“Better conversations always lead to better outcomes.
This is the philosophy that underpins all our work.
“To have direct, compassionate and evidence-based conversations is both an art and a science.
“How we connect with each other, how we live our personal values and how we create emotional commitment towards a valuable mission sits at the heart of each of our programmes.”
Culture and Values
The Culture & Values programme has evolved from a foundation of psychology and behavioural economics, the commitment of clients to be their best, the commitment of leadership to create a thriving business culture, and my own situational coaching expertise and group facilitation skills.
This programme brings about:
- A maturity of professional conduct
- Renewed and focused commitment to the team and the business
- Greater confidence and skill in voicing opinions and ideas
- Increased cross-function and cross-geographical collaboration,
- A desire to help provide more strategic insights
- Action to be more supportive to colleagues
Starting with your key influencers and those most committed to being a change agent, we begin a journey of re-connection with your organisation’s mission and leader skill development. Having found their voice, your change agents come together to identify and define the behaviours that they value – that make coming to work everyday exciting and rewarding.
Owning the lead on experimenting with and embedding these new behaviours, they begin a steady and persistent charge to model and enrol more and more people across your organisation. Through influence, invitation and careful conversations, people learn new language for talking about how things are done and gain greater comfort in holding each other accountable.
If your organisational culture feels fragmented or full of ‘behavioural drag’, then you already recognise that productivity, collaboration and a chance at increasing market share isn’t going to improve unless you do something significantly different. This programme is that something that’s significantly different.
Establishing a healthy culture.
Most organisations have a statement of values. The trouble is it’s rare for people to buy into them 100% because key leaders and influencers rarely act on them 100% of the time. Culture goes on lockdown because trust and openness is low – so people stay in their silos, avoid speaking up and instead engage in blaming others for problems, mistakes or just jobs not done.
This kind of low engagement or counter-collaborative behaviour stops people from emotionally committing to their work and the company. And yet it’s this emotional commitment from your people that opens the door to delivering amazing customer experiences or out-performing your competition.
“Where do we begin to change the way people behave? How do we enrol all our people in healthier communication and collaborative behaviours? How do we create a place where people feel they belong, are driven to do their best work and feel they are supported to grow? How do we raise engagement and emotional commitment to get the edge on our competition?”
Culture & Values has three phases:
- Foundational Strength – Before anyone is ready to make a stand and defend better behaviours, critical groundwork must be laid. We help you identify your ‘change makers’ from across your organisation – all functions and all levels. These are people already recognised for their emotional commitment to do great work. Your change makers are taken on a personal discovery of their own values, their blind spots and professional growth ambitions.
- Design & Experiment – With a strong voice and increased confidence they are ready to come together as a collective to design and experiment with the behaviours they together know to be the hallmarks of a great culture. They begin to invite wider communities into discussions and in the refinement of those behaviours.
- Embed & Enrol – This final phase involves personal and collective commitments from your change makers and influencers to practice new behaviours, make them part of everyday conversations and interactions, upgrade how they run meetings and share knowledge, how to hold each other and others accountable, how to acknowledge and handle resistance, and how to support and celebrate each other’s efforts and wins.
Starting from 3-6 months, single site or multi-location, consisting of one-on-one coaching, workshops, skill development classes, and targeted interventions.
People Strategy is about synchronising all your organisational activities to ensure high productivity, strong talent attraction and growth, and a thriving culture all tightly aligned to business mission and goals.
Whether you’re an established medium enterprise or a fast growing start-up, it’s likely you have a long list of things to either put in place, to fix or replace. But how do you prioritise? How do you determine where to start? How will you know you’ve made the best choices?
Designing and executing a people strategy is not as simple as applying best practices from larger organisations. It is also a false economy to roll-out multiple platforms that each promise a 100% fix for a specific people challenge, or even to follow the latest trends in people management.
What’s important is that you have a people strategy that best fits your business and that shows your people how much you value them.
Talent is your biggest business expense because not only does it include the cost of annual salaries and benefits, it includes all the hidden costs like recruitment, short-term labour, talent attrition, and external people management services and tools. Talent costs also includes associated losses that are hard to put a figure on such as knowledge loss, low productivity, low diversity, and unrealised business deals.
