Acquisition International - January 2017 19 Business Results That Change the World Our clients rely on us to source extraordinary coaches and as our international partnerships have grown in recent years, so we have dedicated a lot of time to growing our network of evolutionary coaches with the effect that our team has grown and continues to do so but without diminishing quality. Significant successes Our client Coca-Cola Hellenic Russia was awarded international recognition by the ICF. The International Prism Award honours businesses and organisations with coaching programmes that fulfill rigorous professional standards, address key strategic goals, shape organisational culture and yield discernible and measurable positive impacts. Coca-Cola Hellenic Russia’s success story, in competition with 48 companies worldwide, received the coveted Honourable Mention Award for its extraordinary effort and large scale coaching culture implementation. This approach ensured that Coca-Cola Hellenic Russia developed an extraordinary resilience that has helped to deal with challenging market conditions while still taking care of its people on all organisational levels. The results reported by the client: more than quadrupled ROI numbers, over 80% engagement rates, ability to operate effectively even during organisational restructuring and of course remaining the market leader in innovation Coca-Cola Russia’s demonstration of the highest and most rigorous standards in its approach to coaching took one of the top three places in the competition. Among the finalists were other distinguished organisations: GlaxoSmithKline, Beyond Emancipation, Eriksson Hungary and Google. and product quality. More detailed analysis in my following articles. Client satisfaction levels We can best point to the longevity of our client relationships and the way in which our clients continue to grow with us. For example, we have worked with Coca-Cola Hellenic for almost ten years, touching most of their 28 country units, training hundreds of managers in coaching skills and delivering executive coaching in many languages. The business results they report from the Russian organization alone include: More than 90 percent of individuals who partner with the coaches we trained in Coca-Cola Hellenic Russia report being very satisfied with the process and outcomes of coaching, while managers who use coaching skills with their teams report higher levels of trust and enhanced interpersonal relationships within their teams, increased innovation, and heightened employee engagement. The organization’s value index, which shows whether employees know and practice organizational values, has been increasing year over year and is currently at 85–88 percent. Since 2013, employee engagement across the enterprise has increased by 26 percent. The role staff play There are so many clichés about this but our staff literally are our business. Without an international team of extraordinary coaches, we cannot provide a service to our clients. We have been through a period of shifting our infrastructure and business support systems to make ourselves even more responsive to the new opportunities we face. We do this with a very small, well-connected and agile leadership team and a lot of very supportive coaches worldwide. This format means that we are able to respond quickly, work more intimately with our clients and build relationships that last and grow. The need for resilience in leadership We all know the cliché that ‘change is the only constant’ in this new millennium. We know the way that life is getting busier and busier and that pressure in the corporate world is getting greater and greater. I have seen nothing that suggests this will change very much in the near future. Leaders need to be resilient – to be there in the present moment, strong and charismatic and also to have a foot firmly in the future. It isn’t enough anymore to be predicting the future, we have to be thought leaders, choosing and creating the future that we want for ourselves. The sustainability of that future has to include our own health and wellbeing as well as that of our team members and our companies. And even that level of leadership is not enough. As we continue to move through this millennium, I predict a whole new paradigm of leadership will emerge. A paradigm of leadership that demands and invites individuals to accept themselves as a representative of humanity; someone who inspires trust rather than garners fear; someone who looks after themselves and their team; someone who has personal and business ethics that shine forth; leaders with absolute authenticity and an eye for the best for everyone. It sounds really tough to achieve this breadth of skill and quality in leadership, but I don’t see it that way. It will be easier on the body and mind because it is easier on the soul. To stand as a true and genuine person first and to lead from that space is energising not exhausting. This is what is required to be a true leader in this new paradigm. It is certainly what is required to inspire the millennials – a much maligned and, I would suggest, misunderstood, group of natural entrepreneurs with global connectivity and the creativity and energy to change the world and undo some of the damage done by their predecessors. This is the leadership energy that Corporate Potential wishes to be in partnership with. Our focus ins on leading coaching and training programmes that invite this level of leadership and support its development. This is what culture change programmes need to be working towards in my opinion – creating the space in which our new paradigm of authentic, inspirational leaders can thrive and develop. We need to create company cultures that can embrace and support a massive diversity; we have moved so far beyond “managing diversity”. Diversity is our current reality and a very exciting one at that. It’s time to facilitate a new leadership movement that isn’t so much “inclusive” but that recognises that every single human being is different. We aren’t different in batches – we are each individual and unique representations of humanity and the way forward is as one, not as a series of groups somehow pushed together with our differences “managed”. Leadership development and organisational culture These are two of our three key offerings and we remain in a space of evolution and revolution here! “Leadership development” and “culture change” are overused terms to the extent that they often roll off the tongue without real thought. We will continue to create the future rather than respond to the changes the present brings. We have to walk the talk here and continue to be authentic and driven by what is good for humanity and not just the bottom line. Prevailing wisdom appears to be slowly dawning on the realisation that there need be no tension between the two! External coaches - the preferred option External coaches are still the standard choice for most senior executives. However, we have worked to balance this better with our coach training programmes. We looked at why this is the case – after all financially it makes no sense. For the cost of 2-3 days of external executive coaching, we can train an extraordinary internal coach who would then go on to coach extensively in-house for very little additional cost. Of course, there will always be people and situations for which an external coach makes the most sense, but with the right selection procedure, the right training and the right support, the Certified Internal Coaches that we have trained have gone on to coach right up to CEO level and have made huge business impact on large scale in-house programmes also. Priorities for the future Our key priority right now is growing our core leadership team as we expand globally. We have always operated as a “boutique” organisation, working with a limited number of clients who have huge plans and the commitment to see these plans through. Now that our reputation has grown globally we have decided to walk our own talk and evolve into an organisation that is playing a much ‘bigger game’ in the world. 2016 was a year where the human collective consciousness had the opportunity to make major changes globally; to step up and consciously design the future that we want for ourselves and our planet. We didn’t necessarily do that to the best of our potential and we saw the impact of this with radical, unexpected changes voted for by the public and taking place in less organised ways too. People are demanding change and leaders in politics through to small businesses have lacked the courage to take on this challenge to evolve and grow. Now I believe that this is changing. We have seen what happens when we vote in protest rather than consciously and openly choose what we really do want to see in the world. I believe and hear that people are sick of feeling like victims and are moving into a far greater space of autonomy and personal responsibility. The new paradigm of leaders aren’t afraid of that. They see its potential and are hungry to embrace this new energy and to work with it to make great things happen. Our clients tend to be the type of individuals and companies who really want to do that – to say “this is what I want for the world – and myself” and then go and make it happen. They stop and pause, reflect, choose consciously the very best that they want to be and then expect the best for themselves and of themselves. They want to move out of complacency and doing “enough” into a space of creation and evolution. Honestly, we have been through the same transition. We were successful “enough” – making “enough” of a difference, making a profit and doing great work that changes lives and companies - and we can do more. We were happy and a bit complacent and 2017 will be a year when we as a company step up to a much bigger plate; when we choose even greater growth and expansion and never at the expense of quality. “Business results that change the world” is our new motto.