 months

We recommended two coaches from our team whose skills and experience would match the assignment. They each met with the coachee who chose her preferred coach. They then met for six face-to-face coaching sessions over a six month period, with interim telephone and email support. Regular reviews were held with the sponsor to discuss progress.

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Sales Mentoring

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

What we do:

  • Morgan Clarke designs the overall approach, project manages implementation of the assignment step-by-step, and based on our experience, we provide advice on how to proceed at each stage
  • We run ‘analysis meetings’ to provide the psychological assessment of mid-performers, usually nominated in the first instance by the client. We explore who is ‘up for’ development. We highlight the type of motivation people have. We’re looking for a genuine motivation to achieve, and can provide accurate assessments of who is ready for this development
  • We provide simple, cost effective education, training and support for senior managers showing them how to mentor the mid-range performers who are selected for the programme
  • ‘Peer referencing’ events for all the mentees supplement the mentoring sessions bringing ideas, tips and additional motivation

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Cost-effective In-house Mentoring

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

One answer, which built self-reliance, more focus on talent development, and improved the internal coaching capability immeasurably, was to establish an internal Mentoring Scheme whereby senior leaders with experience supported, guided and challenged more inexperienced mentees.

For this client, the Mentoring Scheme was owned by a senior executive from the Global Leadership Development Team.

Morgan Clarke provided know-how, a process and framework, Mentor and Mentee training and coaching for the programme manager.

A Mentoring Guide was produced which acted as an aide-memoire and provided advice on roles, responsibilities and practicalities, key skills and behaviours and a structure for mentoring meetings/calls.

Finally, potential Mentors were vetted, approved (or rejected), then profiles written up describing Mentors’ experience and ‘value proposition’ as a Mentor, and placed on the client’s intranet site in an easy to read database of suitable Mentors. Mentees were tasked with working with their line managers to ensure that their leadership development goals were clearly defined, then selecting two or three likely Mentors with appropriate experience or attributes and then contacting each of them to enable mentees to find the best fit.

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Mentoring

Ivan Lendl’s Approach to Mentoring

“I didn’t come in to this job [coach to Andy Murray] to have a good time, I came here to help Andy win” said Ivan Lendl as he watched poker faced while his mentee Andy Murray became the first British Men’s Wimbledon finalist in 76 years! No celebrations for Lendl. Winning the tournament was the aim, not coming second.

As Boris Becker says, “Credit to Andy for having the courage to make such a high-profile step, because it would have been easy to settle for a more comfortable appointment – somebody who he could have bossed about and listened to when he felt like it. He (Lendl) won’t be happy with Andy standing at No.3 or No.4 in the world, he will be driving him on to No.1”.

Murray acknowledges that he couldn’t have won either the 2012 London Olympics gold medal, or the US Open or Wimbledon in 2013 without having Ivan Lendl as his coach and mentor. Becker once again, referring to Lendl says “you are talking about a guy who knows the difference between winning and losing a Grand Slam. Having that insight helped Andy Murray get over the hump in his career”.

So how long is a mentoring relationship? “Both Andy and I were saying ‘give us six to nine months’” the 53 year-old Lendl said. “Do the maths. You can help somebody, clearly, in a very short period of time. However, it takes longer than that to help more, for the progress to set in. You can not do that in one week, you can not do it in one month. I hope that we are not yet anywhere near where Andy can get”, said Lendl in 2012.

Murray, having emulated his mentor in winning a Grand Slam final at the fifth attempt, then used his triumph as a springboard to attain a new level of excellence – and many more major championships, including a second Wimbledon title.

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Business Performance Coaching

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

We helped the client identify the topics to be addressed which would ensure the success of the candidate. We clarified the personal and professional development needs of the individual and agreed benchmarking and measures of success. This was captured in a Coaching Contract at the start of the programme together with agreements about confidentiality and reporting processes.

Suitable coaches were identified from our team using our rigorous ‘matching’ process.
This maps the requirements of the coaching assignment and the psychological profile of the
coachee against potential coaches based on their experience, areas of expertise and
coaching style.

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Manager to Leader

Morgan Clarke’s Approach

Working closely with the directors, and other relevant stakeholders, we clarified the requirement and designed a leadership development programme that was aligned with the needs of the business. We agreed the programme aim, objectives and the nomination process and success measures with the directors. The nomination process had transparent selection criteria so that the individuals had a clear understanding of why they were chosen and what was expected of them.

Participants were thoroughly briefed to ensure that they clearly understood the approach and the need for strong personal commitment over the course of a year. This commitment equated to 12 workshop days plus up to 2 days per month to meet with their business sponsor, complete self directed learning, prepare for workshops and work on business improvement projects.

The programme involved a ‘blended learning’ approach:

  • Self Directed Learning Guides were used to set expectations, enable individuals to fully prepare and learn new models and concepts ahead of workshop sessions. This self-directed learning approach reduced opportunity cost, allowing for maximum interaction time during workshops and providing support during implementation.
  • The modular workshop programme that was spread over 12 months to maintain momentum within the initiative, was practical, action oriented and aligned to business needs. It was stretching for the participants and there was an emphasis on personal responsibility for self learning. Throughout the programme there were regular contributions from the clients’ senior managers and external leaders drawn from the wider business environment and other Morgan Clarke clients (e.g.: Canon UK, Lloyds Banking Group). Some of the sessions were designed run by participants to broaden their knowledge, understanding and experience. The programme was also commercially focused, with an emphasis on participants’ continued contribusion to strong business growth and sustainable profitability.
  • Individual coaching from Morgan Clarke has been a key success factor in enabling personal development; accelerating acceptance and embedding of new behaviours
  • Mentoringfor each participant by their business sponsor
  • Business Improvement Projectssponsored by directors (with Morgan Clarke guidance) to help participants stretch their capability in new areas, implement new skills and approaches, cascade tools, techniques, and learning to other team members and deliver a return on investment (payback on commercial leadership development programmes is often achieved through the projects alone)
  • Measurement of individual progress against learning objectives and impact on the business

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