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The Science and Art of Executive Coaching

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A practical and realistic approach to effective coaching for senior managers and leaders in your organization is available to you. Whether you are considering one to one coaching for yourself, a valued contributor, or are interested in building an internal coaching group “The Science and Art of Executive Coaching” is worth a look.

There can be a clear line of sight from Organization Development to Leadership Development to Executive (or high level) Coaching. My Six Step Model to Executive Coaching has led to many successful coaching outcomes. It integrates the science and the art of coaching into a powerful and effective approach.

Click here to read more about my Six Step Model.

Whether it is individual coaching or the enhancement of coaching skills within an organization, The Science and Art of Executive Coaching is a proven and successful methodology offered by Grahall.

And for more information check out my videos at:

Introduction to The Science and Art of Executive Coaching
The Science and Art of Executive Coaching Part 1
The Science and Art of Executive Coaching Part 2

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Leadership Development, Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Determining the Level of Employee Engagement is Only the First Step….

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An April 2, 2013 article in Forbes by Susan Adams surfaced a study by Leadership IQ that found that “More than a third of companies are so dysfunctional, the best people don’t really care about what they’re doing and the worst people don’t know that they are doing a lousy job…. Companies should be worried about these findings… because high performers tend to thrive on feeling involved and challenged.”

Wow, 42%!   That sounds like a big number, but since we don’t know the nature of the sample, other than that “leadership IQ’s research base includes thousands of companies and their employees” it is hard to tell how broadly these results should be applied.
Continue reading “Determining the Level of Employee Engagement is Only the First Step….” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



The Right Track

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In the face of all the recessions since 1980, employment numbers have simply not bounced back to where there were previously. We need to face the fact that certain jobs are not coming back. Whether they have been sent overseas to cheaper workforces or they have been automated, some positions, most of them less skilled, are gone forever. But it’s not just jobs like cashiers and bank tellers that have been automated or manufacturing jobs that have gone overseas, it is lots and lots of middle level management positions at large companies that have disappeared as well. While this is not good for many Americans, it may be good for business.
Continue reading “The Right Track” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Boards’ New Mantra: Communicate

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Joann Lublin wrote a very interesting article for the Wall Street Journal recently, titled Season of Shareholder Angst: U.S. businesses are bracing for a noisy proxy-voting season this year, although we think the anxiety may be felt more fiercely by board members than by shareholders.  In her article, Ms. Lublin covers a variety of topics weighing heavily on the minds of boards and shareholders alike, including say on pay, political contributions, succession planning, board elections and environmental concerns. 

Say on pay has been in the headlines for years. It was a campaign issue in the 2008 presidential elections and we have been discussing this subject in our blogs for that long as well.  The Dodd Frank Act mandated that all public filers hold “say on pay” votes in 2011, so this proxy season has companies scrambling to make recommendations to shareholders on the frequency of these votes. 
Continue reading “Boards’ New Mantra: Communicate” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development, Expert Perspective - Rewards



Executive Coaching: How to Make Great People Even Better

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Expert Perspective From Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Searching for interesting articles to discuss with the Editorial Board we came across one penned by Mark Jaffe last August (Freelancing ‘Til You Drop) where Jaffe writes: “When did every living executive get diagnosed as being in critical need of coaching?…. And how did all these dysfunctional leaders manage to fool so many people for so long? How were they able to last as much as fifteen minutes given the extreme darkness that surrounds them as they stumble cluelessly through their surrealistic dream worlds?”

Well as “President of Wyatt & Jaffe, [where] Mark Jaffe has been called one of the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters’ by BusinessWeek magazine” we wonder if he might not hold a bias against coaching.  Perhaps he is concerned if execs get coaching they will be less likely to be replaced, limiting searches.  Or maybe he is concerned that execs need for coaching reflects poorly on recruiters who are expected to offer up the most effective execs to their clients.

Regardless, let’s take a more expansive look at coaching.
Continue reading “Executive Coaching: How to Make Great People Even Better” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Leading From the Top

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Rory Cellan-Jones’ November 14, 2010 article for the BBC (Can brain scans tell us who makes a good chief executive? Brain scans could reveal leadership ability) got our editorial board thinking about what we have seen as important characteristics of effective leaders.  Cellan-Jones writes: “Neuroscientists and psychologists believe they can make a real contribution to our understanding of what makes leaders tick.”   So until advanced technologies can scan a baby’s brain at birth and let us know if he or she will be a leader or a follower, here are a few things to consider:

1) Leadership is highly situational and cannot be defined in a limited way.  Like an animate organism, a company goes through a lifecycle that bring changes. From start up to decline and all the steps in between, the company’s leaders will help to dictate continued success (or failure).  The characteristics of the individual who will effectively lead a start-up differ from the characteristics of the individual who will effectively lead a mature organization. If the leader does not evolve and develop the skills necessary to address the company’s changing needs, the company will suffer. 

2) Even within those broad strokes of life cycles, the culture of the company can dictate the characteristics necessary for a leader’s success.  Take for example the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. Both are very successful, mature franchises, but their cultures and the style of their leaders (coaches and quarterbacks) could hardly be more different.

 The danger, of course, in determining the characteristics of “good leaders” and applying that with advanced technologies to single out a privileged group of individuals is that it probably won’t work, in part for the reasons discussed above, and in part for two other very critical reasons. 

