Case Studies

Delivering practical, neuroscience-based coaching, training, and development services on all levels. We maintain the highest level of ethics and integrity.

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01Giving and Receiving Feedback for Leaders – 350 NSW FACS Housing Managers, Directors, Executive Directors and Board Members

SCC&D custom designed and built our extremely practical, down to earth and highly successful Giving and Receiving Feedback for Leaders program for over 350 NSW FACS Housing managers, from the Executive Board (SES level) down to Grade 7/8 managers in regional areas. This program was based on a from scratch analysis of their needs.

It was very much designed and delivered within the ‘Knowing / Doing / Being’ development framework, and the 70-20-10 principle of program design, as well as to the Capability Framework by NSW Government and ensuring that the training outcomes meet the requirements of this.

Development of the program originated from an initial meeting SCC&D had with one of the Executive directors, who talked about various challenges in the organisation, including the need for cultural change and a significant challenge with a group of regional managers and their teams, where the Industrial Relations Commission had been involved.

SCC&D took the Executives through our needs analysis process, and discovered the challenges with the managers were connected to the need to become more internally people centric, and the lack of effective people management and leadership practice across the organisation – one of the underlying problems being lack of effective management and communication, particularly in day to day informal, and longer term more formal, feedback processes. The success of this program led NSW FACS to internationally benchmark the program with the CEB Global (the Global Corporate Leadership Council) and to roll it out to the entire Aboriginal Housing Office (where the program was tailored to their quite different culture and needs).

The 350+ NSW FACS Managers and Executives who did the program were asked 9-12 months after completion to estimate the impact of the program on their employees’ overall performance: the response was that it improved performance on average by 26%. This outstanding result is all the more impressive considering the program was compulsory for all participants.

The program was also compared to leadership programs across the world, including the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and Asia and came out on a par with the world’s top leadership programs.

Another measure of success is that through ongoing participant recommendations the program has since been delivered to over 1150 managers and executives (and a customised version to non-management staff), including recently to 67 managers and executives at NSW FACS Strategic Reform and Policy. One of the Executive Directors at FACS SRP referred SCC&D to the NSW Education and Standards Authority (NESA) as she felt the program was so effective. SCC&D are currently in talks with NESA to roll out the program to all their 409 staff across NSW.

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
2. Act with Integrity
3. Manage Self
5. Communicate Effectively
6. Commit to Customer Service
13. Inspire Direction and Purpose

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02Giving and Receiving Feedback – Hunter Region

SCC&D piloted a tailored version of our Giving and Receiving Feedback program on a difficult group of four managers in the Hunter Region, with the view that if it worked and delivered the desired results there, it would work pretty much anywhere!

This program came about when SCC&D took an Executive through a needs analysis process. It was discovered that the challenges with the managers were connected to the need for cultural change and leadership development across the organisation. SCC&D identified that one of the underlying problems was a lack of regular, respectful and honest and open feedback and communication throughout the organisation, particularly a significant lack of knowledge and process around day to day informal and more formal feedback processes. This resulted in staff sometimes feeling “bullied”, feeling they were not aware of what was expected of them, a feeling of injustice with team members treated differently, and a ‘them and us’ culture, and more.

From a management perspective, there was a feeling of disconnection across teams, a lack of commitment from staff to their job, clients and to the organisation, and a pervasive culture on underperformance and ‘them vs. us’.

In the Hunter Region in question, a group of disaffected staff subject to performance issues/performance management had lodged a series of complaints of bullying and harassment against their managers. As part of this, some participated in a Facebook campaign to draw attention to their concerns publicly and to gain wider support from other staff.

There were other indications of discontent including significant misuse of time and absenteeism, and reportedly and demonstrably low morale. There was clearly poor management and other issues, but key bullying complaints made against managers were a response to demands that improvements be made in work performance. The campaign gained significant attention and support from other colleagues, the union and the media.

There was a general lack of staff taking personal responsibility for their actions and meeting deadlines and achieving KPIs, with the onus placed on managers to drive this. This was often difficult considering the challenges around communication and general lack of a development and feedback culture.

We emphasised the responsibility for receivers to take on board constructive feedback as well as manager’s responsibility to give feedback properly, something that had not been considered previously in the organisation.

The first workshop was followed 4-6 weeks later with a one-on-one coaching session with an SCC&D coach for each participating manager, followed by a further 1/2-day workshop 4-6 weeks after the coaching. Further voluntary coaching was made available if managers desired it.

