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coaching in context

"The essence of action learning is to extract from the new task itself a sustainable desire to know what one is trying to do, what is stopping one from doing it, and what resources can be found to get it done by surmounting what seems to stand in the way.

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ensuring change is sustained
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investment banking & mental health



A crisis mental health team in London, like many others around the country, has this year seen a dramatic increase in case load, something they’ve attributed to the economic environment, originating with the investment banking industry.  At the start of the year they were handling 15 new cases a day, when we first started talking to them they were handling 30 new cases a day, at which point although they were still meeting their targets but were beginning to feel the strain.  By the time we finished the work in July they were handling 40 new cases a day.


The strategy was two pronged:


·      To introduce coaching skills into the work place to allow team members to support each other constructively through a difficult time, which also encompassed a significant amount of organisational change.

·      To address the management of individual and team energy to ensure teams are as effective as possible.


Coaching skills allow team members to support each other and provide support. Coaching also increases the level of ownership and accountability in the team.


While capacity in terms of headcount and hours has reached its limit, introducing leading edge energy management strategies has proven to provide additional capacity to do work, builds higher levels of productivity and significant increases in engagement.


The two elements were brought together through the use of action learning, where using coaching style communication the team worked together to find ways  to introduce the new energy management strategies into a stretched environment.


As a result of the problems of the past year and subsequent cost cutting the banking industry itself is stretched to the point where working practices are putting a strain on employees.  As firms are increasingly putting pressure on employees in attempting to deliver more with less, more problems with the delivery of initiatives arise.  The environment is unsustainable and will only create more problems. It is ironical that the mental health sector, put under strain as a result, is adopting leading edge energy management techniques, drawn from research with high performance athletes, to ensure that staff are not subject to the pressures that banking and banking technology teams are facing.










on court performance specialises in working with teams and individuals in the context of change to continualy enhance performance


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