The ABN GROUP as a Case Study
This ABN Group of 22 Australian companies located largely in Perth (Western Australia) with two companies based in Melbourne (Victoria) build houses (high end luxury housing through to first home buyers) or have businesses affiliated with building such as roofing, plumbing, ceilings, concreting as well as a commercial arm.
Started in 1978 by a bricklayer (Gary Brown-Neaves) and joined a few years later by another bricklayer (Dale Alcock), these two men have created a residential building empire (see www.abngroup.com.au). The company has now built over 62,000 homes in both WA and Victoria.
More recently however, the group has decided that they want to be an employer of choice, ie;
* they want to engage staff more meaningfully,
* they want to retain good staff, and
* purposefully grow their future leaders,
* they want to both grow the business and increase productivity.
One key answer was to create a coaching culture right through the business.
However, what had been in place already over the years set the foundation for a Coaching Course, namely:
* Level 5 Leadership from the top;
* a clear set of company values that just didn’t sit on a wall or in a foyer, but played out in real behaviours in the workplace;
* a training academy that especially covered the “soft skills” like “Emotional Intelligence” and “The Art of Listening”;
* and mandatory 360 degree assessments for all senior leaders.
In short, this company set about getting serious about its people and its culture.
And as for a coaching culture, they got serious too.
What was implemented by Crossways Consulting was an intensive and comprehensive 12 month coach program to train senior leaders, executives and managers.
This program was created, authored and conducted by Dr Darryl Cross based on his clinical and organisational psychology, his university lecturing, his workshop facilitation skills, his coach accreditation, and his coaching experience.
The course was set over a year (January to December) and involved the following elements:
- A written application
- An interview process
- 6-8 weeks of internet web-based reading, exercises (e.g. listening), assessments and diagnostics
- 3 days of intensive face-to-face training including role plays
- a written case study over 6 weeks
- a further 2 days of intensive face-to-face training
- 10 hours of tele-classes where participants coached each other under supervision
- 6 hours of videoed coach practice that was reviewed
- 8 hours of personal supervision with the coach facilitator
- 50 hours in total of logged coaching practice
- A reflection paper
In the following year, there was follow up which included:
(1) one day of follow-up intensive training in the following February
(2) a buddy system where participants reviewed each other’s coaching videos providing peer support and feedback.
The program has been a resounding success.
In fact, in 2016, this Program was a finalist in the hotly contested Workplace Excellence Awards conducted by the College of Organisational Psychologists on behalf of the Australian Psychological Society.
Now watch some of the videos of those who have participated in the course for 2014.