Coaching World Issue 10: May 2014 - Page 12

Ines Bazdar/ The Coaching Case company implemented necessary but painful cost-containment measures. Their anxiety was quantified by a disheartening employee engagement index of 61.6 percent. A Winning Strategy DJ Mitsch, MCC, ICF Global Past President DJ is a thought leader in the coaching profession, an award-winning author, one of the first 25 coaches to receive ICF’s Master Certified Coach designation and an experienced Mentor Coach. Prior to entering the coaching profession, she spent two decades as a broadcast executive. In 1994, DJ and her husband, Barry Mitsch, cofounded The Pyramid Resource Group, which provides coaching to many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, medical nonprofits and health insurance companies, as well as telecommunications, aerospace, broadcasting and professional sports organizations. In 2013, DJ launched the Health Care Coaching Institute to serve the growing need for coaches well-equipped to serve leaders in the health care industry. She is the author of “Team Advantage: The Complete Coaching Guide for Team Transformation (Pfeiffer/ Wiley 2010) and the editor of “Coaching for Extraordinary Results,” part of the “In Action” series edited by Jack J. Phillips (American Society for Training and Development Press, 2002). 12 Coaching World Over the last two decades, team coaching has emerged as an extension of Executive Coaching, empowering leaders to work with their teams in new ways and transform team-building into culture-building. Since 2012, the field sales force for Sanofi’s North American Pharmaceutical division has been reaping the benefits of team coaching delivered via The Pyramid Resource Group’s proprietary model, Team Advantage™: The Complete Coaching Process for Team Transformation. A Challenging Climate In late 2011, North American Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi employed 5,000 people and was generating annual revenue of roughly $10 billion USD. Anne Whitaker had just been named the division’s president at a time when the organization as a whole faced great challenges. Some of Sanofi’s best-selling drugs were just months away from going off patent, while other products faced stiff generic competition. Employees were weary from recent mergers, ongoing restructuring, and attempts to integrate cultures and processes while the Although Anne was concerned about market share and profit, she also recognized that sustainable improvement and innovation starts with employees who find meaning and satisfaction in their jobs and take pride in their company. She brought in The Pyramid Resource Group to coach a select cadre of first-line leaders tasked with seeding change leadership capabilities and coaching teams as Sanofi prepared to shift to a more patient-focused sales model. Accelerating Change Pyramid’s Team Advantage™ model is a 16-week process that fast-tracks team cohesiveness and performance by asking members to create a game plan worthy of their time and energy. It has the built-in measures of a game with business goal attainment and encourages creativity and play. Over the course of the first four months, a team of 14 professional coaches from Pyramid provided extensive training in change leadership and team coaching to 25 first-line leaders during rigorous, weeklong sessions. These change agents had an average tenure of 10 years and were recruited for a twoyear special assignment: to build an internal-to-Sanofi capability for change leadership, team coaching and continuous improvement. The driver for embedding these capabilities centered on the ICF Core Competencies, so the mentoring and partnership with Sanofi’s change agents were the most important aspects of this rollout. Any good facilitator can complete a team-building event, but the team coaching that takes place after the goals are in place requires advanced coaching skills—especially listening for the team’s voice. Professional