Executive and Career Coaching

Executive Coaching

We provide one on one coaching in order to:

  • Improve leadership skills,
  • Prepare middle and senior managers for promotion, and
  • Enhance people and performance management skills.

Birch Consulting Group also has experience in providing support on issues relating to succession planning, general leadership and developing criteria for promotion. We are currently providing executive coaching to CEOs, executives and senior managers across a range of companies and industries, both in Australia and internationally. 

One of the sectors in which Birch Consulting Group has undertaken a considerable amount of coaching is with professional services firms. With her background, founder Cherry Birch understands the unique nature of professional firms, both from being a partner herself in an accountancy practice, having worked for 2 major management consultancies, in 3 countries, and through her current coaching assignments. This rare blend of experience makes her ideally placed to effectively coach senior personnel in professional firms. 

Career Coaching

In addition to facilitating workshops on Career Development, Birch Consulting Group offers personal career coaching support on a one on one basis.

Many of the assignments are aimed at enabling the participant to make career strategy decisions. Here are a number of examples:

  • Post-merger – a disillusioned member of the Integration Team with a larger job and a narrower scope wanting to determine a career strategy for what to do next,
  • A British expatriate trying to evaluate whether to return home or take a local position,
  • A Singaporean struggling with cultural differences and career direction,
  • Managers reaching a crossroads in their career as to whether to specialise or take a general management career path, and
  • Individuals unsuccessful in applying for senior positions who have temporarily lost their career direction
  • Senior managers having experienced major family or personal challenges, wanting assistance in deciding on their future career direction.

From an organisational viewpoint, the career assistance is often driven by a desire for retention, of which there is no guarantee. However, whatever the outcome and the decision by the participant, it will ensure that the organisation maintains the participant’s goodwill. Providing this support is consistent with being an Employer of Choice. As one HR manager commented, in briefing one assignment: “If they leave, we want it to be for the right reasons.”

Executive Coaching Assignments 

Our current and past executive and career coaching assignments include CEOs, partners in law and accounting firms, middle and senior managers and senior executives/managers from Government, an energy infrastructure and financial information provider as well as the NFP sector. A number of these assignments involve coaching via Skype since the client is based overseas.

Our current and past executive and career coaching assignments include CEOs, partners in law and accounting firms, middle and senior managers and senior executives/managers from Government, an energy infrastructure and financial information provider as well as the NFP sector. A number of these assignments involve coaching via Skype since the client is based overseas.

Some more details relating to some assignments are as follows:

  • Coaching 11 senior and middle managers at an oil company in Dubai – various leadership and management challenges, enabled via monthly coaching via Skype in addition to periodic face to face meetings. An ongoing engagement for the past 3 years.
  • Coached a Senior Associate at a law firm where the focus is promotion to Special Counsel/Partner and the development needs are around managing his profile and practice development.
  • Coached 2 General Managers of an infrastructure company. For one of them the focus was leadership skills on taking up the new position and for the other the focus was on the development needs identified through a 360 questionnaire.
  • Coached a senior HR Director based in Switzerland on a financial multinational re her transition to her new role.
  • Coaching 2 CEOs – one in Melbourne and one in Dubai with regard to their financial understanding and assisting them in reviewing their monthly results prior to Board meetings.
  • Coached a Special Counsel at a law firm where the focus was facilitating the growth of his practice and his promotion to partnership, which was achieved. This work was in addition to some career coaching carried out prior to his decision to go forward to partnership.
  • Coached a COO at another professional services firm with areas such as delegation, influencing and handling conflict.
  • Peer Group coaching – 2 groups of 4-5 managers from a professional firm. 4 sessions for each group facilitated over a 6 months program in support of a Leadership program.

The Coaching Process

Birch Consulting Group’s preferred approach is outlined below, however every assignment is unique and needs to be totally tailored.

  1. Clear goals and objectives need to be agreed at the start of any coaching relationship – both with the individual and his/ her manager/sponsor. 
  2. Self-Awareness is vital and often lacking. 360 degree assessment tools can be used to provide feedback or, if appropriate, selected key colleagues can be interviewed. 
  3. The ideal leadership profile for the participant needs to be identified. This profile should ensure that it meets both the leadership needs of the organisation, role, situation and their own values. 
  4. A gap analysis can then be performed to identify development needs. We recommend that the participant chooses only 3 – 4 behaviours, these being the ones which they believe will have the most impact. 
  5. Personality profiling is usually provided to ascertain how easy or difficult the participant may find the required behavioural changes. 
  6. The participant drafts a development plan, reviews it with the coach and then this is agreed with the manager/sponsor. 
  7. The participant then needs to implement their plan over an agreed period – typically 6 months. The coach and participant meet on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis to discuss the application of the plan to the actual situations they face – rehearsing approaches and then at the next meeting reviewing what actually happened. 
  8. This iterative process continues until the agreed review time when further feedback is sought – either by a 360 retest or interview, to ascertain and measure the success of the coaching.