Team Coaching Success: Improving Observable and Measurable Impact
Team Coaching is fundamentally an individual and collective process of learning and change, and as such, team coaches should have a clearly articulated “theory of change” that underlies their Team Coaching approach. Throughout the years with my Team Coaching clients, I have witnessed team members struggling at the beginning with systems thinking skills when asked to draw a picture in their mind of their working systems. I know the feeling, as most of us baby boomers/Gen Xers in the Western world have been (conventionally) educated and conditioned into thinking linearly, step-by-step in a continuous piecemeal approach and bringing with it a scientific one-truth avenue. The temptation is to look for facts rather than allowing patterns to emerge. Being a Frenchman, Descartes initiated a bit of this, and I should know a thing or two about the Cartesian dualism mentality because the French educational system is still overwhelmingly based on this mental construct. Nevertheless, this “mental map” has its benefits such as PMO, striving to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects with its deadlines, implementing and executing task-orientated work. However, in order to navigate the complexity of this VUCA world and its “wicked problems,” it is difficult to adapt to the rigidity, certainty and predetermined linear outcomes, as uncertainty is the new norm. My twelve years in the trenches designing and delivering team coaching programs have led me to conclude that the AQAL Integral Framework developed by Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute is, by far, the most precise map currently available for my “articulated” theory of change within a team coaching context. AQAL itself stands for “All Quadrants, all Levels,” which is short for “All Quadrants, all Levels, all Lines, all States and all Types,” which are the five dimensions or elements that Wilber uses to define reality. The AQAL map ensures that you are utilizing the full range of resources for any situation, with the greater likelihood of success because ALL experiences have both interior and exterior components in singular and collective forms. It’s a 5D multidimensional integral way of looking at reality, and as coaching practitioners, we can use this at different levels. For the simplicity of this article, we will map a change journey from a quadrant perspective using team coaching and the collective as a unit in the center of the diagram: Exercise evaluating impacts in team coaching using the AQAL model: Think of a recent team coaching client and imagine yourself walking into the first (UL) Individual-Interior quadrant of your client and circling right (UR) Individual – Exterior and back to bottom (LL) Collective – Interior and finally (LR) Collective Exterior, mapping this as a unit for the collective: As you enter each quadrant see, feel, sense yourself addressing the coaching alliance from each perspective: What are the individual patterns of competing commitments of the collective (UL)? What do you sense as their common individual beliefs/perceptions and as a collective unit? What would improve the collective emotional DNA of the team? What leadership competencies (i.e., managing conflict) have you established in the team coaching agreement (UR)? What are the key strategic activities that the team needs to allocate to individual team members? What is the purpose and desired values/operating principles of this team (LL)? What is the informal power structure and politics within the team? What rhythm does the team have? What are the interdependent measurable KPIs objectives as a collective (LR)? What are the key strategic goals that the team needs to own as a whole? What is your preferred team coaching quadrant? Do you always start with the (UL) – Individual Interior world of the team leader? Do you spend most of your time on the (UR) focusing on the “what” of team performance? Or, do you prefer to coach on the “how” of team process (LL)? Or, work on the team structure and design (LR)? As learning capability is critical to teaming and a big part of the role of team coaching is to accelerate learning, I find this change journey mapping a useful exercise in setting anchor points, co-creating the relationship and establishing the coaching agreement with my team clients. You cannot understand the experience of your client and fully facilitate learning and results through the lens of any other quadrant, and each unhealthy quadrant will have an impact on the other three as per the example below: In conclusion, one of the key set of capabilities of a team coach is to diagnose the collective team culture and dynamics and systemic patterns while feeding back in ways that create new insights and mindset shift in the team. The AQAL map is just one tool that helps you enhance your systemic capabilities and can be used to diagnose, contract (setting the foundation) and facilitate learning and results with your client team. #SystemThinking #TeamCoaching #AQALModel
Free Assessment Report on Your Organizational Capacity to Meet Your Ambitious Scaling Milestones
Today our times will be marked by how we navigate unprecedented complexity. This new VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) amplified context, with its pace of change and spaghetti bowl of problems to solve, requires new leadership capacity to prevent stagnation and leading effectively. Navigating through the continuum of the unknown/uncertainty as oppose to the known/certainty old paradigm becomes a must-have to scale the business model and its associated unit economics.
