Case Study /

Scaling Next-Gen Leadership Through Coaching + 360 Executive Assessments

Professionalizing Leadership Through Coaching and 360 Assessments

The
challenge

The
challenge

A large tech-web services company experiencing sustained growth and executive transitions needed to scale its leadership culture and provide support for developing executive and senior leaders through coaching.

Deploying a combination of 360 assessments and executive coaching, The Creative Executive helped the company shift from a long-term startup to a legacy institution, develop a coaching culture, and add depth to its leadership bench.

2-5
$BN REVENUE

Global tech company
 with 11.5k+ employees

2+
YEARS
Ongoing leadership
development partnership
12
DEPARTMENTS

Touchpoints across most operational departments

36
EXECUTIVES + VPS
12-month long executive
coaching engagement
26
SENIOR LEADERS

360 assessments encompassing 300+ interviews

Going from big, to even bigger

Going from big, to even bigger

Our client, a global, mission-based tech-web services company, has a well-liked and respected CEO and a growth-minded global workforce of over 11,500+. The company’s sustained growth—the leadership ranks increased in numbers and at much higher levels—made expanding the leadership strategy mission-critical. The organizational leadership was already effective, but it became essential to blend the historically people-centric, influence-driven culture with a focus on data-driven OKRs and goals.

Growth had brought the company to an exciting juncture–with new people come new ideas and priorities. At times, these conflicted with existing relationships, processes, initiatives, and the allocation of resources. Company leadership had trust and mobility, but sometimes they were unclear about roles and responsibilities. Departments were siloed, contributing to the confusion as things shifted. In this personality-driven culture, there was a strong drive to “live up to” promotions and/or “not disappoint” when given challenges. This can exacerbate burnout of high-performers when combined with less clear or realistic OKRs.

To help the organization go from one development stage to the next, clear leadership tools were needed to support this leadership scaling process.

The Creative Executive has worked with more than 60 senior directors and VPs across twelve vertical departments. Using a combination of executive coaching and 360 assessments, our team helped the business instill a culture of coaching and development support to systemize what’s already working across the company and invest in its next-gen and senior leadership.

GOALS + GROWTH AREAS

DRIVING TOWARDS
RESULTS together

DRIVING TOWARDS
RESULTS together

Leaders needed to shift from an individual contributor focus (on performance and operations) to leading a team of performers (with strategy and influence) and driving towards results as a team.

Cross-Functional Relationships

Cross-Functional relationships

Helping leaders build cross-functional relationships was key. In a global company, the departments still tend to be siloed, though that is changing. Influence is the primary way leaders get things done at the company, so it is imperative that they form bonds up, down, and across the organization.

Inclusive Leadership

Cross-Functional relationships

The general consensus on the company’s DEI effort was very positive and made people feel proud to work there. On the individual and team level, we needed to help leaders expand their definition of diversity and also form a culture where credibility and persuasiveness don’t overshadow vulnerability and genuine expression so that there is space for some of the quieter voices in the room.

approach

expanding leadership competencies for company-wide impact

The Creative Executive used a two-pronged approach, a program of individual coaching for senior leaders and executives and a multi-reviewer 360 executive assessment program. Deployed together, our goal was to add depth to the company’s leadership bench to support continued growth. Though some executives only participated in the 360 assessments without the coaching component, we found that the participants who did both were able to much more effectively capitalize on their feedback in a meaningful and impactful way.

12-Month 1:1 Coaching

A 12-month coaching engagement with each of the executives to instill a coaching mindset and maximize their impact.

  • Executives enjoyed space to celebrate the wins, not simply to work on critical feedback
  • Leaders learned compelling storytelling in a data-driven environment
  • Reinforced the leadership culture of leading through influence and presence, not dotted-line authority
  • Executives grew skills in self-observation, goal setting, vision creation, and measurement
  • Leaders were trained in strategies that encourage and reward diversity in leadership (structure, style, processes, etc.)

360 Executive Assessments

The executive 360 process helps leaders gain an understanding of how they are perceived as managers, peers, and direct reports.

  • Each executive participated in a 4-6 week assessment process, with 12-15 reviewers
  • Participants learned how they are perceived across different levels of the organization
  • Enabled executives to see the less quantifiable, “softer” dimensions of their leadership
  • The large-scale process, as managed by our team, enabled us to synthesize the bigger themes and focus the insights on broad impact (away from one-off situations)
  • The 360 reports, with ongoing coaching, provided support and accountability to develop individual and company road maps and take meaningful action

RESULTS

The executives and senior leaders that have completed the 360 assessment process and those who have also undertaken the additional coaching engagement have appreciated having a partner on their development journey. The knowledge and ongoing coaching support the leaders gain through this process have enabled them to be more visionary, strategic, and focused on the big picture in their decision-making.

  • The qualitative, open-ended, conversational format set the stage for nuanced feedback, rarely accessed through written-format 360s or quantitative leadership assessments 
  • The 360 interview process enabled the executives and their 360 reviewers to get insights on both weak spots and strengths, improving communication overall
  • The 360 interview process created space for both celebration and self-reflection on the part of the executive participants
  • Trust between the 360 coach facilitator and the executive empowered more vulnerability and curiosity about what’s worked and what hasn’t
Value told through the engagement survey

The results of the engagement survey tell the value of the program overall. For participants who went through both the year-long coaching and the 360 assessment process, the average engagement score was 81% versus 77% for employees who hadn’t been through either program.

80%
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Coaching will have a significant long-term impact on me (and my team)

88%
TEAM EFFECTIVENESS

My team collaborates effectively with other teams

88%
ROLE +
IMPACT

I understand how my work contributes to the company’s success

82%
TALENT RETENTION

I feel a sense of belonging at the company

90%
INCLUSION + BELONGING

I feel comfortable raising concerns without fear of retaliation

Learn more about 360 assessments on our blog. We’ve put together the A-Zs of 360s, including how they work and why your company should do them. Read it here.

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