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Winding up the business
After more than 12 years, due to evolving interests and the pursuit of ever bigger challenges, the business is now winding up.
Heartfelt thanks go out to all the wonderful clients and colleagues who have accompanied the business along its path.
Developing the board
Sue Thomas Coaching has completed the facilitation of an important governance review for a board of trustees. This culminated in a structured event, which elicited the following message from the Chairman of the board.
"I didn't want to delay in writing to thank you very much indeed for everything. I was really delighted both with the way in which you led us through the various aims and objectives of our review, and also the level of engagement, thought and participation there was. Clearly there is room for much more work, but it feels like we have given ourselves permission to come back to that over time as well as to start to make some changes now. Thank you for the clear and creative way you facilitated all of that - as well as the skill, patience and good humour you showed (both in the preparation and the delivery)."
Supporting partnership working
As the public and third sectors continue their journey to engage in different models of working, Sue Thomas Coaching has recently completed a programme to enable four community-focused organisations to work together more effectively toward common aims.
"Relationships lie at the heart of effective partnership working", commented Sue. "Organisations often agree on the ends but not necessarily the means, so it's essential to allow all viewpoints to be expressed and openly debated and not to sweep differences of opinion under the carpet."
Building long-term relationships
While most of our coaching interventions are designed to be short, sharp and highly action-focused, Sue Thomas Coaching is delighted to support several long-term relationships with clients.
These include a senior manager with a national public sector body who has just entered her fifth year of coaching support; a local authority Chief Executive who moved from 1:1 sessions to facilitation for his whole leadership team; and a company Chief Executive who benefited from strategic coaching in 2009/2010 and recently requested further support as his businesses grew.
Shaping a creative future
Sue Thomas hosted the latest session of Creative Thinking Torbay, a voluntary group of business people committed to applying creative thinking to help third sector organisations succeed.
The group meets every few weeks and has already helped close to twenty organisations to develop new ideas to address challenges they face. The Chief Executive of ROC who, together with two other senior staff, represented the guest organisation later wrote to say "We all gained from it and were stimulated by the ideas".
Trust and trustees
Sue Thomas Coaching was delighted to be asked to design a programme of induction workshops for the new board of trustees for Torbay Community Development Trust.
"This is a fascinating time for the voluntary and community sector", said Sue, Director. "The Community Development Trust is utterly committed to harnessing the enthusiasm and strengths of its members in innovative ways, injecting optimism into the Bay."
Supporting social enterprise
Sue Thomas Coaching is entering a fifth year of supporting budding entrepreneurs through facilitation work with the Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs.
The programmes, which are flexible and action-oriented, support the development of sustainable enterprises across the region. Sue leads Action Learning Teams: in a survey that was conducted the social entrepreneurs scored this process between 83% and 90% across all criteria.
Appointment to Plymouth Science Park Advisory Board
Sue Thomas has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Plymouth (formerly Tamar) Science Park, as one of its panel of experienced advisors.
"I'm delighted to be invited to join the Board", said Sue, Director. "The Science Park is hugely committed to creating an environment in which ambitious and innovative organisations can flourish."
Sue interviewed on BBC national radio
As Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement, Sue Thomas was approached by BBC Radio Five Live to appear as an expert guest to discuss the impact of retirement on senior executives.
The live interview drew on Sue's experience working with outgoing executives and the effect this can have on the organisations they leave behind.
Public and private sectors continue to converge
Sue Thomas Coaching has recently been engaged by both senior managers in the NHS and by business leaders in the manufacturing sector to build leadership skills in complex and dynamic environments.
"We're increasingly finding that the issues faced by both public and private sector leaders are converging", said Sue, Director. "Innovating new products and services in fast-moving, high-stress environments is the order of the day across the board. Through tailored coaching we are able to address these issues in a totally personalised, flexible way."
Sue Thomas Coaching assists ground-breaking Cornish institute
Spearheading the University of Exeter's commitment to sustainability research in Cornwall, the Environment and Sustainability Institute is approaching completion at the University's Tremough campus. In the meantime, research is already underway, as is an ambitious programme to engage local businesses.
Sue Thomas is assisting with this by creating a day-long event in June to challenge businesses to think about the links between leadership and management behaviour and long-term business resilience.
"We've lined up an impressive array of speakers, from academic professors to business leaders", said Sue. "It will be a genuinely thought-provoking day."
Entrepreneurial leadership programme finishes with outstanding feedback
Running over a period of two years, Sue Thomas Coaching has now completed a programme of sessions to help senior managers develop entrepreneurial leadership skills and actions.
