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Integrating a Coaching Culture in Financial Institutions

  Feb 26, 2016

More and more senior executive members of Organisations are seeking new ways of running their organisations more effectively and efficiently. Executive coaching is becoming the much sort after skill top leaders seek to empower their employees and maneuver their Organisations in ever changing and complex environments.

Through an Executive Coaching program spread over six months, Strathmore Business School, Creative Métier and FSD Africa and with a competitively selected pool of senior coaches, have been able to train and coach nine senior leaders of financial Institutions from the East African region. This group included CEOs of banking, insurance, financial sector regulation and Saccos. The culmination of the program was a reunion held on 24th February, 2016, where the awardees (coaches and coachees), shared their success stories of integrating a coaching Culture in their organizations.

Jubilee Insurance Group and Commercial Bank of Africa, financial service providers, seem to have exploited the gems of executive coaching, a growing culture that has seen these financial institutions increase their productivity. These two Organisations displayed the power and efforts to engaging managers in coaching. They are both at the initial stages of embedding coaching in the Organisation culture.

Thomas Mundia, Director Executive Coaching Strathmore Business School, thanked the coachees for their eminent support to the program, by exemplifying its objectives; integrating the culture into their various places of work.
Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Dean Talent Development, encouraged the participants to continue breaking the barriers which inhibit a coaching culture. “Being pioneers of a great invention, coaching, is a great revolution in the corporate world. Organisations must strive to fight vulnerabilities which stand in achieving greatness.”

He challenged them to think extensively of how an organization’s culture impedes the implementation of strategy. Hence, the management team, must be wary of the cultural practices of the organization. “A culture is what people embrace, it is what people make of as a way of life. A bad culture can eat a good strategy for breakfast or lunch…Changing the culture of an organization is a powerful tool that can bring a strategy to life. Marrying organizational culture and the organization’s strategy is key.”

Paul from FSD Africa expressed his desires in seeing more financial sector players take up coaching, in a mode that elicits change in the financial markets. “Ultimately, better business performance is inevitable through the inclusion of a coaching culture in the organization. It is important to have the growth of profitable firms/ institutions providing training services to increase the supply of coaches to match the growing demand for coaching. Africa’s uptakes of financial services is commendable, therefore, financial sector leaders must gain mastery of the environment they operate in and be able to come up with the appropriate solutions.”

Participants later on evaluated their progress in incorporating coaching into their leadership styles, with most participants according success in the following areas:
• Focusing on softer skills
• Developing range of coaching strategies
• Listening more during performance evaluation
• Allowing managers to set their own objectives
• Developing action plans to develop a coaching culture
• Proposing formal coach training for senior managers and Executive Committee members

Here are a few testimonies from the participants:

Patrick Tumbo, CEO Jubilee Insurance

“This program could not have come at a better time for me. It helped me evaluate what was going on wrong and what was going on right. Since we initiated coaching, the Kenyan arm of the company has seen exponential growth, success we can attribute to the management level training. Coaching is essentially, not only to transform our organizations, but to also transform ourselves.”

Michael Opira, Head of IT, and Operations, Eco-Bank Uganda
“My training gave me a good foundation of cultivating a soft skill training culture. I am glad to report that we have been able to inculcate the culture at the management level. So far we have seen a significant cost reductions on our operational costs. I pass my gratitude to my coach.”

Godfrey, General Manager Finance, Centenary Bank,
“Writing something down makes the point of reference vivid and clear when it comes to implementing. Make your objectives known, in mind and at heart.I have three objectives, to evoke my leadership, evoke others, and see them transform. The reflections of who I am and what others think of me, have been a launch pad to catapult me to where I want to go.”

George Ochiri – CEO Safaricom Sacco
“The change in the working culture, elicited through coaching, has evoked confidence to our staff members, who have been able to take the lead in their respective duties and excel in execution. I have seen an improvement in customer satisfaction, and a general change of attitude, amongst employees. According to my spouse, I am also more present at home!.”

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