The purpose of this case study is to share best practice on how an already successful FTSE 100 organisation produced a high return on a small investment in coaching its highest performing people to stay successful.

Background Challenges

The business banking division had reported in the previous year a 15% increase in pre-tax profit to £1.26 billion. Their asset finance magazine for customers had highlighted a recent report on industrial innovation from the CBI. This stated that 60% of companies overrate their innovation, 24% were “lacklustre innovators” and 11% were “erratic innovators.”
The CBI report also identified specific aspects of companies with the highest potential for innovation. These included high levels of collaboration, rewarding staff and suppliers for creativity, Board level champions for scanning global best practice and watching the future, and setting innovation targets.
The Divisional managers were keen to apply these processes to maintain and retain their highest performers in business development. They launched an “Academy” to enable the top performers to collaborate more closely with each other sharing best practice.

Awareness Choice And Trust

They investigated the market of successful external coaching specialists and invited their best choices to offer services to challenge and stimulate Academy participants. Suppliers were chosen to deliver short and lively presentations at their quarterly meetings. The Academy was also allowed to select an external coach to support them at work, entrusted with their own personal budgets to identify their own development needs and use the coach in the most appropriate way to further their own objectives.
The Academy made decisions based on self-awareness and trust in their ability. Their selection of a coach was equally based on principles of Awareness Choice and Trust. The chosen coach began the process by showing Academy members how to analyse their own learning styles. This made each of them aware of the most appropriate development methods for their personal styles. It also allowed the coach to tailor his style and support materials to each Academy coachee.

Innovative Action

Most coachees styles showed a high preference to learn in an active way, with secondary preferences to reflect and understand the underpinning theories required to manage change. They agreed with the coach to have four contacts over a six month period at times and places which fitted busy diary with progressive activities between reviews.
First meetings produced a prioritised personal development agenda and identified relevant support materials in both hard copy and e-learning format. These focused on skills in networking, personal impact, referral gathering, and portfolio management.
Second meetings involved role-play with a digital camera capturing eye movements and language style. This allowed a detailed analysis of unconscious neuro-linguistic behaviour patterns. Learner’s increased awareness of behaviours led to more effective control of mannerisms and its impact on others.
Further reviews involved recorded telephone self-assessment, advice on time planning, a risk management and the development of a decision matrix to influence client choice of appropriate products and services.


Short tailored personal development reviews have allowed busy successful managers to perform even better using behavioural benchmarks based on personal styles. The Academy has been a catalyst to effective innovation with a focus on the bottom line.