Executive Coaching Deepens and Accelerates Learning in a Leadership Program

The challenge

As head of Learning and Development at a global financial services firm, Patricia was tasked with creating a new leadership development program for the most senior leaders in the organization. She grappled with some critical questions:

  • How could the organization build the business leadership capabilities of their managing directors and make sure that the learning was relevant to each individual leader?
  • What could they do to ensure that the learning continued throughout the eight-month program, and wasn’t limited to the three times the leaders would be together for learning modules?
  • How should they balance the need to teach core leadership skills with the goal of delivering a highly customized experience for each of the 28 participants every year?

The participants came from all corners of the organization, from Hong Kong to New York, from business development to legal. They were expected to become the future senior leaders of the firm.

The Boda approach

Patricia asked The Boda Group to coach each leader and to facilitate peer coaching in small groups.

Each leader met monthly with their Boda coach. Participants delved deeply into their individual experience as leaders of the firm, applying key learnings and insights from the program’s learning modules. The coaches helped participants interpret and process the feedback they received from their direct reports, peers, and leaders. Using this feedback, the leaders developed individual leadership plans that outlined their goals, areas of growth, action steps, success metrics, and the support they needed to achieve each goal.

The peer coaching began in the first onsite module, with two Boda coaches teaching the full group of participants a few core coaching skills. Participants then gathered in smaller peer groups to practice these skills while working through important real-life challenges. After this initial session, the peer coaching groups met monthly via conference call with a Boda coach. In each session, the leaders discussed their development goals, received feedback on their progress, and practiced their coaching skills.

Beyond the individual coaching and peer coaching, the Boda engagement manager (and lead coach) worked with the team of seven Boda coaches, making sure the coaches were clear on the program objectives and learning modules, sharing development themes and approaches, and addressing any concerns. In monthly debriefs with the coaches, the Boda engagement manager also gathered themes from the coaching and shared them with Patricia, which helped hone the program design going forward.

The results

Bolstered by the individual executive coaching, participants completed the program with heightened self-awareness, better self-management, stronger leadership skills, increased engagement, and more confidence. The peer coaching groups strengthened relationships across departments and disciplines. Patricia is confident that the leaders who participated in the program now have the skills and networks necessary to become the company’s next generation of leaders.