Check out our latest assessment with a FREE report on: How to rapidly increase your organizational capacity to meet your ambitious scaling milestones. You will receive a pdf report and optional 30 minutes FREE no-obligation consultation call. Looking forward to our eCoffee! From your gap score, you can have what you want and overcome these obstacles if you upshift your organization’s capacity in four dimensions simultaneously. #AQALModel #Change #StrategicAlignment
Improve Group Problem Solving and Enhance Business Innovation
Lego Serious Play We are introducing a team facilitation tool that you will find hopefully fresh and interesting. If you are looking for a progressive; innovative; fun; right brain; creative; transformational; result-oriented facilitation day blended with coaching for your next leadership retreat then Contact Us about Lego Serious Play. Lego Serious Play is a powerful tool designed to enhance innovation and business performance. Innovation is a tool that every organization needs to improve on over the years in order to improve their business performance. Challenges in the work environment are becoming more prominent with the need for growth enhancement due to the fast pace of technology. This calls for unusual approaches to meet these issues in order to enable employees to think outside of the box and enhance innovation. Lego Serious Play does exactly this; allowing employees to communicate on a more open-minded level thus increasing better team dynamics. Breaking down professional barriers and allowing employees to respond in a more informal and natural approach encourages creativity to grow within a group. Lego is often a childhood nostalgia for many people and will stimulate memories of creativity from the past. This will, in turn, inspire employees to think outside the box just like they did as a child. Therefore, enables problem-solving to be more fun as well as motivating for an individual to produce authentic ideas. This kind of thinking is what creates a competitive advantage in an organization; the chance for employees to let loose and contribute more to solutions. Lego Play not only enhances creative solutions for daily challenges that are faced in the work environment but also creates a feeling of a whole team. This dynamic allows for strengthening employee relations and therefore increasing business performance. We can organise Lego Serious Play facilitation days for teams and groups starting from half-day sessions. Unleash your creativity and get in touch with us today to discover what's possible! #Innovation #TeamCoaching
Le Leadership : Pilier Mesurable et Déterminant des Performances Entrepreneuriales
Les performances d'une startup sont le fruit de multiples paramètres incluant le produit ou services, le contexte du marché, le niveau d'innovation, la compétitivité et bien d'autres...bref le cycle de l'adéquation produit-marché. " Une start-up est une organisation temporaire conçue pour rechercher un modèle économique reproductible et évolutif " Steve Blank Toutefois, parmi cette pléthore de variables, le leadership se distingue comme l'une des composantes les plus déterminantes et quantifiables, en opposition à une conception courante qui sous-estime sa mesurabilité ou son impact. En général, l e leadership exerce une influence significative sur les résultats d'une entreprise. Il englobe la capacité à guider, motiver et mobiliser les équipes vers l'atteinte des objectifs fixés. La recherche indique que le leadership a un impact de 10 à 15 % sur la performance financière et un impact de 25 à 30 % sur la valorisation boursière d'une startup. Contrairement à une croyance populaire, la qualité et l'efficacité du leadership peuvent être appréhendées avec une précision notable. Des indicateurs tels que la performance globale de l'entreprise avec son cycle de croissance, la satisfaction des employés, le taux de rétention du personnel et la gestion des crises (c.-à-d. conception - développement - commercialisation) sont autant de mesures tangibles qui révèlent l'impact du leadership sur l'organisation. En outre, les approches modernes de gestion ont développé des outils pour évaluer et améliorer les compétences de leadership. Les évaluations à 360 degrés, les enquêtes de climat organisationnel et les retours d'expérience des employés offrent des perspectives multidimensionnelles sur la qualité du leadership. Les entreprises proactives investissent dans l'apprentissage comme la formation continue des leaders (i.e. coaching de cadres) et l'encouragement de pratiques de leadership éthiques et adaptatives pour optimiser leur impact positif. Chez BC Team Coaching, nous apprécions l'apprentissage car nous croyons que l'efficacité de l'apprentissage organisationnel est l'avantage concurrentiel le plus important pour toutes les organisations et, comme les environnements organisationnels changent plus rapidement, le taux d'apprentissage doit augmenter. Il est donc vital de reconnaître que la qualité du leadership peut être un prédicteur crucial des performances de l'entreprise. Les entreprises qui intègrent une évaluation régulière et objective du leadership peuvent ajuster leurs stratégies en conséquence, garantissant ainsi une direction solide, inspirante et capable de naviguer efficacement dans un environnement en constante évolution. En somme, bien que de nombreux éléments contribuent aux résultats d'une startup, le leadership émerge comme un facteur déterminant et quantifiable. Sa capacité à influencer positivement la performance globale de l'organisation, combinée aux méthodes modernes d'évaluation et d'amélioration, souligne son rôle crucial. Loin d'être une notion abstraite, la qualité du leadership s'affirme comme un pilier prévisible et essentiel pour le succès et la pérennité des entreprises. "il n'y a pas d'apprentissage dans la zone de confort et pas de confort dans la zone d'apprentissage". Consultation gratuite - Obtenez 30 mns de consultation gratuitement. Notre facteur de différenciation provient de nos services intégrés de coaching en leadership d'entreprise offrant aux clients une approche unique et éprouvée de la conscience de soi, du développement du leadership et de la dynamique d'équipe. Notre méthodologie de coaching entrepreneurial basée sur la réflexion nous permet de libérer le plein potentiel des startups plutôt que de compter sur la consultation d'experts. "La culture mange la stratégie pour le petit-déjeuner et les opérations pour le dîner - les entreprises à forte culture réalisent un rendement total pour les actionnaires trois fois plus élevé"
Unlocking entrepreneurial potential, one conversation at a time
A question I often get during chemistry sessions from Startup CEOs is “what’s different about coaching compared to mentoring or workshop training?” This question usually comes from the legacy of accelerators and incubators where the main learning channel is mentoring with a predominant subject matter expert consultation. Business coaching is not mentoring. The focus of coaching is about improving performance, in this regard executive (business) coaching is closer to sports coaching. As a result, a key feature of coaching is behaviour, supported by cognition and motivation. After all, the pillars of academia research in coaching emanates from concepts of self-efficacy, goal-setting theories, positive psychology…etc. Such as when a client (coachee) is making progress towards their goals, it can increase their self-efficacy and lead to greater motivation to continue or making progress towards these goals, it can also create a sense of achievement and increase client motivation to continue working towards them…etc. Mentoring as a learning channel whilst having similarities with coaching is different. A mentor has experience in a specific field and imparts specific knowledge and acts as an adviser, a guide — as the role of the coach is not to advise. Anytime we have the mindset of expert, mentor or