SERVICES

LEADER COACHING

Achieving Meaningful And Durable Outcomes For Business, Society, Nature And Your Personal Legacy

 

Service At-A-Glance

  • A one-on-one coaching relationship between Jody Bickel, CEO and founder of Creekbank Associates, and an environmental change agent leader trying to achieve big things.
  • A structured approach, comprised of 12 monthly sessions, to help leaders get more done and move the needle on an organization’s public environmental commitments and social license to operate.
  • A sympathetic relationship with a strategic partner who has extensive experience as an environmental change agent inside organizations that are challenged to effectively navigate change.

SERVICE OVERVIEW

ILLUMINATING YOUR PATH FORWARD AND FORCE MULTIPLYING YOUR PROGRESS

This service is an annual coaching engagement, parsed across 12 monthly sessions, between a leader charged with environmental and sustainability outcomes and Jody Bickel, CEO and Founder of Creekbank Associates. Usually, these leaders are change agents seeking to achieve big goals and visionary plans, often swimming upstream against a tide of inertia.

In the monthly coaching sessions, the leader and Jody Bickel ideate solutions and chart the path forward to realize outcomes that matter to both the leader and their organization. For 25 years, Jody Bickel has been an environmental change agent inside institutions and organizations with little incentive to change. Jody’s experience and demonstrated history of doing things others deem impossible uniquely qualifies her to be a coach and partner to inspired leaders. If you want to do big things, you need Jody as your coach.

The focus of the monthly sessions includes calibrating the status of current initiatives, brainstorming how to overcome obstacles, and refocusing and recommitting to priorities that move the needle. The purpose of this service is to help leaders strategize every month for ideas and approaches to solving big problems that are often vexing.

The results for many of our clients have included:

  • Increased confidence – inspiring continued progress through the expansion of your skills and the achievement of your desired outcomes.
  • Improved focus – ensuring that you focus on goals, strategies and plans that are both realistic and meaningful.
  • Targeted commitment – guiding you forward in effectively applying your time and talents to solve the problems that are most meaningful to you as a leader.
  • Better outcomes – empowering you to make a greater impact with you team, time and available resources.

The net result is that the leader is more impactful and more consistently achieves meaningful outcomes. 

Why Is This Service Necessary?

Change agents know that what they’re trying to achieve is risky and filled with cultural, economic and environmental complexities. For leaders to affect meaningful and profitable changes in sustainability initiatives, culture, processes and incentives usually have to change too. That can be incredibly difficult because there is often resistance to these types of changes. After working with change leaders across all sectors, from C-suite, Director, and program level roles, we have identified these common challenges:

  1. Inertia – Most organizations don’t have enough incentive to change their cultural status quo. Leaders advancing change are often swimming upstream against culture, politics, indifference and clashing value sets.
  2. Risk – As an advocate for targeted improvements, the leader is continually challenged to know how much risk to take and when, where, why and who to take risks with. How far you can leverage and extend your influence is a constant consideration.
  3. Scope and scale – It’s often hard to know which initiatives to pick. Some are not impactful enough or are too small while others might be too grandiose and unachievable. Identifying the very best initiatives that will be meaningful, yet are achievable, helps you avoid floundering and wasted time.
  4. Team dynamics – Sustainability leaders usually work alone or in small teams. They are often required to navigate and negotiate for influence, budget and commitment across multiple corporate divisions. Leaders are challenged to build and facilitate internal coalitions that are essential to achieving important outcomes.
  5. Time and energy – Every day, leaders have only so much time and energy. Trying to make change in organizations with little incentive to change can be utterly exhausting. This requires leaders to carefully pick which battles they’ll fight today versus those they’ll leave for tomorrow.
  6. Loneliness – It’s a lonely endeavor to be a change agent, even when the leader is well respected and admired. Being the sole generator of ideas, evaluator of risks and problem solver often results in leaders becoming worn out, isolated and frustrated.

Kermit the frog pined, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”  Leaders of change know this all too well. It’s true that working at the intersect of people, place, and profitability is not for the faint of heart. Our clients are compelled to achieve meaningful progress for their enterprise and beyond. They recognize the value of seeking guidance from expert partners, as a way of further equipping themselves with the strategy and tools needed to manifest their vision. Through our leader coaching service, we function as a force multiplier to the leader in making their dreams come true.

WHY YOU NEED THIS SERVICE

BEING AN ENVIRONMENTAL OR SUSTAINABILITY CHANGE AGENT IS A MONUMENTAL TASK. PARTNERING WITH A GUIDE WHO’S BEEN THROUGH IT BEFORE REALLY HELPS.

Who Needs This Service?

This service is essential for change agent leaders who bear responsibility to deliver on their organization’s environmental commitments and to enhance their social license to operate. These individuals deliberately work to advance environmental outcomes inside their organization. Typically, they are executive and senior-level leaders who have decision-making and budget authority and are expected to demonstrate continuous progress toward achieving public promises. This may include those serving as:

  • Board Chairpersons and Directors
  • Presidents and CEOs; CIOs; CFOs
  • Partners, Principals and Executive Directors
  • Global, National and Regional Chief Officers
  • Senior Vice-Presidents, and
  • Senior Leads and Directors

These are common elements our clients share:

  • Makes public claims and commitments relating to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • Invests in environmental restoration (for compliance and/or reputational benefit purposes).
  • Faces highly complex environmental and business conflict issues around land use, stakeholder and community relations.
  • Desires personalized advisement about change management for sustainability and stewardship issues beyond their in-house expertise.
  • Strong personal commitment to achieving meaningful environmental outcomes.