Our People Strategy consulting services provide top to bottom scans of people activity across your organisation as well as interactions with third-party providers. Through interviews with key stakeholders and a cross-section of leaders across your organisation, we take you through strategic evaluations and prioritisation, evaluating options and outcomes, help you build business cases, select service and tool providers, and help you plan and execute your deployments.
Of course, culture and values are a big part of your people strategy but so are critical elements such as:
- Salary strategy to attract the best talent now and for the mid-term ahead
- Growth plans and practices for maximum employee ROI, including learning and development options and industry accreditations
- Skills identification to ensure strong alignment with business goals at minimal risk
- Resource planning and evaluation to anticipate and be ready for business changes
- Recruitment pathways to ensure optimal talent selection and to minimise biases
- Onboarding and induction programmes to ensure people land strong, ramp-up fast and stay for as long as it works for everyone
- Clarity of roles, job descriptions, reporting lines, and accountability to support engagement and cross-functional collaboration and to limit silo and territorial behaviours
- Internal processes, protocols and tools that facilitate effective collaboration
- Employment law, contracts, policies and procedures that strike the right balance between modernisation and employee customisation
- Establishing or redesigning human resource functions and budgets
- Diversity and inclusion roadmaps for full integration and long-term market resilience
- Strategy and communication during periods of change, crisis or restructuring to address engagement, morale, and leadership conduct
Given all these factors, the work of getting people strategy right for your organisation can seem daunting and never ending. We can help you work out where to begin, what steps to take and keep you on target with addressing the factors most critical to your business today and for the future.
Bespoke solutions with Discovery, Design, Delivery and Evaluation Phases.
Positive team behaviours are driven by a clear understanding of the strategy, the part that we play, and an analytical, collaborative approach to problem-solving and innovating.
Highly aligned teams enjoy working together because each member knows their purpose and knows that they are valued. They have a high emotional commitment to their team and to the project and want to see it through to the end no matter how tough and pressured things get at times.
They have courageous conversations every day and can hold each other accountable with the greatest of respect. People in teams like these are generous, intentional and thoughtful in how they share their knowledge — no-one feels territorial, shut-down or marginalised.
Teams are phenomenal powerhouses. Frustratingly however, a team’s effectiveness is rarely realised. Instead, a team’s culture will stagnate (established teams) or be in high flux (new teams). In addition to morale and health issues, low alignment means low productivity and effectiveness.
The Team Productivity programme untangles all the issues causing low alignment through a diverse sequence of approaches and interventions to rebuild common ground. We tackle the sources of incorrect assumptions, personal and group biases, low quality data, lack of visibility, purpose of meetings and expectations of one another, confusion around what data is useful and interpretation of data, poor or stuck decision-making, counter-collaborative and territorial behaviours, and personal emotional charge.
Protocol, cadence and tools are critical factors
Team alignment is impacted by individual clarity and motivations as well as group norms and embedded behaviours. Each are reinforced by each other – defensive behaviours (left, red zone) among individuals will ensure defensive behaviours persist and become pervasive among the group.
Add to that too many tools and platforms, an uncomfortable sequence or cadence of meetings, and poor meeting preparation and protocol and you’ve got physical blockers and bottlenecks that reduce visibility, bore and frustrate people, waste time and make people feel disenfranchised. Sound decision-making is then slow and painful, and sometimes just impossible.
The value of high team alignment – in terms of protocol, cadence and tools – is that each team member feels confident and capable of responding to all kinds of situations in considered and nimble ways. Turning the tide takes intentional and consistent effort, support and accountability to model, invite and embed positive, collaborative behaviours (right, green zone).
High alignment is desirable because it makes doing work more fluid. People can co-create — they enjoy jointly owning work and even get excited. This way of working creates new possibilities that are a welcome enhancement.
Increased capability to think beyond the obvious and the ‘what comes next’
When there is strong alignment, mistakes and learning are seen as normal and are highly valued as part of the evolution of the team and the solution they are building. People help each other articulate and refine their ideas, ask thought-provoking questions that show they want to understand where you are coming from and why, can anticipate and quickly resolve client problems, and use evidence to build sound arguments for better ways of doing things.