trainer, we are in the power position in the client-relationship. At BC Team Coaching, one of our main approaches is Transformational Coaching, a comprehensive and holistic approach to scaling up a startup for example, considering the individual, team, and organizational factors that impact growth. Potential of Transformational coaching can be identified at those three levels: (L1) The founder and his leadership behaviours, beliefs, and beings (Inner-Outer Selves). (L2) The startup operational system, structure and processes improving its go2market strategy, business model and investor readiness level (IRL). (L3) The broader innovation ecosystem When applied to scaling, this approach can help to shed light on the interconnection of all the different aspects of a startup, and how they work together to support better alignment, increased engagement or make better informed decisions that impact the entire organization (see our landing eBook page: https://www.systemscoaching.co.uk/ or Amazon Kindle ) By considering the interactions between different parts of the organization, we can help our clients identify patterns and underlying issues that may be contributing to problems and develop strategies to address them. This approach can also lead to more sustainable change, as it addresses the root causes of problems rather than just symptoms. At (L2) , one of the foundational premises of BC Team Coaching is that most Series A/BRL 6–7 startups lack one or more essential parts; once that part has been identified and infused into the organization, it will flourish. If the coach is expected to be a Subject Matter Expert on anything other than the application of coaching skills, the client may be wanting a mentor, consultant or benefit from training/courses. This may be so if someone wants to increase their technical knowledge or expertise. Currently, due to the global venture capital trends from seed stage companies attempting to get funding, we pivoted to a hybrid learning model — mentoring needs on Business Development Structure, Business Growth Models, KPI / OKRs dashboard, Inter-departmental Planning, facilitating a Management Team or Meeting Structure …this directive approach can be more efficient in certain situations where financial runway timing is of the essence or the executive lacks the knowledge or skills to solve the problem on their own. It can also be helpful if the executive is not interested in learning the skill or doesn’t have the time to invest in learning it. Startup clients often think they want someone who knows their industry, or has expertise in something they want to learn, and I understand there’s a level of comfort with that mindset. However, with (L1) Transformational coaching (i.e. founder and his leadership behaviours and beliefs (Inner-Outer Selves*): How do you mentor the greediness in the ecosystem that we witnessed with all the latest Fake it till you Make it lack of integrity scandals (i.e. FTX Sam B/Elizabeth Holmes..etc)? How do you mentor the CEO’s vision of building a unicorn (build them big and sell them big SV mindset) where the underlying issue can be an unconscious dream for the CEO’s inner child to get their parent’s acknowledgement finally? This is where coaching plays its role with the personalized guidance of the coach working on mental models, vertical learning such as beliefs systems (i.e., imposter syndrome, fear of failure) or value-based leadership — the inner-outer selves of the client. In this case, the Entrepreneurial Coaching with its reflection and action-based learning methodologies as opposed to the Expert-Consultation side of Mentoring is more impactful as a learning methodology. Coaches help individuals find their own solutions with an objective perspective on strengths and weaknesses for improvement, rather than offering them subjective advice or opinions. The best lessons in leadership come from observing, talking with, and getting feedback from others. Our approach is rooted in action-based learning and focuses on the transfer of knowledge and skills from the coaching sessions to the actual work environment. This helps businesses bridge the gap between theory and practice, making their learning more effective and leading to tangible results. From these different levels, each startup learning needs are unique so both mentor and coach can play a valuable role in helping people to grow and develop, but their approach, focus, and perspective can be different. Reflect on what type of coach or mentor you’re looking for and most of the time, from my experience, a hybrid approach from a Professional Accredited Coach and experienced mentoring will yield the most positive results. Notes: *The Power of Coaching and Neuroscience
"Coupling these two provides a deep impact emphasis of self-awareness about how one’s brain is wired to process information, learn and create habits while simultaneously using that awareness to dismantle self-limiting beliefs, doubts, anxieties, narrow perspectives and biases. This enables a new road map to be created that will form positive habits, thoughts, perspectives and actions."
Scaling Up Your Startup: Strategies and Tips for Overcoming the Challenges of Growth
Integral Leadership Coaching for Scaling Start-Up Growth: An Integrative and Systemic Approach to Change The AQAL framework developed by Ken Wilber and colleagues, provides a holistic and integrative approach to understanding the interconnection of all the different aspects of a start-up, and how they work together to support growth and success. By considering each of the four AQAL quadrants, the CEO can make informed decisions and effectively manage all aspects of the start-up, leading to successful scaling. As a systems business coach, AQAL coaching provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to scaling a start-up, taking into account the individual, team, and organizational factors that impact growth. Entrepreneurial coaching is reflection- and action-based learning method in entrepreneurial education as opposed to the expert-consultation side of mentoring. From my perspective, we add more value because we provide personalized guidance, encouragement, and support helping our clients reaching their goals rather than offering them subjective advice or opinions. When applied to scaling a start-up, the AQAL model considers four crucial quadrants - the interior individual of the CEO (or senior executive), the exterior individual leadership competencies of the CEO, the interior collective senior team dynamics, and the exterior collective go-to-market and operational systems. By considering each of these quadrants and their interconnection, the CEO can effectively lead the start-up towards growth and success through an integrative and systemic approach. The four AQAL quadrants - the interior individual (I), the exterior individual (IT), the interior collective (WE), and the exterior collective (ITS) - all play a crucial role in the scaling of a start-up. Each quadrant represents a different aspect of the start-up, and each must be considered and managed effectively for the start-up to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll give a brief introduction to the model based on our free downloadable eBook : How to Unlock Successful Scale-up Growth? It’s based on 15+ years of experience as a professional executive coach, coaching early series A-SMEs across Europe working with Executive teams crossing the Death Valley. The interior individual quadrant represents the inner-self, subjective, internal experience, such as values, beliefs, and motivations. This can impact the direction and decisions a founder make for the start-up, and ultimately, the start-up's success. It's important for the CEO founder to have a clear sense of their values and purpose, as well as a strong vision for the future of the start-up, in order to make effective decisions and guide the start-up towards growth. The Upper Left quadrant