There is a lot of luck associated with the identification and assent of leaders.  Warren Buffet himself said that his success is fundamentally based on the time and place he was born and raised.   Will the individual with the greatest potential for leadership always be identified?  Absolutely not.  And applying expensive technologies to help determine the best leaders will reinforce an already inequitable system.

Last but not least, the criteria used to identify leaders will be based on the group of leaders in place today.  Will those characteristics be right for the rapidly evolving companies of tomorrow?  Or will reinforcing the “status quo” of leadership characteristics impair the ability of companies to compete in the new and different economies we will face in the future?

As we said on our blog “In His Own Image: How Competency Models Compel Uniformity” recognizing and assessing important and unique talents and capabilities in potential leaders may be difficult for those whose personal and leadership styles provided the basis for existing competency models.  But, competitive advantage does not come from leaving unrecognized leadership talent on the table.

Contact Grahall’s Omni Media Editorial Board at edie.kingston@grahall.com

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Overcoming Fundamental Problems When Recruiting

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

We couldn’t help but chuckle when we read in Joe Light’s November 15th article for the Wall Street Journal (Keeping ‘Overqualifieds’ on Board) that Sayed Sadjady, who leads PriceWaterhouseCooper’s talent management practice, hired  “…some candidates, who would have secured high positions in a better economy, at lower levels instead.  Now…the company is revisiting the compensation, positions and development opportunities of [these] employees to bring them in line with the improved market.”

Shame on you Sayed for hiring people at the “wrong“  compensation level. And no wonder his “…clients [have] become concerned about overqualified hires looking to move to higher-paid positions…”).

Too often companies make four fundamental errors when recruiting:

1) They waste scare resources.
2) They fail to hire workers who are as committed to the company as the company is to them.
3) They forget that not all employees need to be long-term employees.
4) They disregard the fact that “the workforce” has changed.

Smart companies know that compensation is neither the right magnet nor the right glue to attract and retain workers.  Certainly it plays a part, but too often companies waste too much of their scarce resources – time and money – on workers who don’t boost competitive advantage.  Those positions that move the organization toward its goals are considered mission critical or “competitive advantage” positions. With competitive advantage positions, it is important to look for the best candidates and, more often than not, spend more than the market’s average in compensation dollars.

As is perfectly illustrated in the challenges faced by companies who hired workers at too low a salary, companies fail to search for candidates who are both right for the company and vice versa.  Based on our experience, a mutually rewarding outcome demands that the company hire candidates who are the best fit for the job.  Those candidates likewise  feel the company is the best fit for them.

Employees will continue with a company for as long as it feels “right” to them, and often not a moment longer.   Employers will retain workers for as long as they provide value, and not a moment longer.
Because of this, it is more appropriate to consider whether job candidates can and will make a meaningful contribution during their tenure, rather than worry about what that tenure might be.

For the majority of companies, there is no longer a single “workforce”.  There may be 10 or even 100 different workforces that are aligned like layers of an onion.  A uniform planning, management, rewards system or communications program will not work in this complex environment. 

In summary, organizations are made up of all types of “tissue,” and workers are akin to the specialized cells of these tissues. It is important for companies to think differently about how to recruit, motivate and retain these unique workers.  It’s not easy and will likely require continual review and improvement to HR tools. But it is not only the way of the future, but the way of today.

Contact Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board at edie.kingston@grahall.com

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Great Corporate Governance Starts with Capable Directors

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Joanne Lublin’s article in the Wall Street Journal, Using a Board Seat as a Stepping Stone, quotes Susan Stautberg, co-founder of OnBoard Bootcamp as saying potential director candidates should “…downplay their usual aggressiveness during board interviews because a director must be a good listener…Boards value teamwork, diplomacy and collaboration as well.”

In our experience, the best directors are more like supreme court judges – good questioners first; good listeners second.  Unfortunately, some Boards seem to be the embodiment of the proverbial “Three Wise Monkeys,” unwilling to recognize anything damaging or detrimental in the decisions and actions of management. 
Continue reading “Great Corporate Governance Starts with Capable Directors” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Putting a Price on Corporate Governance: Does Your Board Add To Your Value Chain?

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

We noticed that the Forum for Corporate Directors recently hosted the “7th Annual Directors’ Institute to Prepare Directors for Change in the Boardroom by Addressing the Consequences of New Governance Policies”.  According to the press release, the 2 day conference was to focus on “the most timely and critical issues facing today’s boards of directors.”   Quite frankly we were pleased to see that one of the panel topics was “Do You Really Have the Right Board?”  We think that if boards truly asked themselves this question, the answer for many companies going through change would be a resounding “NO”. 
Continue reading “Putting a Price on Corporate Governance: Does Your Board Add To Your Value Chain?” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



To Get the Right Person for the Job, Recruit the Right Way

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board
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With American workers changing jobs and companies many times over in the course of their working lives, recruiting is a mission critical job for every company.   It may seem that in these days of widespread unemployment recruiting is as simple as hanging out the help wanted sign.  But the truth is that with many people out of work the job of identifying and hiring the best and the right person for a job can be more, not less challenging.   Many ccompanies find that posting open positions can bring hundreds of resumes and wading through these can be both time consuming and fraught with challenges.  Additionally, there is no guarantee that the perfect candidate can be found in that mountain of paper.

So with recruiting becoming more and more important and with significant associated cost of employee turnover and replacement, what can a company do to effectively manage this process?
Continue reading “To Get the Right Person for the Job, Recruit the Right Way” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development