The initial program was a great success and lead to the program, with its communication workshops, coaching and the performance conversations, being introduced across approx 350+ managers in the Department (and the program and SCC&D were referred to the Aboriginal Housing Office to deliver the program there to all staff across NSW).

In addition, the program was so successful it was sent as a case study (from which this example is taken) by the then Regional Director, Anna Zycki, to the NSW Public Service Commission, for inclusion in development of the NSW Performance Management Framework.

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
3. Manage Self
6. Commit to Customer Service
7. Work Collaboratively

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03Conflict Resolutions: Dealing with Difficult People – Local Land Services / LHPA

SCC&D was asked to provide Managing Conflict and Dealing with Difficult People training for the NSW LHPA in Wagga Wagga

They had previously run a version of this (through a different training organisation) a few months before, but it was ineffectual and did not achieve results. One comment was that it was “too warm and fluffy for us, not practical, it didn’t go down well”.

SCC&D were chosen for the new program because of our preceding reputation through the LHPA’s key stakeholder’s networks: an organisation that tailors everything it does to get the outcomes a client needs. This is exactly what we did.

SCC&D already had a couple of versions of Conflict Management training in our portfolio of products. However, after getting the LHPA stakeholders and the potential delegates to give us real life, specific examples of the on-the-ground conflict and difficult people they had to deal with, we quickly realised that these current versions needed to be adjusted significantly. The stakeholders at the LHPA were difficult to get hold of, and were rather uncommunicative in what they needed as they were “too busy” to discuss the program in any depth. This was exacerbated by the distance (Sydney-Wagga Wagga), so meetings were not possible. Despite this, SCC&D’s initial analysis methodology and our deep experience and ability to ‘read-between-the-lines’ meant we were able to build the program the LHPA needed.

The participants were operating in an extreme conflict environment – for example, several had regularly been threatened by farmers with shotguns and one similar level Ranger in a neighbouring region had actually been shot. It was an extremely high-stress, high-conflict environment, and SCC&D had a huge responsibility to deliver something highly practical that worked on the ground – and safe.

We ran the program in Wagga Wagga for 2 groups on 2 separate days. We asked the LHPA to separate the Rangers into one group, and the CSOs, DVs and OC into the second group, so we could customise the course on each day to the specific types of clients each group would be dealing with to make the training as relevant as possible.

On the second day, the co-ordinator of the training who we liaised with, came over to the trainers and said she had fantastic feedback from the Rangers, which was great considering the previous efforts” [referring to the scepticism that was there after the previous course] and “I know the feedback is real as I’ve heard it several places, and third hand too”.

Another LHPA stakeholder, remarked after completing the 2nd day’s training: “if anyone says this isn’t good, I’ll throttle them!” (maybe not quite a suitable comment to make after a Managing Conflict course, but she meant it tongue in cheek as she had recognised during the day that her style needed some development!).

Every participant said they would recommend the course to others and all participants graded the course Very Good or Excellent, with the majority Excellent.

Comments from the participants include:

”What I liked best was being able to personalise /tailor to our specific roles (CSO, OC, DV etc) CSO

”Very interactive and with real scenarios” Senior District Vet

“The presenters were very engaging and funny! Very informative and relevant to not just work but everyday life as well” CSO

”Content’s relevance in my workplace (and life in general!). Presenter was very good in helping with the small group role plays/activities” District Vet

”It was involving, we were able to put our thoughts forward” CSO

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
2. Act with Integrity
4. Value Diversity
6. Commit to Customer Service
12. Demonstrate Accountability
could be used for: Act with Integrity / Communication / Value Diversity / Deliver Results

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04Facilitation – Executive Leadership Team, SYMRISE

SCC&D was engaged to facilitate an analysis of the company with a view to what needed to happen to help the organisation achieve its goal for 2015 (to double the company’s revenue). A major reason for this was a significant leadership conflict between the Executive Team and the new Managing Director (MD), who was appointed by the Singapore Head Office and came from Singapore (so there were also some significant cultural differences to consider in the conflict).

After our initial needs analysis, SCC&D realised a large part of the conflict was the lack of communication, cultural understanding and difference of management styles between the MD and the Executive Team. This was starting to have a significant impact on production, and was a barrier to the company’s growth plans for 2015 (a near doubling of revenue).

SCC&D proposed a facilitated day with the Executive Leadership Team (without the Managing Director, as we had identified through our previous analysis, that the conflict caused by the relationship between him and his Executive Team would prevent the team opening up and the conflict would not be resolved – and likely be made worse).

