Who’s up for an Executive Board Game?


Who’s up for an Executive Board Game?

Boards, Executive Teams, Holding Boards, Senior Leadership Teams, Group Boards

The story remains the same, how to create unity whilst celebrating diversity and difference; how to create harmony whilst acknowledging the need to achieve ‘challenger safety’; how to build a culture of championing each other to be brilliant whilst recognising the silo egos that often got people to their level in the first instance; how to deliver sustainability targets, DEI targets, mental health targets all whilst reporting results to the City and shareholders, the list quite literally goes on and on and on and on….

Let’s take a moment to explore a few MRA case studies to learn how organisations can take a bold leap of faith and step into these challenges head-on with the use of a Professional Coaching approach…

From ‘we only talk numbers’ to ‘a people first strategy’

It’s 2020, MRA are commissioned to design and deliver a programme of Executive Board development. Within minutes it was clear where the challenge lay. Conversations had only ever been about the numbers, the results, the deliverables. Never before had the Board talked about themselves, their mental wellness, their stories – the highs and the lows. The level of ‘awareness’ across the Board was significantly below the norm. Throughout 2020/21 a Board-led, company-wide programme began, delivering Resilience and Wellbeing programmes to the Board and the Senior Teams. For the first time conversations opened up and focussed on culture and on the lives of its people. Move to September 2021 and MRA were commissioned to support the Board in designing an end-to-end 5-year Strategy experience for the organisation as a whole. The goal was achieved! ‘People’ became the number one focus for the 5-year Strategy. Partnership to transition a whole systemic culture from numbers to ‘people first’.

From ‘dysfunctional, to fully functioning, and on to transformational’

It’s 2017, MRA are called in to support conversations with a dysfunctional Board. We did just that. We played back what we were seeing, hearing and feeling. The mirror was hard. The mirror did its job. Psychological safety was at a fundamental all-time low, and this was addressed. MRA were then called back in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to support the Board in its move to being fully functional, and to create a culture based on coaching ethics and beliefs. And in 2021 MRA were again called, this time to support the move towards a radical transformation of the Board, to restructure its Leadership, and to support the necessary systemic and cultural changes to achieve a very significant growth ambition. The mirror was again not always easy to experience, but delivered exactly what was needed. The story and partnership continues with MRA playing an integral role for the long term. Partnership 1:1, partnership with the team’s success in mind, and partnership at a cultural level.

From ‘get off my patch’ to ‘championing each other to succeed’

It’s 2021, MRA are engaged to undertake an organisation wide review of the leadership, from MD to Executive Team, to High Potentials, to Coaching Leadership Capability, to DEI and female representation. A stepwise experience embedding MRA in the DNA of the organisation led to a programmed approach, tackling each element. Analysis of the Executive Team created a clear strategy to embed a Coaching Leadership philosophy, and a modern set of standards for leadership going forwards. Bringing together all the strands into one comprehensive and coordinated approach towards organisational development created clarity….and a ‘this is what good looks like here’….so a ‘step in, step up, or step out’ set of expectations. Partnership to define modern leadership expectations and a fit for purpose Board.

From ‘not sure I’m on this bus’ to ‘we’re all on the bus’

It’s 2020, MRA are contracted to engage an Executive Team with 1:1 Executive Coaching Programmes to achieve personal targets and growth ambitions. But something was missing – a cohesive, aligned, and purposeful ‘team’. Starting with Action Learning Team experiences, the group recognised the need for continuous dialogue in which sharing and listening became key indicators of success. A recognised commercial differentiator was to engage in a strategy experience in which everyone would have input, and for which everyone would need to sign up to, 100%. MRA partnered with the MD to design and deliver all elements of this work, resulting in a carefully managed, and highly successful sign up from every single person on the Leadership Team. This was then followed by a request for an ongoing contract to deliver a wide range of Professional Coaching interventions for the following 12 months. Partnership from top to bottom and from bottom to top.

These are all real and lived client experiences of partnering with MRA. If you recognise something that sounds like your Board, Executive Team, Holding Board, Senior Leadership Team or Group Board we’re always happy to share our experiences with you. These clients will also happily talk to you about their experiences of working with us, so please do ask and we’ll put you in touch.

Now, are you ready for that game?


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