Whether we are working with an individual executive, the organization or a particular team, we always hold the context that none of it happens in a vacuum. Every action an executive takes has impact not simply on her work but on the work of her direct reports and their teams. We call this the three level focus: recognizing that the results we desire and the measurements of success happen on a much grander scale. If we are truly effective the net outcome of our coaching or program interventions will be seen in the changes and increased effectiveness of those second level connections. That's why we set the metrics on the changes they produce!
Often working with a senior executive or chief executive of a company exposes a significant need to improve the overall effectiveness of the organization. Here is a short example of what we mean:
While coaching the President of a local biotech company, we observed that the way in which decisions were implemented and communicated was "somewhat" lacking. Confusion was the reign of the day and often executive briefings were followed by "the meeting after the meeting" where countless hours were consumed in figuring out how and what needed to be done.
We set up a senior management offsite which included both the senior management team and the bulk of the other upper and mid-level managers. Using a variety of simple and quick-to-administer instruments that address communication styles and conflict styles, we designed a day-and-a-half session that started with a re-tweaking of the corporate vision statement and drove all the way through the core principles of decision-making. Engaging the mid and upper level managers in a healthy discussion of decision principles resulted in the company being able to drive the decision point to the individual client contact (actually the fourth level out) and drastically improved performance overall.