The sessions regularly received top marks in feedback scores and participants enthused about the practical approaches to planning action.
Award-winning business looks to the future
An award-winning catering, events and retail business has appointed Sue Thomas Coaching to develop its future generation of managers.
"This is an extremely interesting and complex business, which puts sustainability and brand values at the heart of its operations", said director Sue Thomas, "and works hard to balance all of its business drivers to optimum effect. It is an honour to be selected for this project."
Multinational non-disclosure agreement relaxed
Sue Thomas Coaching can finally reveal being a major contributor to a strategic sustainability study in the mobile telecoms domain. The work has until now been subject to strict non-disclosure terms.
The study was commissioned through WWF for Nokia Siemens Networks. It included interviews with stakeholders across the globe and developed actions to address business risk and contribute to the company's business strategy.
Training university professors in the tenets of coaching
"It was potentially a little daunting at first", said Sue, director of Sue Thomas Coaching, "to have the honour of teaching dozens of world-class professors the fundaments of a new skill, but I couldn't have wished for a more receptive audience."
"We have completed one batch of workshops over the past few months and have just been invited to deliver more in the new year. The University of Exeter has ambitions to increase its role on the world stage and coaching is seen as an important route to encouraging academic excellence."
Sue Thomas Coaching selected to help Top Ten UK University strengthen its corporate culture
The University of Exeter attained a Top Ten ranking several years ahead of the goal it had set for itself, but is determined not to sit on its laurels.
To strengthen the culture in delivering professional services across the organisation, from residences to grounds, catering to maintenance, Sue Thomas Coaching has been invited to create a programme alongside the senior management team.
School for Social Entreprenuers engages Sue Thomas to facilitate action learning for its budding entrepreneurs
Sue Thomas has been appointed by Dartington Hall as one of a small team supporting nineteen budding social entrepreneurs through a year-long development programme.
This is the first time that such a programme has run in Devon and represents an exciting addition to Dartington's wide-ranging portfolio in the social justice and sustainability arenas, intersecting with several of Sue Thomas Coaching's particular interests.
Contract extended to provide executive coaching services to Probation Trust Chief Executive
Sue Thomas Coaching's latest contract extension reinforces the company's heartfelt commitment to delivering first class leadership support to senior figures in highly complex roles in the public sector.
"I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to continue to make a positive contribution in this area", said Sue, "and am honoured to work with such a high calibre client."
Leadership South West asks Sue Thomas to train Business Link's leadership specialists
Leadership South West, which is hosted at the University of Exeter, has asked Sue Thomas, director of Sue Thomas Coaching, to provide a series of professional development days for specialist brokers in the Business Link Leadership and Management Advisory Service.
"I will be debating the virtues, and possibly vices, of a range of leadership theories with Business Link's leadership specialists", said Sue. "In particular we will be examining the role of coaching as a tool for leadership development."
Sue Thomas Coaching requested to re-run personal effectiveness workshops
Sue Thomas Coaching has been invited back into Mid Devon District Council to re-run a two day workshop on personal effectiveness for managers. Run twice in 2008, the workshop will run twice more across April and May 2009.
The participants' feedback from the previous workshops gave them top marks and were especially complimentary about the style of delivery.
Sue Thomas appointed as Affiliate at Exeter University's prestigious Centre for Leadership Studies
Following a period of mentoring by one of the Centre's fellows, the submission of references and an intensive panel interview, Sue Thomas has been appointed as an Affiliate at the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter.
"The preparation for the panel presentation and interview was a thought-provoking process. It challenged my conceptions about the meaning of leadership and the reasons that coaching helps leaders achieve more", said Sue Thomas, director of Sue Thomas Coaching. "I look forward to further engagement with both the academic community and fellow practitioners."
Sue Thomas Coaching to co-design a multi-activity management development programme
Sue Thomas Coaching has been asked by a South West local authority to co-design and deliver a highly tailored programme for Service Managers across the authority.
"Many of the managers are already highly experienced", said Sue Thomas, director of Sue Thomas Coaching. "Their challenge now is to take an increasingly corporate view of issues across the whole organisation, while still representing the operational needs of their own sections."
Sue Thomas addresses business leaders during National Enterprise Week
In November 2007, Sue Thomas spoke to an audience of over a hundred as part of National Enterprise Week. The theme of the talk was how business leaders can manage their time more effectively. Since you can't manage time, you can only manage actions, the talk offered techniques for clearing the mind and getting into action.
Sue Thomas Coaching unleashes the power of the team
Sue Thomas Coaching has successfully completed an innovative six month programme to build the leadership skills of a forward-looking South West public sector body.