is one of main added value differentiator compared to other learning channels such as mentoring, as it’s borderline psychology leading to vertical learning, raising one’s level of consciousness by breaking down mental models and unconscious patterns. From our coaching experience, in this upper-left quadrant, founders can have several challenges that can impact their ability to lead effectively. Some of these challenges include lack of clarity in personal values and vision leading to confusion and indecision in decision-making; imposter syndrome due to self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, leading to a fear of being exposed as a fraud; personal life balance leading to feelings of guilt and burnout…etc The exterior individual leadership competencies of the CEO, on the other hand, refers to the observable, measurable concrete behaviours and skills of the CEO as a leader. This includes things like communication, decision-making, delegation, conducting and strategic thinking for example. The CEO must possess these competencies in order to effectively lead the team and the start-up towards success. In this quadrant some of the challenges we’ve worked with include poor leadership skills where the CEO may struggle to effectively lead the team and directing the start-up; ineffective communication leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and a lack of collaboration within the team; lack of delegation leading to burnout and an inability to scale the start-up or limited strategic thinking where the CEO may struggle with long-term planning and strategy, leading to reactive decision making and limited growth potential. The interior collective (WE) refers to the dynamic between the individuals in the senior leadership team, their collective values, and how they work together towards mutually shared goals. Team dynamics, collaboration, and trust play a crucial role in the growth of a start-up, and the CEO founder must be able to effectively manage these relationships in order to build a strong and cohesive team. This is the domain of team coaching eliciting the collective intelligence, and common challenges include: Lack of cohesion and alignment where the team may struggle with working together effectively, leading to conflicting priorities and poor collaboration. Ineffective communication within the team leading to misunderstandings, delays, and reduced productivity. The big elephant in the room as start-ups at this stage usually are building their airplane as they’re flying it - inadequate team roles and responsibilities: Without clear roles and responsibilities, the team may struggle with accountability and decision making. Finally, the exterior collective (ITS) refers to the systems and structures in place for the start-up to bring its products or services to market and maintain operational efficiency. This includes things like Go2market processes, marketing strategy, product development, internationalisation…. The CEO must be able to effectively manage these systems in order to ensure that the start-up is able to scale successfully. One of the key quadrants of most accelerators and some of the challenges we encounter: Inefficient processes: Poorly designed processes can lead to delays, increased costs, and reduced productivity. Limited scalability: Without the necessary systems and processes in place, the start-up may struggle to scale effectively. Poor product-market fit: Without understanding customer needs and market trends, the start-up may struggle to develop products that meet customer demand. In conclusion, using the AQAL based coaching framework with start-ups has several benefits, including: Holistic perspective: systems coaching provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to scaling a start-up, taking into account the individual, team, and organizational factors that impact growth. Improved decision making: By considering the interconnections between the four quadrants of AQAL, leaders can make better informed decisions that impact the entire organization. Better alignment: AQAL can help to improve alignment among the team, leading to greater collaboration, increased trust, and more effective communication. Increased resilience: AQAL provides leaders with the tools and strategies they need to effectively manage risk and respond to challenges, increasing the resilience of the organization. Enhanced product-market fit: AQAL can help leaders to understand customer needs and market trends, leading to the development of products that better meet customer demand. For more information, download our free eBook and contact us for a free consultation
How to create a Team-Oriented Scaling Strategy for Your Start-up
We've partnered with some of the most innovative startups in Europe at early Series A level and one common pattern we've noticed as professional (ICF) business coaches is the importance of the Founding Management Team - it's all about the team, team, team and u nderstanding the “ founder-market fit ” . In a recent June 23' report 49% of investors say the management team is the most important factor venture capitalists are considering, when deciding whether to invest. Overall, the data from the last decade paints a consistent picture and a common mantra among VCs, particularly about early-stage funding, is “Invest in people, not in businesses.” . "On this, European and American VCs are aligned. Especially for early-stage investors, the founding team is by far the most important decision factor. In a survey of 437 European investors, 49 percent of VCs state a startup’s management team is the most important factor to determine their decision to invest" Scaling up a start-up is no easy feat. It requires a significant investment of resources, a clear understanding of the target market, and a solid go-to-market strategy. From our lived experience of working with entrepreneurs and research on startup failures, one of the most important elements of scaling up a start-up is building the right team. For the investors, would you rather invest “in a grade A team with a grade B idea than in a grade B team with a grade A idea”? What makes a successful startup team? What do we mean with building the right team? A team-oriented scaling strategy can help ensure that your start-up has the necessary skills and expertise to grow and succeed and a professional team coach can provide ongoing accountability and follow-up, helping you stay on track and make progress towards your goals. Much has been written on the Top management teams characteristics link to firm performance; VC methodologies or assessment tools from investors ...etc In this article, we want to focus on a few deal breaker business coaching themes we have experienced over the year and outside of technology assessment: One of the key elements of a team-oriented scaling strategy is defining the team structure and roles: This includes identifying the key positions that need to be filled and outlining the responsibilities of each role. This will help ensure that everyone on the team knows what is expected of them and that there is clear accountability. In our field we call this Organisational Role Analysis ( ORA Coaching ) – Finding, Making and Taking one’s role - How do you determine what roles you need as you grow your business? How can you Find, Make and Take your role within the senior executive team and manage your functional expertise at the same time? 2. Establishing clear communication and collaboration protocols is also essential. This includes setting up regular team meetings, establishing a shared communication platform, and encouraging team members to share ideas and feedback. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is a high level of collaboration and teamwork. We often see a lack of strategic retreats from our early-stage startups clients with unbalanced tactical, transactional weekly meetings. A professional team coach can help the team identify the root cause of problems and challenges, rather than just addressing symptoms. 