Finding what works for you, where you are, at this moment.

You and your organisation are unique and have already found much that works for you. When the solution to a particular challenge is evading you, coaching helps you to move forward. Coaching helps World-class atheletes reach peak performance and overcome challenges and it can work for you.

Somebody else’s cookie cutter solution may or possibly may not work for you. It is better, quicker and cheaper to build the solution to your particular challenge based on what works for you. This is where one-to-one solution-focused coaching can help. This is the approach that I use. Often solutions can be developed in six coaching sessions, sometimes less.

Solution-focused coaching is very practical and in saying that it also only deals with solvable problems. Solvable problems can be defined, have outcomes that can be measured and everyone involved accepts that they will be doing something differently in future.

Here’s the solution-focused process:


Although the usual sequence is problem – platform – (miracle question) – ideal future – resources – small steps – review, if for some reason this is not working we do what works.

The essence is therefore quite simple, although it benefits from some subtlety in use. It boils down to:

  • Finding out what is already working and doing more of it

  • Stopping doing what does not work and doing something else, often more of what is already working

Talk to me now about finding solutions to your challenges.

Effective teamwork yields higher performance.

Teamwork is massively powerful. In an interview on CBS 60 Minutes TV programme Steve Jobs recognised this, ‘Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.’ Higher performing teams do not come much better than those that can change four tyres on a grand prix car that is stationary for less than 2 seconds!

Does a team report to you, do you lead a team or are a member of a team that is having problems? Is it truly a team or is it a group, a gang or even a rabble? If you seriously want the members to become a high performing team here are some thoughts for you.

Would the challenges that your team faces benefit from getting some help? Challenges such as people problems, chaotic or poor quality processes, under performance or even conflict. The key is first to step back and look at the whole situation.

Ordinary people can get extraordinary results. Yes, really. The first and most critical element is your leadership. There are teams that seem to operate without a leader, though this is rare. There is more on leadership elsewhere in this website. Critically though you as the leader must do the job that only you can do, which is to look at the bigger picture, that is, the whole situation.

Take the British coxed rowing eight that won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This was achieved after years of underperforming with a new team of coaches. Further back there is the case of the late Robert Townsend who transformed Avis the car rental business. He was told by the outgoing CEO that he should fire the senior team in order to turnaround the business. Yet three years later that same team had raised its market share to 20% matching the market leader.

The team you are thinking about may be serving customers directly, supporting others who are or performs some other function like credit control. Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to understand the problems or share new knowledge about ways of working. However, often the team is in the best position, if given the opportunity, to improve performance because they have firsthand knowledge of what is happening.

I guide teams and their leaders, managers or directors towards high performance working. Depending on the need in a particular situation this may involve a solution-focused approach, relevant training in elements of the Simply Manage Star® or some combination of the two.

Focus on the total customer experience delivers sustainable success.

In a world of accelerating change being a manager is an increasing challenge. There are so many topics demanding attention that they can seem like ‘Crazy Paving’! This Simply Manage way brings together what has become a fragmented field into a coherent whole.

By saying ‘Simply Manage’ we are saying on the one hand ‘Just get on and do it!’ Cut out all the politics, ego trips, empire building, gaming, greed and waste. On the other hand we are saying ‘Just focus!’ Focus on the customers, consumers, service users, clients, patients, beneficiaries; whomever you serve.

To Simply Manage is to focus your team and yourself on delivering a total customer experience with ever better quality, faster for less. If embraced it is challenging, rewarding (both for people and the organisation), and enjoyable.

It starts with understanding customers’ needs; moves through the people who face customers in moments of truth and all others who support them, to the necessary leadership and management, and out into the impact of the organisation on the whole environment.

To Simply Manage can be summarised in the six basic elements in bold in the following sentence:

Your business aim is for your people to serve customers in a system through which value flows, if you measure what is happening, you can do it ever better, so your business will succeed and sustain.

These six elements make up the ‘Stars’ of the Simply Manage Star®, which represents a clear, broad and balanced body of knowledge for managers.

This can be delivered in a vaiety of learning formats. Most effective is a blended learning approach. This brings together some formal classroom based learning together with Action Learning, new technology that can include Social Media and work-based projects. Projects are a particularly powerful way of embedding learning. Talk to me about your management development needs.