The programme interwove leadership training workshops with team coaching sessions and one-to-one coaching sessions, set against the backdrop of a major organisational restructuring exercise. "The team found it particularly useful that the sessions took place during the months of major change", said Sue Thomas, director of Sue Thomas Coaching. "This gave them the opportunity to work on the real skills they needed to make the changes while keeping staff morale up.
"We tested the team confidence ratings in their leadership capacity in January, when the programme started, and again in July", she continued. "Confidence ratings for individual leadership capacity increased by an average of 37 percent. Confidence ratings for the team capacity went up by a massive 63 percent as they started to work together more effectively and understand one another's strengths better."
Sue Thomas Coaching spreads coaching skills in the South West
In early February, Sue Thomas Coaching teamed up with Business Link and Direction Training to provide local businesses with a low-cost course on Coaching for Performance and Profit.
Sixteen business men and women spent a day at Boringdon Hall Hotel learning how to apply coaching to their own organisations. "We were delighted with the response", said Sue Thomas, director of Sue Thomas Coaching. "By the end of the day the delegates had really grasped how coaching could be used to drive better business performance. They went away armed with ideas they could implement as soon as they got back to their desks."
"In fact one delegate e-mailed me a few days later to say he'd tried this approach with a member of his team", she continued, "and was impressed with the improved results."
Sue Thomas Coaching navigates the Council of the Isles of Scilly toward better staff relations
Sue Thomas Coaching has recently completed an intensive series of workshops with the Council of the Isles of Scilly to improve relationships between managers and staff and help everybody understand where they fit into the bigger picture.
"The Isles of Scilly is a fascinating place to work" says Sue Thomas, Director. "Because it's a small place it's easy for the senior managers to assume that everyone knows what is happening and what plans there are for the future. But there is still a need for formal communication so that managers and staff can sit down together, one-to-one, and discuss the goals they are working towards, review performance to date, and plan development needs for the future."
Sue added "By introducing a simple but formal structure for everyone in the Council to address their personal performance and development needs the Council can be sure that all members of staff have the opportunity to recognise the contribution they are making to the bigger picture. The workshops have been the first exciting step."
Sue Thomas Coaching provides executive support to key National Adviser
Sue Thomas Coaching has just agreed a new contract to provide executive coaching to a key National Adviser for the Improvement and Development Agency. Due to the success of a pilot programme, the contract will run over the coming year.
"We are delighted with the feedback from the pilot coaching programme", said Sue Thomas, Director, "and look forward to continuing to help the Improvement and Development Agency fulfil its ambitions."
"More and more executives are turning to one-to-one coaching as the most effective way to develop their skills and achieve their goals", she added.
The Improvement and Development Agency works in partnership with councils to enhance their performance in providing local solutions to local needs.
Winding up the business
On this page:
Winding up the business, 2016....
Developing the board, October 2015....
Supporting partnership working, April 2015....
Building long-term relationships, January 2015....
Shaping a creative future, October 2014....
Trust and trustees, September 2014....
Supporting social enterprise, January 2014....
Appointment to Plymouth Science Park Advisory Board, June 2013....
Sue interviewed on BBC national radio, May 2013....
Public and private sectors continue to converge, January 2013....
Sue Thomas Coaching assists ground-breaking Cornish institute, May 2012....
Entrepreneurial leadership programme finishes with outstanding feedback, January 2012....
Award-winning business looks to the future, October 2011....
Multinational non-disclosure agreement relaxed, September 2011....
Training university professors in the tenets of coaching, January 2011....
Sue Thomas Coaching selected to help Top Ten UK University strengthen its corporate culture, May 2010....
School for Social Entreprenuers engages Sue Thomas to facilitate action learning for its budding entrepreneurs, January 2010....
Contract extended to provide executive coaching services to Probation Trust Chief Executive, October 2009....
Leadership South West asks Sue Thomas to train Business Link's leadership specialists, June 2009....
Sue Thomas Coaching requested to re-run personal effectiveness workshops, April 2009....
Sue Thomas appointed as Affiliate at Exeter University's prestigious Centre for Leadership Studies, March 2008....
Sue Thomas Coaching to co-design a multi-activity management development programme, January 2008....
Sue Thomas addresses business leaders during National Enterprise Week, November 2007....
Sue Thomas Coaching unleashes the power of the team, July 2007....
Sue Thomas Coaching spreads coaching skills in the South West, February 2007....
Sue Thomas Coaching navigates the Council of the Isles of Scilly toward better staff relations, October 2006....
Sue Thomas Coaching provides executive support to key National Adviser, March 2006....
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