L&Q are one of the UK’s largest housing associations, with over 1,200 staff in 18 locations and offices. They work with 90 local authorities in London and the South East, and manage over 67,000 homes.
Phase 2 has already been commissioned and is underway. This includes a further four coaching sessions for each individual with their original coach
Sue Blow, our Senior Executive Coach and Coaching Supervisor, led a team to find out the challenges L&Q were facing and what they wanted to achieve. A number of meetings were held with the Project Sponsor and her staff to understand these challenges, and to determine what would be viewed as success.
We proposed to provide each individual executive board member with their own coach, who would be picked from a team of varying backgrounds and matched to the individual. This ensured a degree of confidentiality and allowed trust to be built. The coach would meet with the individual to discuss the findings of the 360° report and would then agree objectives for the coaching sessions. Each executive board member would have four sessions over the course of a year.
The coaches met for a preliminary supervision session with an external coaching supervisor, and for subsequent sessions during the course of the contract.
Some of the Results
The value the coaches were getting from the sessions immediately became apparent from the feedback to the sponsor. The sessions very quickly went beyond what had been agreed based on the 360° feedback, to coaching the individuals through many differing challenges they faced in managing the business and its people, and the strategic direction they were planning. A qualitative exercise has been conducted following completion of the coaching contracts, to measure satisfaction levels with the outcomes.
The coaches are showing increased confidence in their day to day dealings, which is having a galvanising effect on their staff and on the business. There is now a greater degree of clarity around how they conduct themselves and how they manage their staff.
Some of the Challenges
It quickly became apparent that some of the coaches wanted sessions to be run more often than every three months, so each session was determined by mutual agreement based on need.
The Senior Executive Management team, who manage strategic vision and the day-to-day operations, and who report to an external Board, had begun a learning journey to develop themselves as individuals and as a team. This had included 360° feedback from staff, peers and the people they were accountable to, and also attendance on Cranfield Management Training programmes. The challenge they faced was how to take the feedback and learning they had already received and follow through on the good work that had been started.