2017 was Chelsham’s fourth full calendar year of operation and a year-end is, of course, as good a point as any to review the types of clients with whom we are working, the nature of the assignments we are delivering and the markets in which we operate.
It was a year in which Chelsham focused exclusively on executive & leadership coaching. This compares to 2016 when our work fell into two categories: executive coaching and HR transformation.
The focus also somewhat moved away from facilitation & consulting work compared to previous years – coaching will continue to dominate our work with some HR, change, people strategy and inclusion assignments in the portfolio as well.
Executive & leadership coaching
Chelsham’s client base is diverse – however within that there are one or two clear specialisms. One of these provided a significant proportion of our work again in 2017, namely legal and other professional services firms. We have also started to offer & deliver coaching services to SMEs in the SW London area.
Representative assignments from 2017 include:
Multiple engagements for an international insurance company: Chelsham’s MD Tony Jackson has now coached seven executives in this growing, successful business. Five of these assignments took place in 2017. Amongst the ‘players’ have been the CEO-designate (now CEO), a Board member and a number of current and emerging leaders.
The topics covered many angles of leadership development as well as transition coaching, preparation for promotion, driving even greater market success, navigating change and personal brand.
Functional Leader in major professional services firm: presenting topics for this seriously impressive coachee included “what next?”, development of leadership style/brand, driving functional change (an area of expertise for us as well as a coaching topic), recontracting one or two key relationships and “letting go”.
Charity CEO: let him speak for himself: “My executive coaching sessions with Tony Jackson of Chelsham helped me to consider clearly what my own needs were in relation to my career. Tony supported me to have a clearer understanding and appreciation of my own skills and of the work areas that required greater focus. Tony also helped me to explore my personal career goals and talk through some of the anxieties I had in relation to my role within the charity sector and within public life more generally. His calm and constructive approach to problems, his expertise and his ability to listen, reflect and offer appropriate guidance has been tremendously valuable to me.”
SME owner: a classic scenario where, a number of years after start-up, a business owner and specialist is grappling with leading a business which has taken off. A variety of Inner and Outer Game points are at play as she enters into a new era. Whilst recognising the success we decided she needed to find greater focus regarding her and the business’ future direction then to renegotiate relationships with one or two important clients and her business partner. ‘Imposter Syndrome’ featured as interference. Our approach combined coaching and mentoring. She has stated that the coaching has been a highly beneficial intervention and valuable investment.
Partner candidate in a law firm: this really is our ‘sweet spot’. It’s the type of assignment which brings together all our experience. It is not always easy for Partner candidates, no matter how talented. There is a huge amount of interference, not least the feeling of being ‘under a spotlight’, one needs to master a new array of competencies, understand what will really drive success and maintain performance. The outcome from this assignment? Partnership attained with performance maintained through the process, the individual carrying himself ‘more lightly’ and ready for the next challenges, with business objectives met and the future looking bright.
‘Head of’ in a consultancy: supremely intelligent, deeply experienced, impressive yet experiencing self-doubt and even lack of confidence (as do so many leaders). We devised tight objectives, explored what was getting in the way, used, as ever, an array of coaching techniques and models, invested time in shattering a few misconceptions, ‘workshopped’ delegation and confidence and co-created a new leadership agenda.
(Note: these case studies are, again, heavily disguised for obvious reasons.)
Chelsham is holding its own in a very crowded coaching market. We know what differentiates our work and are proud of our client base and the coaching assignments which we have delivered.
It is fair to say that the coaching schools and colleges need to ensure they are not saturating the market. This comment is not driven by fear of competition – there’s plenty. Rather there isn’t the market to support the numbers of new coaches seeking work – particularly those who do not have a strong previous corporate track record, who cannot clearly answer the question “why you?”
Chelsham receives numerous approaches from people who have just left coaching school and who had not realised there is such significant over-supply. We have a small cadre of associate coaches and do not need to expand this so, unfortunately, are not in a position to help.
The strap-line which formerly featured across our branding, “realising potential’, has become trite and over-used within the coaching industry and beyond (cf. the current advertising slogan for American Express). The identity & colours needed updating as did our website and publications.
We have refreshed our colour palette with headline and accent colours, simplified our identity, updated the brandphotos (all taken, as ever, by our founder Tony), devised a suite of interconnected logos (see below), updated the Chelsham website, designed new collateral and softly launched a new, straightforward brand positioning & slogan:
“Coaching Executives, Leaders, Teams & Organisations”
For that is what we do. And we’d be delighted to discuss these services with you.
Many thanks to our clients, coachees, associates and friends.