OUR APPROACH

JOURNEYING TOGETHER WITH A TRUSTED ADVISOR HELPS YOU GO FARTHER, FASTER

This service begins with a goal identification session between Jody Bickel and the leader. The purpose of the session is to understand what the leader is trying to achieve, the resources available to them and the outcomes they have experienced so far. After the initial consultation, Jody creates a set of customized metrics based on the leader’s specific goals. She also leverages her judgement of what is most impactful to measure, monitor and analyze every month. This results in the production of a Monthly Objectives Situational Assessment (MOSA) scorecard, which becomes the foundation of the coaching relationship. Each month, Jody consults with the leader to grade every metric either red (this needs work now), yellow (this needs improvement) or green (this is great, let’s maintain).

Here are some common metrics that Jody evaluates with leaders:

  • Leader happiness and morale. How are you feeling? Any concerns or impulses toward desperate maneuvers? Any thoughts of quitting?
  • Leader standing. How strong is your influence as leader? Is your star rising or waning? How dangerous are the political landmines you need to navigate? What is your plan to do so?
  • Team morale. What’s the status of your team? Who should you be concerned about and who needs special attention?
  • Financial status. Is funding for any project or initiative at risk or in danger of going over-budget? Are there any new funding sources on the horizon? Are there any financial concerns?
  • Cultural dynamics. Are embedded intra-organization or external industry behaviors creating barriers to progress? What is your strategy for each situation?
  • Clarity of purpose. Are you crystal clear about what you’re trying to achieve and how you’ll get there? Which situations are in danger of becoming muddled and uncertain? What is your plan to address these?
  • Initiative status. How are initiatives progressing? Are any initiatives at-risk? What’s the nature of the risk? How have you thought about addressing the risk?
  • Forward progress. Do you feel like you’re making progress toward your biggest goals? Why do you, or do you not, feel this way? What is your plan to address this?
  • Impediment severity. What impediments stand in your way? How severe are they? Which impediments deserve special attention right now? What is your plan to address them?
  • Messaging efficacy. How effectively are your messages being received by stakeholders? How can you know this?

Here are a few reasons the MOSA approach is beneficial and effective:

  • Sense-making. It’s easy to make false attributions (misunderstanding root causes of problems and successes) because there are so many input points that affect outcomes. The MOSA approach helps you make a much more accurate assessment, so you don’t operate on erroneous assumptions. This empowers you to repeat successes and more quickly solve future problems.
  • Resource allocation. Most leaders have numerous resources at their disposal. But it can be difficult to know where to apply the resources to effect outcomes. The MOSA approach helps you analyze where best to apply resources to achieve the goals that matter.
  • Resolve. It’s easy to be resolved when things are going well. However, when things fall apart, resolve often takes a big hit. The MOSA approach helps you reconnect with your core reasons for doing what you do, enhancing resilience and resolve.
  • Short-term priority clarification. It’s often difficult to know where to focus when competing priorities clamor for attention. The MOSA approach solves that problem by helping you define priorities for the coming 30 days.
  • Solution generation. The old saying is that two heads are better than one. The MOSA approach helps you make better strategic choices because your analysis is informed by the experiences of a change agent who has been in your shoes.
  • Documenting sentiment and decisions for future enhancements. Decisions and priorities are often made in the moment and the presenting conditions that gave rise to them can be easily forgotten. The MOSA approach solves this problem by documenting the conditions you face every month and the analysis you went through to arrive at decisions. This empowers you to reflect on past decisions and make better decisions in the future.
  • Spotting pain points. In the busy-ness of daily activities, leaders may unintentionally tolerate certain lagging pain points. Over time, this can impact the leader’s progress in achieving their vision. Using the MOSA approach, Jody identifies persistent issues and works with the leader to  initiate steps toward resolution.

When a metric is scored red three months in a row, Jody drills down into it with the leader to discover root causes. Then she helps brainstorm solutions to move the needle back to yellow and into green. The goal of the MOSA approach is to have no red metrics over time. This not only makes the leader feel better about progress, it also leads to better outcomes.

Our monthly Leader coaching service includes:

  • One standing meeting to discuss anything that is important to the leader.
  • Grading of the Monthly Objectives Situational Assessment (MOSA) scorecard.
  • Jody Bickel’s advice and support, based on her years of experience.

This service can be made even more effective when combined with additional coaching packages and technical project services to drive progress in targeted areas.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

ACHIEVING MEANINGFUL AND LASTING OUTCOMES WITH FAR-REACHING EFFECTS

As your trusted advisor, Jody helps you navigate through the difficult and frequently lonely terrain of being a change agent leader. This offering usually culminates in the following beneficial outcomes for our clients:

  • Increased confidence, improved focus and targeted commitment.
  • Sense of relief and bolstered enthusiasm through the coaching relationship.
  • Meaningful, beneficial outcomes for the environment and the enterprise’s social license to operate.
  • Increased regard, influence and recognition for your role in advancing change.
  • Fulfillment in knowing that you have taken every possible best step to achieve those goals that are most important to you.
  • Force multiplication of these outcomes to influence positive change throughout the enterprise and beyond.

“Being green” as it turns out is not a solo, siloed venture, but rather it is akin to the origin of the green color pigment. Green is not a primary color – it is the product of mixing of yellow and blue. This is how together we achieve meaningful, lasting outcomes at the intersect of people, place and profitability.

How To Get Started

Our approach for engaging with each client begins with a no-obligation initial consultation and a needs assessment. Based on each client’s situation and the unique nature of this work, we may progress through several framing sessions before formalizing an engagement. This ensures clarity of scoping and a shared understanding of risks, assumptions, variables and the timing of the work.

To get started on this process, please fill out the form below.

Get Started Now

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