3. Creating a shared vision and goals for the team is also important. This includes outlining the company's mission, values, and objectives, and ensuring that everyone on the team understands and is committed to achieving these goals - it's a living document and not static. This will help keep everyone focused and motivated as the startup scales up. McKinsey in their Oct 22 article " How to build a unicorn: Lessons from venture capitalists and start-ups " talk about the 5 Ts - Team / Technology / Traction / TAM (Market) / Timing. 4. Establishing a performance management system that encourages teamwork is also essential: This includes setting clear performance metrics, providing regular feedback, and recognizing and rewarding team members for their contributions. This will help ensure that everyone on the senior team is working towards the same aligned goals and that there is a high level of motivation and engagement. Tools such as OKR/KPI are great for this and a team coach can take a more customized approach to working with the team, considering the team's individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as the specific challenges the team faces. 5. Developing a continuous learning and development program for the team is also important: A team coach can work with the team on an ongoing basis, adjusting the coaching and feedback to the team's specific needs and goals by supporting regular feedback, and encouraging team members to share their thoughts and suggestions. The learning measurable outcome will foster a culture of trust and transparency. Implementing a team-oriented scaling strategy is an ongoing process. It's important to continuously evaluate and improve the strategy to ensure that it remains effective and relevant. A professional team coach can help the team to continuously evaluate and improve their approach, ensuring that the team-oriented scaling strategy remains effective and relevant. It's worth noting that the best approach can be a combination of all of the above or a professional team coach (i.e. ICF ACTC ) working with a long-term VC advisor can provide a comprehensive and effective approach to scaling up a start-up. BC Team business coaching services include providing strategic guidance on navigating the business landscape, accelerating the development of products and services, and optimizing operations. We also provide access to investors and venture capitalists who can provide resources and capital to help businesses scale quickly. Some Sources/References: How Venture Capitalists Make Decisions HBR, March–April 2021 A contextual examination of new venture performance: entrepreneur leadership behavior, top management team heterogeneity, and environmental dynamism - Journal of Organizational Behavior 2007
Do you need to grow your productivity and cross the Product-Market fit Death Valley?
If you're a startup looking to grow your business, we can help. You're entering the Technology Readiness Level (TRL 6/7) Death Valley commercialisation phase. You've built your startup, and now you have to get it out into the world. But as you're starting to learn, growing a company is hard work - and it's going to be a lot harder than you thought! We're here to help. We've partnered with hundreds of European startups who are facing challenges of growing productivity - we do this by increasing your transfer of learning, upgrading your business plan, your strategic implementation or a faster market entry in order to improve your Investor Readiness Level (IRL) assessment. Our learning methodology provides unparalleled structure to simplify the start-up building process. By utilizing our approach, entrepreneurs can quickly and effectively launch their businesses with a comprehensive understanding of their goals and objectives, enabling them to squeeze time in their lifecycle and grow faster Our main learning channel is transformational coaching using the golden standard from the world leading body in the profession ICF. The ICF Credentialing program, including its certification exam , is a set of research-based competencies that articulate the essential knowledge, skills and approaches used within the coaching profession. Professional Business coaches add more value because they provide personalized guidance, encouragement, and support to help founders reach their goals. They also provide an objective, unbiased perspective on the founder's strengths and weaknesses, which can help them identify areas where they need to improve. This means for our clients a rigorous quality management process measured by external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success (see our LinkedIn profile for client references ). The use of proven techniques and methods rooted in science can also be beneficial, as it helps to ensure that the leadership development coaching and advisory services we offer are effective and reliable. At its core Entrepreneurial coaching is reflection- and action-based learning method in entrepreneurial education as opposed to the expert-consultation side of mentoring. This means providing you with a different kind of change, one which is more complex than simply adding more information to the way you may currently see the world. When it comes to change, we tend to think in terms of how many things can happen at once. However, this is not the only way that change can happen. In fact, our brains are designed to handle more complex patterns of change than simple addition or subtraction. This kind of change is about shifting your perspective, about seeing something in a way that you never have before. It’s not about adding information to your current worldview, but about changing how you view the world as a whole. The potential of Leadership Coaching for Entrepreneurs can be identified at individual, founding team and organisation levels ( see visual on our eBook landing page ): 1. The founder(s) and his leadership behaviours, mental models (i.e. beliefs) and beings 2. The startup operational system, structure and processes improving its go2market strategy, business model, value proposition and investor readiness assessment 3. The linkage between leadership team performance and organizational performance 4. The broader contextual innovation ecosystem / product-market fit BC Team Coaching is not just a checklist company on how to achieve scaling, we disrupt our clients’ thinking patterns and use leadership coaching as a learning technology so our clients know what to do next. We seek to masterfully apply our coaching process and vicennial experience in coaching competency skills so the client has the opportunity to connect with more of their self-knowledge, to gain more self-clarity, to formulate their own best solutions. This self-discovery process can be crucial for developing a successful business strategy and achieving long-term success. While having similarities with coaching, this is one of main differences with Startup Accelerator mentoring, one of main learning channels in the ecosystem. Certified professionals who coach as a profession, help individuals find their own solutions rather than offering them subjective advice or opinions. The best leadership coaches don’t hand over the answer keys to their coachees. No, they help leaders to develop the skills necessary to find innovative, useful answers themselves. In conclusion, we value learning because we believe the effectiveness of organisational learning is the most important competitive advantage for all organisations and, as organisational environments change faster, so the rate of learning must increase. Download our 63-pages eBook "How to Unlock Successful Scale Up growth" our dynamic process for solving organizational problems, advancing individual skills, building teams, and developing leaders.
How is the invisible gorilla impacting founders’ Investor Readiness Level?
