Executive Coaching Case Studies
Coaching for Leading Change
Introduction to P&O Nedlloyd
P&O Nedlloyd was a major international shipping company – number three in the world based on volume at the time. The company was founded as a result of a merger in 1997 between P&O of London and Royal Nedlloyd of Holland, which operated as a Joint Venture for seven years until it listed on the Amsterdam Stock exchange in April 2004.
Prior to the listing, P&O Nedlloyd had a separate corporate region for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) supporting a regional management structure of about thirty people. In late 2002 and early 2003 the ANZ region was pulled apart and the two countries became part of the Asia Pacific Region reporting into a regional director in Hong Kong.
Bob Kemp, General Manager of P&O Nedlloyd explains, “Even though I was running the Australian operation, I always had a director in Sydney above me. So, when that support departed, we were suddenly very much masters of our own destiny and it was a big change.”
The outgoing regional director had been working with Hewsons immediately prior to the re-structure and he spoke to Bob about how Hewsons could help put the changes into perspective.
A Vested Interest in Success
“P&O Nedlloyd turns over half a billion a year in Australia alone. We are also P&O’s 4th or 5th largest market. So, we had a significant stake in making the re-structure work here in Australia,” explains Bob.
Hewsons Set Measurable Goals
At his first session with Hewsons, Bob identified six key areas or Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) he wanted to focus on:
- Business strategy
- Decision making
- Handling conflict and non-performance
- Leadership and influencing
- Interpersonal skills
- Questioning and listening
“I was rating myself 2’s, 3’s and 4’s out of ten on all of these KPI’s, but ranking them 7’s, 8’s and 9’s for importance in doing my job properly,” explains Bob, “So I knew we had a fair bit of ground to cover.
“We did a review at the end of the third week and then two subsequent reviews, and in every one of them I felt we were making substantial improvements.”
Hewsons Achieved Measurable Results
Within six weeks of starting with Hewsons, Bob put his KPI’s to the test, dealing with some tough decisions that couldn’t be avoided.
“I had been struggling with a couple of Senior Managers and I knew that something had to be done. We went through a process which left me feeling far more comfortable about the decisions I had to make.”
Bob also began to register success across his other KPI’s as well, “We evaluated how I was making decisions and I was gratified to learn that mine were measured decisions, with proper thought for the outcomes,” explains Bob.
“I think I needed to make the decision-making process more democratic, which I have done. I am also a far better listener now and much more approachable. I believe that most of my colleagues feel they could walk into my office, at any stage and put their cards on the table.”
Bob continues, “I was very keen to be able to set a standard for my colleagues and offer them a leader with credibility, particularly when I came into contact with other industry players.”
“After discussing it with Hewsons, I was reminded of the things that I brought to the position which a lot of others couldn’t. I had a far more objective understanding of my abilities and all the skills I brought to the role.”
A Link Between People and Profit
Bottom Line Impact on Sales
“Hewsons has already coached one of my colleagues and I have asked them to coach several others,” says Bob, “It is such a great process to go through and it has helped our leadership program immensely.”