Being in the green zone is more engaging of our human spirit because it is a safer, stronger environment to work in. We have shared goals and recognise our joint and diverse contribution is needed to create great products and services.
As well as evidence of more collaborative behaviours, strong team alignment translates into high engagement, low attrition and reduced expenditure associated with events such as rectifying mistakes, replacement hires, less painful departures of team members, and how soon new team members get up to speed and start being effective.
Minimum 3 months, single site or multi-location, observation sessions, review of meeting cadence and protocol, consisting of one-on-one and team coaching, team alignment workshops, time management skill development, tool selection priorities and targeted mediation.
When you hire a skilled Executive Coach, you have your own confidential thinking and sparring partner – someone with holds a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and dilemmas without judgement. Accelerated professional development happens here.
Executive Coaching has emerged as the most effective on-the-job method for increasing leadership capability and productivity when compared to other professional development and training interventions. Conservative global industry estimates of the monetary investment indicate a 6 to 7-fold return on investment from coaching. And when combined with training, the increased productivity yields are over 80%.
Hiring an Executive Coach says you take the productivity and impact of your leaders on your business seriously. And those that engage a coach privately take their professional identity seriously. Ambitious leaders want to show up at their best so that they can do great work and deliver maximum value each and every day.
Working with a coach requires a willingness to tap into your motivations at a deeper level. Only by fully embracing who you are, where you are at and where you want to go, can you summon the courage to make powerful shifts in how and why you do things. Your coach is with you all the way and is committed to your development and your success – even when they are asking you the tough questions.
Why stay stressed and stuck when you can be clear-headed and decisive?
Have you wanted to have clarity of thought? Confidence in the decisions you make? Grounded when presenting a business case? How about tough conversations with team members, peers or even your boss? Would you like to have them in the moment instead of avoiding them and losing sleep? How about having a clear sense of where you are headed?
All this uncertainty, self-doubt and low confidence come from not investing enough time in thinking in a truly focused way and with the courage to face your fears and your truths. You may not even notice just how much mental and physical stress this is putting on you.
We understand that stress has an impact on many areas of our work and home lives. We understand that having active lives with attention to diet and exercise can counter stress. But how about dealing with the source of stress in the first place? Our minds, our perceptions, our worries, and all those thoughts that we kick around and around in a holding pattern? It’s hard to land sometimes.
It’s interesting how all of us struggle with complicated decisions and ideas every day at work and yet, for all the meetings and coffee catch-ups, we find it hard to talk about what’s really going on in our heads.
Coaching is a highly individualized process that depends on both the nature of the client and the coach’s knowledge, skills and abilities. However, coaches have several recognized techniques and tools to draw on in almost any coaching situation. – Society of Human Resource Management (USA)
Who on earth would be interested or have the patience to listen to ME or know how to challenge MY thinking in a safe and confidential way?
Your coach. A good one.
Someone who is well trained, who you can trust to not judge you even when you’re stumbling through your thoughts, unpacking reality from perception, and finding the courage to voice what’s really going on for you.
Working with an executive coach is the best partnership experience you can have in learning to understand yourself and making the changes you want to make. And there’s only one way to find out.
How does coaching work, practically speaking?
It all starts with your decision to invest in yourself.
We have a written agreement in place that outlines your responsibility to yourself throughout working with me and my responsibilities to you as your coach.
Our agreement includes expectations on both sides to be candid and truthful even in giving feedback, freedom to push back or change the topic, confidentiality of our partnership and everything that you say and share with me.
I am bound by and committed to the ethical standards governed by the International Coach Federation.
We agree some meeting dates. Sessions are between 45 and 60 minutes long. I recommend a minimum of six or twelve sessions (depending on your goals) over 3-4 months at fortnightly (2 week) intervals. This allows you to really see some results and energy from our work together.
Our sessions are intense – thinking is hard work but always very rewarding and energising.
I coach by phone, by conference call (GoToMeeting usually) as well as in person at my office in London South Bank SE1 area.
I’ve coached people in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, India, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. If you live outside the UK, please email me to work out time zone options.
What happens during a typical session?
