GETTING A NEW MANAGER UP TO SPEED
IN A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT
By Rob Abbanat
- Sector: Supply Chain & Logistics
- Company: Fortune 500 Multinational, China Branch
- Coachee: Newly-Hired Managing Director
Logistics Co. recently hired Bowen* as Managing Director for a key business unit. With the industry in turmoil due to the recent trade frictions, Bowen was under pressure to hit some very aggressive sales targets. This was all the more challenging since, as a newcomer to the team, he had to first acclimate to the new culture and build trust among his team and peers.
When Logistics Co's HR Director approached GloCoach, we formed a 360 Team to review Bowen's situation and understand the key challenges he was facing:
- His senior executive considered Bowen to be a good manager who follows direction but he was not considered to be a strategic thinker. All on his 360 Team thought he needed to be more strategic in planning and decision making.
- As a newcomer, recently hired from another logistics company, Bowen did not have very strong relationships throughout the team. This was impacting his ability to drive results with his own team: while his team of direct reports seemed to be collegial, many felt that his team left much room for improvement when it came to performance.
- The ongoing trade war between China and the US was having a major impact on the logistics industry. Bowen was given some aggressive KPI targets, and he was losing sleep about being able to meet them.
- Program: Global Logistics
- No. of Session: 12 Sessions ( 18 Hours )
- Type: 1-on-1 Online
Based on Bowen's profile and needs, the GloCoach MatchStar algorithm identified Bruce as the ideal match. After a brief "chemistry" call, the two were paired and began their online coaching (Bruce is Shanghai based while Bowen is based in another tier-2 Chinese city).
During the first session, they discussed Bowen's current management environment and areas for development, focusing on developing Bowen's capacity for strategic thinking as well as strategies for building trust with his direct reports. At the end of the first session, they had identified 3 goals to be achieved by the end of the 12th session:
- Goal 1: Be more strategic in meetings and execution.
- Goal 2: Develop relationships with key stakeholders: Peers and Direct Reports, and build more Trust among the groups, and thus create a more team oriented and cooperative environment.
- Goal 3: Strive to achieve KPIs around profitable new sales and increasing market share.
Additionally, as with most GloCoach sessions, Bruce gave Bowen some homework to be achieved before the next session:
- Relationship Action Plan – Identify key relationships that impact his ability to accomplish his KPIs, and design a Plan of Action to strengthen those relationships;
- Scenario Analysis – Identify solutions to specific operational challenges, leveraging his more experienced direct reports and peers in order to develop a more complete solution before presenting it to his managers for feedback and approval.
With the goals set and trust established, Bruce led Bowen through 11 more sessions during the course of 6 months, each time focusing on one or more of the goals with deep discussion, analysis and suggested homework.
At the end of the 12 sessions, Bowen had shown significant improvement and progress towards all three goals. According to Bowen's line manager, he noticed Bowen's change in management style, and further encouraged him to spend less time on the “tactics” of managing the department versus providing “strategic leadership and vision” to the team. He specifically noted that Bowen's improved leadership capacity has affected a significant improvement in the department’s overall performance.
Bruce noted that "Bowen has greatly transitioned to being very strategic, not only in his role, but also encouraging his direct reports to act in this way as well."
Goal 1: Be more strategic
With respect to Bowen's second goal, Bruce noted that "While sometimes challenging for the Bowen, he has made a concerted effort to reach out to other department heads to develop stronger relationships. He is now working more closely with peers on country wide projects. He is also leading a small team of direct reports to for a leadership meeting in Guangzhou next month."
Goal 2: Build key relationships
In becoming more focused on his KPIs, Bowen implemented cost saving measures before they were required in order to not be as disruptive to processes if and when more cuts may be required. This helped him to achieve most of his KPIs for the quarter, far exceeding the expectations of his manager.
Goal 3: Strive to achieve KPIs
WHY WE WERE SUCCESSFUL
At GloCoach, our mission is to help people and teams to succeed. In the case of Bowen, we were able to help him achieve all three of his goals, enabling him to quickly come up to speed in a new role, with a new company, in an extremely challenging business environment. We were able to achieve this by pairing him with a coach who had the right mix of experience and "chemistry" to quickly earn Bowen's confidence and help him to focus on the key issues that matter.
GloCoach is the first digital platform to drive personal transformation at scale, enabling companies to achieve their goals through superior performance. Our SaaS solution drives change in individuals and organizations via 1-on-1 coaching that is empowered and informed through data. With our turnkey platform, companies can easily roll out cost-effective, 1-on-1 coaching programs across their entire organization. Our analytic tools provide several layers of measurable results to ensure clear tracking of progress and ROI.
We recruit, train and manage 100s of international and diverse coaches, driving down retail cost by bringing “idle” coaching resources online. We make the “right” coach available to each member and enable live meetings anytime and anywhere via our mobile-friendly virtual session room and calendar. Seeing is believing.
Visit GloCoach to learn more: https://www.glocoach.com.
*The name of the company and the coachee have been changed to protect their privacy.