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Guided Design: A Powerful Tool for Training Professional Coaches

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Coaching Susan: A Guided Design Exercise

Phase One-A: Initial Case Study

Instructions: Please read the following brief case study.

Susan Tremain is an Assistant Vice President of the Human Resources Department at a large, international communications-focused corporation (to which we will give the name “Inter-Global Corp”). In her current job, Susan primarily focuses on overseeing and coordinating new training programs for Inter-Global. She has been very successful in providing leadership for diverse training programs throughout the world. As a result of this success, Susan has been assigned a challenging new project (for which she has been released ½ time from her current job). This new project concerns the preparation of a comprehensive human resource plan for the corporation. She has been asked to assemble and lead a task force composed of employees at multiple levels of the organization and from throughout the world. This task force (of no more than 15 people) is to address four primary questions:

(1) What are the anticipated skills, knowledge and motivators for the coming decade in Inter-Global?

(2) How might training and education best be managed given the international outreach of Inter-Global and the new technologies that are now (or soon will be) available for the delivery of this training and education?

(3)  Who should be providing this training and education (what is the appropriate balance between internal and external resources in Inter-Global)?

(4) What can be done to insure that the training and education will have a lasting impact in Inter-Global?

Susan has long believed that senior leaders at Inter-Global can improve their performance and the quality of their decisions by engaging a professional coach. She has often assigned peer coaches to the participants in Inter-Global’s leadership development programs. Susan has also coordinated a program that leads to the identification and contracting of external coaches for senior executives at Inter-Global. She was thus perfectly positioned for a request on her own part for an external coach to assist her in preparing for and executing this challenging task force-based assignment.

Susan has just contacted you to determine if you would like to serve as her executive coach. The new task force would be the focus of this coaching engagement. She expects the assignment to be completed in six months and would like to contract with you for bi-weekly coaching sessions of 60 minute duration over this six month period—with one or two follow up sessions several months after completion of the assignment. She is offering excellent compensation for your work with her and she indicates that she has full support from her own supervisor and other members of the Executive Team at Inter-Global. These leaders all believe that this is an important assignment and that Susan should receive the same kind of coaching assistance that she has been arranging (quite successfully) for members of the Executive Team.

What would be the focus of your first session with Susan?

Instructions: Please discuss this case study in your guided design group and come to a consensus (or at least limit to two alternative conclusions) regarding what you would do during your first session with Susan. Be prepared to summarize the actions would you take and share these with other guided design teams.

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