Developing Excellence through Coaching

MediaOne/AT&T Broadband

Background: In the 1990s, MediaOne was the nation’s largest cable company, providing service to hundreds of thousands of subscribers throughout the U.S. Entelechy provided training design and development support to MediaOne’s fledgling training and development organization and created many training programs including:

  • Customer Excellence (a 10-module program designed to increase the skills
    of all customer service personal).
  • Delivering High Impact Training
  • Leadership Support
  • New Product Launch: NexTV and Digital NexTV
  • New System Launch: ETE-Leads
MediaOne
MediaOne

Challenge: MediaOne recognized that a critical component to the success of the enterprise was the top performance of every individual in the company. Ensuring peak performance of all employees was dependent upon MediaOne’s leadership team having the necessary skills to develop the performance of their people. Coaching for Excellence is a program designed to provide the leadership team with these critical skills.

For many people on MediaOne’s leadership team, the specific skill of coaching was not only new, but also represented a significant cultural shift. As a result of the magnitude of the change required, as well as the criticality of these skills to achieving the enterprise’s business goals, it was imperative that the organization clearly define the steps necessary to ensure the adoption of these new skills.

Solution: Building off of Entelechy’s High Performance Management core, we customized Coaching for Excellence, a course designed to give managers, supervisors, and team leaders the skills they need to increase their employees’ performance through coaching, feedback, and problem solving. Entelechy also supervised the professional production of a videotape demonstrating the coaching model in action with a variety of customer service personnel.

Participants learned what MediaOne employees expect from the company and their leaders; this information formed the basis for a discussion of behaviors that discourage and encourage communication.

Participants learned to link performance requirements to business needs and to identify reasons why employees may not be performing as expected. A simple but highly effective coaching model was explained, demonstrated, and practiced by participants. A model for delivering feedback was examined and practiced. Participants explored social styles and how the styles of their employees may require managers and supervisors to flex from their own style to more effectively coach, deliver feedback, and problem solve.

Participants learned a simple but effective model for dealing with performance problems. They practiced this model using their own real on the job situations.

Results: Anecdotal evidence from supervisors and employees alike indicate that Coaching for Excellence was a success; knowing that the model continues to be used eight years after its introduction (and through two mergers) also speaks volumes to its effectiveness.

A key – albeit general – metric used in the design, development, and delivery of Coaching for Excellence was overall employee performance. A year after Entelechy created Coaching for Excellence, MediaOne had its biggest quarterly profit in U.S. history when it earned $26.6 billion in the second quarter of 1998, a record that continues to stand as THE biggest quarter for any U.S. company*.

Coincidence?

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* Ford Motor Co. had the second-biggest profit in U.S. history when it earned $17.6 billion in the first quarter of 1998. AT&T’s $11.4 billion profit in the third quarter of 2001 was No. 3 on U.S. record. Exxon Mobil ranks No. 4 and No. 5 with earnings of $8.42 billion in 2004’s fourth quarter and $7.86 billion in 2005’s first quarter.

Source: Exxon Mobil 2nd-Qtr Profit Climbs as Oil Prices Soar, Bloomberg Online July 28, 2005

Author: STEP Consulting



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