Synopsis : There is a robust theoretical basis in entrepreneurship research regarding the impact of the founders’ top management characteristics on organizational outcomes and its key role in venture capitalists’ evaluations of venture proposals. The author is looking at this from different stakeholder lenses, and from he’s own lived experience partnering with start-ups who are facing challenges of growing productivity crossing the Death Valley, by increasing their transfer of learning. Should the evaluation of the Management Team due diligence be the norm with trending impact investment? We believe the top management team remains the invisible gorilla outside of finance in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Have you seen the ‘invisible gorilla’ on YouTube, one of the best-known experiments in awareness psychology? You have six people-three in white shirts and three in black shirts-passing a basketball around. The exercise is to count (silently) the number of passes made by the people in white shirts. At some point, a gorilla strolls into the middle of the action, faces the camera and thumps its chest, and then leaves, spending ten seconds on screen. Would you see the gorilla? When Harvard researchers conducted this unusual test in 1999, half of the people who watched the video and counted the passes missed the gorilla that was visible onscreen for nearly ten seconds. It was as though the gorilla was invisible. This test has been repeated numerous times all around the world and the results are always the same and correlates with my own lived experience with clients during leadership workshops. Try it and see what happens* The experiment revealed two things from our perceptual awareness: that we are missing a lot of what goes on around us, and that we have no idea that we are missing so much - This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness.” Inattentional blindness happens in business all the time and from my perspective in the human evaluation with investors’ due diligence and/or with entrepreneurs in their investor readiness process (IRL). When venture capital investors are doing due diligence, they focus carefully on the technology, marketability, business feasibility and management perspectives. Does the company have an interesting business model? How big is the addressable market? What are the growth plans of the company? They use advanced data tools and subject matter expertise to answer these questions to ensure their fund return (i.e. IPO exits) and thereby relationships with LPs. However, when it comes to evaluating the start-up team, gut feel, and intuition tend to be the main due diligence instruments that come into play with some exceptions with existing proprietary tools. As a Team coach expert since launching Belbin Ireland back in the days, working with hundreds of executive teams, I know this isn’t a great approach. Data shows us that 23% of start-ups fail due to matters of co-founding teams or 14-18% due to team problems (CB Insights 2021). With entrepreneurs, at each significant life-cycle milestone of their start-up, there’s a danger zone – a Valley of Death – that each company must get through in order to reach the next milestone. If you’re not prepared for growth, and you wade unknowingly into a Valley of Death, you may not emerge on the other side. In other words, do investors favour the jockey (entrepreneurial team) or the horse (strategy and business model) during their due diligence process? What about the founders – how much time do they spend aligning their senior team prior to a next round of funding? Latest research from HBR 2021 How Venture Capitalists Make Decisions, found that VCs believe both the jockey and the horse are necessary—but ultimately deem the founding management team to be more critical. From our experience of supporting management teams of fast-growing start-ups in the TRL 5-9 product-market fit phase, coaching 100+ Scale-ups across Europe with different accelerators, we believe it’s the jockey with limited scientific data on horse ‘matchmaking’. Every deal flow generation is different pending the investment thesis of the VC, and novice and experienced VCs may differ in their evaluation of start-up teams / human capital - some investors, as well as founders’, focused primarily on the entrepreneurial skills and market competences of the individuals, whereas others focused on the team as a unit. At BC Team Coaching we prefer to focus on the unit of the team as research states that Leadership has a 10 to 15% impact on financial performance and a 25 to 30% impact on market valuation. (Ulrich & Allen HBR 2017). What makes a successful start-up team? Characteristics that are frequently mentioned by VCs as desirable features of start-up teams are industry experience, leadership experience, managerial skills, and engineering/technological skills. In our own assessment of coaching hundreds of start-up teams across Europe, seeking to understand the linkage between leadership team performance and organizational performance, partnering with our clients on the ‘founder-market fit’ and using our systemic team coaching model with Team Data Instruments, it’s all the above with 22 executive factors shown to be highly correlated with fiscal efficacy. …etc VCs expect the companies they invest in to use data to improve their decision-making however, using an objective, data-driven process to evaluate teams is not common. With the surge of impact investments, where investors are trying to make a social or environmental impact through their investments rather than just make money for themselves, what is the role of the different stakeholders, entrepreneurs, private investors, public support bodies…etc in the S of ESG? Women and millennials, who are holding an ever-increasing percentage of the world's wealth as our collective values shift, are generally more likely to focus on social impact issues when making investment decisions, or partnering with investors, supporting the continued growth in this area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY (the monkey business illusion) Bernard Chanliau, an award-winning Master Certified Coach (MCC ICF), owner of BC Team Coaching Ltd, is a sought-after professional Executive Leadership and Business Start-up coach / advisor working from the CEO level on down. He has helped hundreds of senior leaders in the last decade (directors and above) accelerate their leadership careers and achieve business objectives in a wide range of industries. Bernard works at the intersection of organisational dynamics, systems thinking and integral psychology and helps you challenge everything – and reveal the core purpose of how and why you do business.
Is your Executive Team performing at the level it needs to be?
