Let us give credit where credit is due!
Today I write this blog to give credit to the teams of Unity Technologies with whom I have had the privilege of working for the past six months.
More than a year ago a mutual friend of the Montreal Studio Director, André Gauthier and myself had the insight to put us in contact. Life being what it is, only many months later did André and I had the chance to sit down and chat with each other.
Cheer #1 – Visionary leadership
Every great company needs a leader with vision, commitment and genuine care for his teams and the culture they build together. Having gotten to know André better, I can say that he truly is such a leader.
His need at the time was to find a way to increase the level of comfort amongst his management team. Many of them where in new positions or were dealing with a changing context.
He had the foresight to offer them what I call, performance coaching. Like high performing athletes, they were already doing a great job, and they needed an outside perspective to help them find an increased level of comfort from which they could better operate.
And credits to André, he insisted to also embark in a coaching program himself.
Cheer #2 - Leadership program
But before I could start with the team, I needed to talk to the head office Chief People Officer, Elizabeth Brown and convince her I was for real.
Unfortunately, when comes time to talk about corporate coaching, there is a lot of different approaches out there. Some really good ones… and some really bad ones. Unfortunately Elizabeth had witnessed some bad stuff and credit to her, to avoid repeating a bad experience, she now makes a point of assessing the validity of the professionals who offers their services. Needles to say, being a certified coach, I managed to convince her that I would not be analyzing dreams nor chatting endlessly without clear objectives (things I have been told by clients who had prior coaching experiences…. scary stuff!).
Credits also to Elizabeth and her team who have implemented a Leadership Program within the company to which I could easily tie the coaching initiatives to come.
Studies have shown that there is a productivity increase of 20% following a training program, but an increase of 80% if this program is followed up with coaching!
Cheer #3 – Culture of learning
The last cheer goes to the coachees. They enthusiastically embarked in the coaching initiative driven by their eagerness to improve and be the best managers they could be for their teams. Isn't this the most awesome thing!
We are really talking about performance coaching, when individuals who are already doing a great job want to strive for more. Actually we are talking about the roots of a culture of excellence. Following André’s lead, they agreed to set aside normal prejudices and fears sometimes associated with coaching and openly worked hard to improve one aspect or an other of their management skills.
This sends a powerful message to all around them… we are never so good that we can’t learn something new.
In their world of fast paced technologies, where change and innovation are ever present, a learning culture is a must!
Our work together is not yet finished (four more managers have signed up recently for the coaching initiative), but allow me to share some of the things we already have heard and witnessed:
“Somehow, things are now clear and easier for me. I have gained an insight which makes me comfortable regardless of the situation” - André
“I am definitively more comfortable dealing with the unknown and have learned to enjoy getting my adventurer’s hat to go explore it” - Eric
“I am discovering new ways to scale my efforts and simultaneously better empower my teams” - Shanti
“Because I am more comfortable in them, I am finally starting to enjoy the various aspects of a leadership role I was previously struggling with” - Yang-Hai
“I have actively decided to veer off a path which was heading to a dead-end. I am now participating in creating the future instead of constantly having to react to it” - Marc
- "Spending less time on things i don't control"
- "Clearer, more efficient communication with my team "
- "Team has a better common understanding of where we are and where we are going (vision), which keeps the team focused, for a more effective team execution"
- "Part of the time I have gained I now use to mentor two of my leads"
- "Because I am more comfortable, I can accomplish better data collection which eventually leads to greater strategic input"
When in the right context, with the right mindset and when done properly, corporate coaching does work and can have a huge impact on individuals and teams. Often the wake of an individual coaching can be felt much further down the team and company, as our behavior often has a domino effect on others.
Professional growth is one of the key elements to motivation and retention, and coaching is one of the best way to accelerate growth. We often hear that this is all fine and nice, but we can't afford the coaching costs. The real question should be, can you afford *no to* offer corporate coaching to your best elements?
Every job has its ups-and-downs, but honestly, when I have the privilege to work in such learning environments and with such inspiring individuals as exists at Unity, I truly think I have the best job on earth!
This is what leads me to say:
Three cheers to Unity!
And thank you!
 Registered Corporate Coach (RCC™), from the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches and based on the methods developed by Advantage Coaching and Training.