C-Suite & Boardroom Coaching
Private Insurance Company
The son of a founder of a private national boutique insurance company took over the leadership of the company from his deceased father. Although he had been an officer and a board member of the company for years, the control of the board had shifted to his father’s widow who knew very little about the business or how to grow it. The son had two immediate challenges: how to interact with the board to assert his knowledge and authority while not ignoring the widow’s wishes, and how not to grow the business so fast that it would be strained in the process.
A senior Cambria coach worked with him deal with these challenges as CEO, President and Vice Chairman of the Board. She employed assessments designed to help him focus on harnessing his visionary passion into initiatives that he could comfortably manage. She also worked with members of the board to help them talk more openly and work together more effectively.
In an industry that had been flat, the business subsequently grew an annual average of 20%. In addition, the CEO was able to manage challenges with the rest of the board, get a real business board in place, attract new investments, and achieve what was necessary to get the business ready for sale.
A global chemical company engaged Cambria to coach the CEO and several other senior executives to role-model the company’s commitment to development through a top-down strategy. Coaching the CEO involved optimizing his relationship with the board. As part of the engagement, the Cambria coach collected feedback from the board on the executive’s strengths and development needs and on the board’s strengths and opportunities for development.
The coach worked individually with the CEO, individually with the lead director, and collectively with the full board and CEO. Thanks to this effort, and the board’s and CEO’s efforts to work through several major acquisitions, a number of significant board transitions, and other key strategy issues were greatly enhanced.
Public Works Contractor
A California-based CEO was concerned about the lack of professional experience on the board and the resulting indifference of the board to her initiatives to change its structure and develop its members.
The CEO engaged a Cambria coach regarding her concerns. In response, the coach adapted a list of best board practices for the CEO’s information. These documents were forwarded to the directors for an all-day meeting facilitated by the coach. In the process, the coach introduced a self-assessment questionnaire to get board members’ views on the board culture, board member capabilities, whether the board was focusing on the right issues and providing the right information, and whether it had the right people with the knowledge and experience to provide good governance.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the only director who had significant experience on other boards and who had done independent work on best practices was requested to make specific proposals to reform the board’s process and practices. The work of the board is continuing.