The objectives of the session were:

  • To elicit the team’s opinions on the strengths of the business in general, the team in general, individuals within the team and the leadership of the organisation;
  • To elicit the team’s opinions on what needed to be improved in the business in general, the team in general, individuals within the team, the leadership of the organisation, and what they saw as solutions to resolve the conflict with the MD
  • To have a clear action plan by the end of the session to build on the strengths and improve on the weaknesses and resolve the conflicts, as well as improve cross team communication and understanding;
  • To have a clear understanding of any specific needs for further leadership development, training, coaching or other developmental programs if necessary.

Two SCC&D consultants facilitated the session with the Executive Team. As a result of the session, SCC&D produced a 10-page formal report detailing everything the company needed, in the views (and words) of the entire Executive Team, to be successful, including recommendations to resolve the conflict with the MD. This included the strengths of the organisation, the areas to be improved and their proposed solutions, including recommendations to improve their relationships with the Managing Director. The report was sent to all key stakeholders, including the company’s Singapore Head Office, who have since installed their own internal consultants to action the recommendations.

One of the key stakeholders called the report “a brilliant piece of writing, all the information the organisation needs to be successful”. The team subsequently made significant changes to the business and the way they communicated with the MD. As a result of the improvements, several months later head office recalled the MD back to Singapore and replaced him with someone more appropriate and more effective.

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
7. Work Collaboratively
11. Think and Solve Problems
14. Optimise Business Outcomes
17. Process Facilitation

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05Team Development and Team Planning Days, NSW FACS Western Sydney Districts (12 teams)

Approx 172 staff from 12 teams (including a NSW FACS-wide project innovation team reporting directly to a Deputy Secretary) took part in our innovative Smart-phone-app-based team building game, Social Scavenger’ to improve capability and performance, develop team and leadership at all levels, be clear on the collective vision, and improve delivery of organisational goals, including facilitating key strategy, setting targets and realistic on-the-job action plans.

We took the teams through our Social Scavenger program in a morning, then in anafternoon facilitated an agreed team strategy and action plan based on each team’s development needs and strengths.

Some objectives were to improve delivery of client services, improve team working and collaboration capabilities, responsibility, communication and provide relevant business outcomes in the workplace. The program also built confidence in working with each other, strategies to engage and facilitate conversation and brainstorming ideas and experience to build the best solution, as well as resilience when working with challenging personalities inside the team and outside the team where there were competing agendas and priority.

The specific business outcomes were difficult to measure. However, the NSW FACS executive director who engaged SCC&D for 12 of the programs commented that these were the best team building events he had seen as they produced specific actions and targeted outcomes as well as improving the teams’ collaboration.

“Best team development day I’ve ever done in over 20 years in FACS – and I’ve seen a few, I can assure you!” Manager and participant

An example of improved collaboration is one man who has Aspergers’ Syndrome had joined an all female team who had been together for over 5 years. He was mostly excluded from the team and not given assistance to integrate of to work to his potential. By the end of the day’s team building and afternoon’s facilitation, the established team members had realized what they were doing and apologized there and then to the gentleman in question, and set specific actions to empower him more, integrate him into the team and use his strengths. Verbal feedback from the team’s director confirmed this had happened and continued back in the workplace.

Another recognised outcome was the Deputy Secretary to whom the FACS-wide project management office team (that did the Team Development day) reported to subsequently did a one-on-one executive time management program for himself, his Executive Officer and EA with SCC&D. He only did this because he was impressed with the results we got with the PMO team.

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
7. Work Collaboratively
8. Influence and Negotiate
9. Deliver Results,
12. Demonstrate Accountability
14. Optimise Business Outcomes
17. Process Facilitation
18. Coaching
19. Individual or team diagnostic tools measuring behaviour, work styles

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06NSW FACS (Housing NSW), 1. Leading and Managing Change and 2. Coping with Change – Training and Coaching Program

SCC&D was engaged by NSW FACS (Housing NSW) to do a needs analysis, and then develop, design, deliver and manage, monitor and evaluate a Leading and Managing Change and Coping with Change training and coaching program, to nearly 600 staff at all levels – Executives, Managers and Non-management staff across Greater Western Sydney and Northern NSW (Newcastle and Coffs Harbour).

Staff at all levels were impacted by this significant change, and Management and Executives were particularly affected. The majority of staff were uncertain of their future position in the new FACS structure: many people were likely to have to reapply for their roles or new positions elsewhere in FACS, or elsewhere within or outside NSW Government. The value of the program was initially approx $178,000, with ongoing services provided.