At the start of each session, we catch-up on the outcome and impact of previous sessions and then jump into the topic you decide is most important to you. Sometimes your topic will be about a situation you are currently in the middle of and sometimes your topic will be part of a bigger, overall focus that you will have determined during our first session.
I might ask you to define your topic in more detail so that I understand what you want to walk away with. From here, we dive deep into our topic – for example, I might ask you for examples or why the topic is important to you.
Sometimes I will challenge you with an uncomfortable question or idea, for the simple reason that this is what I am hearing from you (just in different words) or something in the space has got you stuck.
This is courage territory.
We all have perceptions of ourselves that don’t match reality or what other people experience of us. To come to a place to call something what it really is… that takes courage.
To give ourselves permission to respond or behave in a positive way for ourselves also takes courage. And as hard as that is sometimes, with it comes relief.
And as I mentioned earlier, being in a stuck place, a holding pattern, causes us to feel stressed, often without knowing why. Relief, even from facing something hard, helps dissipate that stress. Now you are beginning to deal with the source of stress.
From here, we reflect.
How and where does this challenge play out for you at work or at home? What needs to be different? Why? What can you start to do about it? What needs to happen as soon as possible? What does that look like?
And so on. You start to build your own action plan based on a truthful and grounded appreciation of your own needs and behaviours.
We close each session with an evaluation of whether we addressed your topic sufficiently, what steps you need to take next, how you want to be held accountable, and a scan of who you know that can help you as well as what or who might roadblock you. This part is critical if you are to achieve your goals and gain momentum from working with me.
Founder CEO Evolution
As a founder CEO, the grit, passion, vision, energy and buckets of self-belief that are responsible for growing your business from one to fifty or a hundred people become the traits that start to hold you back from maturing into an inspiring and empowering leader who knows how to delegate, trust others, be patient, and let go of controlling every decision.
4 out of 5 founder CEOs who secure big investment are likely to find themselves fighting to hold their position if the investors and their board think they are holding back productivity and growth. Exists and replacements are difficult, messy and come as a shock to most who never see it coming.
The goal of the Founder CEO Evolution programme is to explore and discover what your new philosophy needs to be, for your health and the health of your business, and therefore what shifts you need to make to stay the course gracefully.
This peer programme is online only. Spaces are very limited. Clients must be founder CEOs currently.
The Founder CEO Evolution programme requires you to be honest, courageous and completely own the journey ahead. There is no doubt it’s a tough programme.
We explore your personal values, your blind spots, your exacting desire for high standards and sharp decision-making, and the ways you show up to your people and your key stakeholders.
Accountability for your own behaviours
Some of your behaviours will be delivering value and some of your behaviours will be negating the good stuff you do. You will be challenged to dig deeper, comprehend the full impact of your behaviours, and fully own the consequences.
We revisit your original mission and your defining moments — you’ll have the chance to rewrite some stories with a deeper understanding of yourself and acceptance of what was.
Develop competencies that empower people and make you more strategic
You will find new ways to operate, to invite people to the table, to empower others and re-connect them to your refreshed vision. You will learn new skills like patience and enquiry as the pathway to raise productivity to new levels.
From this space, we will look ahead and determine where your time and skills are better invested. Once you understand that your focus needs to be elsewhere to grow the business, your energy begins to ascend once more. You become more strategic and find enjoyment in new things, perhaps including your personal life.
Maybe no-one is going to be as passionate as you but people are motivated by being part of something brilliant, by being loyal, and by being recognised for what they contribute. Let’s tap into that.
To make it and still be standing tall, you need a full and emotionally committed team right behind you. In this programme, you will learn how to do use your passion, grit and energy in new, bigger and liberating ways.
This peer programme is online only. Spaces are very limited. Clients must be founder CEOs currently.
Each client receives 6 one-on-one virtual coaching sessions (60 mins per session) plus 6 virtual group coaching sessions with enrolled peer founder CEOs (90 mins per session). Schedule and preparation instructions will be provided upon enrolment.
All sessions are confidential. The programme includes assessments, competency development and goal setting, and presence and presentation coaching. Face-to-face group sessions may be offered but are subject to the coach’s availability and are not guaranteed.
Sales is a complicated and delicate business.