We’re delighted to introduce the Team Impact Builder® (TIB®) Financial Impact Assessment with a partnership consultancy from the US. It is designed to understand the risk that leadership teams create for the performance of their organizations. The TIB is a comprehensive team assessment and analysis of 22 leadership team factors shown to be highly predictive of fiscal efficacy. It has been validated with over 30 years of research in Entrepreneurial Top Management Teams. What is the problem we’re trying to solve? One in five startups fail due to team problems (CEB Insights 2021) Decision making weight of the functionality of the Entrepreneurial Top Management Team (TMT) in the Investment Readiness with potential investors Hidden issues in the Top Management Team that are hindering better financial performance. The link between TMT identity, decision quality, and functionality and organisational performance. How is the problem being solved now? Mentoring from VC portfolio services/ Due diligence process advisors Mentoring from Accelerators and knowledge/skills from serial founders (leadership gap analysis). Do you have the best leadership team possible to raise your Investment Readiness Level (IRL)? Is your executive team performing at the level it needs to be? Getting to know the top team and why they are exceptional to solve the problem at hand is possibly the most important consideration at the seed stage within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Understanding the “ founder-market fit ” or the “ earned secret ” are key in the IRL analysis and the weight of management perspective in the financial readiness assessments of investors can be significant outside of technology, marketability, and business feasibility perspectives.
Over the years, there has been a lot of empirical research showing the critical importance of founding top management teams that shape entrepreneurial firm performance. Taken together, these early studies indicated a critical linkage among the characteristics of top management teams, strategic decision processes, and firm performance. BC Team Coaching is pleased to introduce the Team Impact Builder (TIB) online assessment that predicts with confidence your firm’s financial performance given top management composition and dynamics.
The TIB is based on the largest study of its kind including 14 years of in-depth research by two Ph.D.’s involving 6,000 top management teams and nearly 20,000 top executives. We seek to understand the linkage between leadership team performance and organizational performance using our eCoaching systemic framework ( see our blog ) and this tool will validate this. The TIB assessment report is based on a comprehensive assessment and analysis of 22 executive team factors shown to be highly correlated with fiscal efficacy: Team composition benchmarks and fit indices (heterogeneity of education, function, cognition, industry experience, and managerial skills) - Your team will be compared to one of the four primary normative groups compiled from the TIB database of highly successful firms, depending upon which is most relevant to your own organization’s dynamics Leadership style of the CEO/Founder as it affects team dynamics Attitudes (the satisfaction and cohesiveness of the team) Agreement (the ability of the team to effectively manage agreement during decision making) Social networking (the extent to which team members build internal and external networks) Cognition (the ability of the team to think as a group) This tool puts science behind building an executive team. Uncover the problems with composition, dynamics, and functionality of executive teams and the critical skills that are missing. The process is easy to engage and we make it smooth and easy for you to engage. We have deep experience with teams and with the insight from the TIB your team could build a development plan that drives it into the future. This is reinforced by the surety of science and without the drag of more difficult to implement processes. In conclusion, the entrepreneurial ecosystem will be well served to develop more rigorous analytical tools to determine the quality of leadership within potential investment opportunities. Research states that Leadership has a 10 to 15% impact on financial performance and a 25 to 30% impact on market valuation. If you’re interested in discovering more, please contact us and we’ll be delighted to set up a free consultation. We also appreciate your feedback from Investment Readiness experiences on how did the investors evaluated your TMT from previous funding rounds or how did you as an entrepreneur assess your capabilities as a TMT?
The case for measuring the influence of business coaching in Start-ups – fade or evolution?
As the world shifts towards a more global start-up ecosystem, we will also need to see adaptation of the learning channels for entrepreneurs and the start-up ecosystem by creating healthier and less risky startup business environments. Europe boasts more entrepreneurs per capita than the United States, a country generally taken as a benchmark for entrepreneurial excellence ( OECD, Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2016 ). The problem, however, is that European companies seldom grow to scale. At BC Team Coaching, one of our verticals, is teaming-up with High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) crossing the chasm, mainly the commercialization valley of death from the financial cycle of Seed to early-stage Serie A funding or technology readiness levels 6-9 (commercial maturity). In this ecosystem, a significant need among our HPSU clients is the transfer of skills, specifically business acumen and leadership in order to scale their innovation. Entrepreneurship requires multidisciplinary skills and competencies due to rapid market changes and competitive pressures and they depend upon the creation of a culture of continuous improvement and/or continuous learning conducive to reaching market performance indicators. Most entrepreneurs begin their journey through pre-seed/seed funding incubators and VC readiness programme accelerators where the preferred adult learning channel has been ‘mentoring’ initiated from the desire to start up with their minimum viable product (MVP) whilst preparing their VC pitching deck. This learning channel is also magnified from the deal rooms and client portfolio with venture capitalists/GPs looking for their 10X returns. Mentoring is usually defined as a formal process of advice or support given by a person who has experience and knowledge to another person who is lacking in such experience and knowledge with research telling us both mentoring and coaching are useful as a support function for entrepreneurs however with distinct learning functions. Over the years business coaching as a profession, has emerged from a combination of various fields such as adult learning and development, business and change management, psychology, systems thinking, consulting….etc. By its nature, the systemic approach of business coaching contrasts with executive coaching, which concentrates on individual performance and does not necessitate executive coaches having business experience. As a Master Certified Coach (MCC) I follow the International Coach Federation (ICF) definition of coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential’ and this needs to be differentiated from the problem-solving functions of consulting or structured ‘advice’ from subject matter experts downloading such as mentoring. In the entrepreneurial context there is seldom a separation between management and leadership responsibilities, which is why entrepreneurial development initiatives should aim to develop entrepreneurs to face their unique challenges in order to cross the famous ‘valley of death’. Executives learn through experience and making sense of their