- From setting targets to closing deals
- From lead generation and qualification to prospect handling techniques and protocols
- From value proposition and market positioning to prospect-aligned messaging and focus
- From understanding prospects’ challenges and primary influencers and asking insightful questions to objection handling, challenging and negotiation
- From pricing, discounting and deal margin analysis to pipeline health, prospect options and true probability evaluations
- From recruitment and selection to team capability and dynamics
- From valuable data gathering on CRM platforms and useful inputs for reporting tools to analysing and acting on the right data
- From scripts (and knowing when to go off script) and templates to team meeting cadence and content
- From team energy, motivations and emotional charge management to prospect meeting connections, presentation and presence
- …And then post sale, there’s handing the new client over to service or product delivery teams
The chain is long and deal periods can be longer. And it’s also highly susceptible to having all best practices thrown out the window each month, quarter and year end as teams enter panic mode and managers tell their people, “Just get the damn meeting!” Reminder: Nothing good happens in panic mode.
Sales optimisation requires that every part of your sales chain is operating at peak performance, using solid, scientifically proven techniques, is synchronised and consistent, and that your people are tenacious, strategic, determined and patient.
In Sales Optimisation, we bring a unique combination of operational best practices and team productivity coaching to identify your top priority changes that will sharpen your front-line revenue generating activity. We help you drive through those changes and realise the wins that ultimately keep you in business.
The survival of your business depends on how good your sales people, managers and processes are and yet it is highly likely they are making some, most or just about all of these mistakes:
- Talking about your product or service before understanding your prospect’s problem
- Over-reliance on the sales deck
- Not able to be present with prospects – to slow down, listen and ask good questions
- Not asking clean, direct and relevant questions of prospects
- Not identifying your prospect’s influencers – internal stakeholders and personal biases
- Discounting on price too quickly
- Giving costly services or products away for free instead of selling them as value-add
- Selling a capability you know (or don’t know!) you can’t deliver
- Not checking-in with client “Do you have what you need to make a decision?” and talking way past
- Not sharing your price early in the presentation so you can show value to counter their objections and address their concerns
- Waiting too long to get back to prospects and/or not knowing their timelines
- Walking away from a sales meeting without any sense of urgency, understanding of commitment level or next steps
- Having too many lone-wolves on the team
- Not knowing how to handle your maverick sales operators and lone wolves
- Not knowing how to build capability, confidence and self-motivation of your team members
- Spending time being busy rather than being productive
- Not knowing what a qualified lead looks like or just not qualifying leads accurately/properly
- Sales meetings full of updates (read ‘boring’) instead of strategy and knowledge exchange
- Having inaccurate, untrue or useless data in your CRM system
- Not using the expensive CRM platform properly and instead building separate spreadsheets
- Not investing enough in on-boarding, training and developing your sales people
With our Sales Optimisation programme, we can provide you a roadmap for turning your sales team into a powerhouse, and then be there to help you make it happen.
Bespoke solutions with Discovery, Design, Delivery and Evaluation Phases.
“Sehaam is well read and a high-end thinker… These are unique skills and she comes from a rare breed who can use both Left and Right Brain seamlessly.”
“Sehaam’s coaching style is systematic and relational. I appreciate that she kept me accountable by reconnecting on previous action steps. She also challenged me to determine beforehand who I will be in a new group of relationships. Working with Sehaam helped me sort through the priorities of the current season.”
“Working with Sehaam has been one of the best experiences in my working life. She motivated me to raise my bar, think more strategically and be better at what I do.”
“Sehaam added enormous value to the board through an ability to understand the “here and now” but have one eye on the future direction. The impact Sehaam had on the team was transformational and immediate in that the board started to talk more strategically about issues. Sehaam also backed this ability up with robust planning disciplines and an engaging style which was challenging whilst being positive and inclusive. We still comment on the skill gap left by Sehaam.”
“Sehaam has a genuine interest in helping people unleash their true potential through overcoming challenges and mapping out the steps required to achieve their objectives.”
“Sehaam’s ability to map situations and spot opportunities for development never ceases to astound me. This, combined with her genuine approachability, determination in a challenging environment and sheer drive makes her very rewarding to work with.”