experience through reflection and whilst there is a lot of similarities and confusion between the two modalities, at BC Team Coaching due to the unique nature of the start-up ecosystem, we use a hybrid directive/non-directive learning approach. The coaching model(s) or process that the business coach uses is often selected based on what is familiar to the coach and at BC Team coaching we have been using a holistic-systemic coaching approach based on Integral leadership, working at the inner/outer individual levels with senior team members ( I - Consciousness/IT – Leadership Competencies ), the senior leadership team ( WE - Culture ) and the wider organisation ( ITS - Systems ). The model is based on the interdependencies and balance between all the quadrants for the firm to scale (Founder and Leadership Team; Product/Service and Business Model; Go to Market Strategy and Sales Cycle Traction….) In other words, if one quadrant is unbalanced the whole system could be impacted such as the inner self mental emotional growth ( I – Consciousness ) of the CEO/founder - fear of not being good enough , fear of failure impacting the ( IT – Leadership competencies ) the visible behavioural doing mode of risk-taking, influencing stakeholders…etc leading to lack of trust in the leadership team dynamic tensions ( WE - Culture ) and lack of funding or strategic alignment ( ITS - Systems ). For TRUE learning and unlearning to take place and integrate at an unconscious level, an important emphasis is on how the problem is solved and not on the outcome. With this framework we transform intangibles into tangibles enabling the system to see from the whole with new lenses (see HPSU recommendations on LinkedIn or download our free 63-pages eBook - How to unlock successful scale-up growth or buy the Audiobook . Our main preferred adult learning channel remains coaching at the individual and team levels because of its overwhelming transformational results in assisting our clients to uncover their own knowledge and skills, whereas we guide, share and mentor them with scaling tools on their external systems quadrants – the comfort zone of the accelerators ecosystems. Coaching is a unique conversational space where whole hearted conversations take place for unspoken and maybe unknown wants, desires and change. A challenge for the founder/entrepreneur is to shift from doing the work to getting things done through others, and to allocate time to think about the future of the business as most entrepreneurial ventures fail because of a lack of business knowledge or learning, poor planning, a lack of appropriate skills, poor management or inability to reach goals…etc (see Pain in Framework i.e. team performance cycle). As a professional coach, it is important for us to remember we must coach the Whole Person, moving from the who to the what, and be adept at listening at a deeper level. We must be comfortable holding space for those who are conflicted, and we must also be aware of our own inner conflicts and biases so as to keep that space clear for powerful coaching. The best results for this modality are achieved in the UL/UR quadrants of the I-Consciousness and through performance coaching at the IT - leadership competency level. At the ( WE - Culture ) level pending on the scope of the engagement we practice team coaching providing we are collaborating with all senior team members or team facilitation (focusing on clarity and facilitating dialogue) if we’re only coaching the CEO at the individual level. (Source ICF Team Coaching competencies) In conclusion, we coach in three dimensions the personal – interpersonal and impersonal - the skills leadership development process ( IT ) combined with inner-growth ( I ) and ultimately ( ITS – process efficiencies/ OKRs) to improve organisational growth and firm performance through leadership DAC alignment ( D irection – what the team wants to achieve together – A lignment – coordinated work achievements and C ommitment) from mentoring and coaching. As coaching is highly experiential, we know that 70 percent of the learning journey happens on the job, 20 percent through mentoring and 10 percent through training. The effectiveness of organisational learning is the most important competitive advantage for all organisations and, as organisational environments change faster, so the rate of learning must increase. At its core, our work can be summed up as improving the IRL ‘investment readiness’ especially management or team readiness and consequently about company enhancement and growth knowing research states that Leadership has a 10 to 15% impact on financial performance and a 25 to 30% impact on market valuation. This is not a quick fix, takes time due to its transformational nature, and as the VC ecosystem slowly shifts from an industry solely aimed at financial gains to one that works towards a positive outcome for people, planet and profits, we are still in the learning process, trying to figure out the best learning journey for entrepreneurs. In order to achieve the best results, we are open to hearing from other Scaleup accelerators, VCs and engaging in a discussion related to this learning journey. Thank you for reading this article.
VUCA Uncertainty and Coping with our anxiety-management system
Great video from Dare on Change (Ad for Clothing Brand Saga - "Dare" (Take it Easy Films) and facing our demons, our inner shadows, competing commitments that stop us from doing what we want to achieve in the first place. Most of the times, the reason why we are not achieving our improvement goal, whatever that may be, is that doing what it would take to achieve this goal, would be too uncomfortable. From experience, engaging this uncomfortable, hidden unconscious place through reflection is where coaching can be highly effective. Reflection is an ongoing practice that takes time to cultivate. We always recommend our clients to really take their time for this process in this ever 'doing' working life. *A mental process “by which an individual rationally examines their assumptions” with the outcome of clarity, reflection can occur simultaneously with action, or in arrears after an action has taken place. In the field of coaching, awareness and self-awareness have been shown to be both an outcome of and a process for enhancing outcomes in coaching. Identifying the worries/fears (beliefs & needs) that may be preventing you from achieving your goal helps to see your change-prevention system (how your competing commitments systematically generate the very behaviours that prevent progress on your goal) and your anxiety-management system (how generating these behaviours helps you ward off some of your worst fears). During these unprecedented times of uncertainty and ambiguity, dancing between the new and the old, between a hard rock and a place, m anaging complexity as well as ambiguity facing your demons as we all strive in simplicity and clarity, will have the single biggest impact on the way we work over the next years. This requires an adaptable brain that can respond with flexibility and creativity, while still being thoughtful and applying logic. Coaching helps people identify limiting beliefs and move into more open and responsive mindsets. Think of several commitments that are currently competing in your own (or client) organisation. How are people in your organisation currently dealing with the situation? What are the consequences, positive and negative, of this way of coping? Please leave a comment below or contact us for more information on working with your inner-self or your team in order to achieve a deep level of psychological reflection and understanding . *Hullinger, A. M., DiGirolamo, J. A., & Tkach, J. T. (2019). Reflective Practice for Coaches and Clients: An Integrated Model for Learning. Philosophy of Coaching: An International Journal, 4 (2), 5-34.