The program was additionally anchored in NSW Government’s 2021 plan, NSW FACS/Housing NSW’s immediate, medium and long term strategic business plan and transition into Localisation and beyond.

SCC&D had only a very short notification of requirements, and only a skeleton briefing on the organisation’s needs. Development of the course started in early January with delivery commencing less than 6 weeks later in February. The entire program was delivered to nearly 600 personnel within 1 month.

SCC&D was chosen to deliver the Leading, Strategising, Managing and Coping with/Resilience to Change, because our standard mode of operating is to design programs based on what a client needs, rather than trying to fit an off-the-shelf-solution to the issue. This enables us to deliver the right solution in the best way, and this makes us successful in doing what we do. We are also very familiar with Local and State Government organisations, policies and procedures, which was essential for this program’s success.

“It was pitched perfectly at all levels, just what we needed”.

NSW FACS Business Manager, Organisational Improvement and HR

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
1. Resilience and Courage
8. Influence and Negotiate
10. Plan and Prioritise
15. Manage Reform and Change
16. Manage and Develop People

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07Executive Coaching – National Head of Department – BT Financial

SCC&D was engaged to Leadership/Executive Coach a very senior female executive, reporting to a National Head of Department. The executive was well respected, but recently failing to deliver on some significant pieces of work for the BT Financial leadership team.

On investigation, SCC&D discovered that the problem was that despite having a team of 30 personnel, the executive was not delegating to her staff and was endeavouring to do a lot of the work herself – as a result, she was working extremely long hours and still not delivering the work she was tasked to deliver. In addition, she was not coaching and developing her staff, which resulted in a very high staff turnover, which was costing the organisation a significant amount of money in recruitment fees.

SCC&D Executive/Leadership coached the executive, working over a 6-month period. The executive fulfilled and went far beyond the original success measures outlined in the Coaching Outline, as agreed by her head of department. In fact, after 3-months, the coaching program was deemed so successful, the success measures were expanded to encompass an even wider range of targets and expectations, which were also met above and beyond what was asked. The executive subsequently received excellent feedback from the leadership team, kept her job in a recent re-structure, and is now being groomed for promotion.

This type of coaching covers the following NSW Capabilities:
10. Plan and Prioritise
13. Inspire Direction and Purpose
18. Coaching
(could also be; Manage Self, Work Collaboratively, Deliver Results, Demonstrate Accountability, Optimise Business Outcomes, Manage and Develop People)

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08Emotional Intelligence Coaching – Assistant Director, Regional Location, NSW Government

SCC&D coached an Assistant Director (AD) in the NSW Government, based in a regional location, who was asked to undertake coaching under direction and under duress as part of a performance management regimen – despite numerous performance management conversations teh AD refused to take on the feedback and change behaviours. SCC&D obviously initially had to operate from a significantly challenging lack of trust as the AD had been forced to come to the program. However, we still managed to achieve remarkable results.

The objective was to work with the coachee to change some very disruptive and challenging leadership behaviours, where the coachee was constantly inappropriately challenging higher management, upsetting team members despite purporting to be championing them, and causing some significant challenges for management with the PSA Union.

The Executive Director was considering disciplinary action against the coachee, and coaching was a last resort. SCC&D took the coachee, manager, and other key stakeholders through our coaching program development process to clearly define the program outcomes and measures of success prior to commencement of any coaching – as we do for all coaching of this type. We also took the coachee through our unique, personally designed Coach/Coachee Matching Matrix™ (patent pending) to match them with the right coach. We have never got a coach match wrong since SCC&D started trading in 2006.

Over 10 months of Executive, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Development Coaching, which included a 360-degree Leadership/Emotional Intelligence assessment, the coachee’s Leadership and Emotional Intelligence were completely turned around. A measure of success of this is that at the end of the program the Executive Director (who previously was considering disciplinary action against the Assistant Director being coached) endorsed the coachee to act in her Director’s role while she was on 3 weeks leave. Other measures of success include the huge change in feedback from staff and peers, including the objective measurement on the Leadership/Emotional Intelligence 360-degree assessment. The coachee has since been given additional responsibility in their role – their region of responsibility has doubled in size – and he regularly acts-up in his boss’s position. In addition, the AD since publicly remarked “this program saved my life. No kidding, it transformed things”.

This type of coaching covers the following NSW Capabilities:
2. Act with Integrity
18. Coaching
19. Individual or team diagnostic tools measuring behaviour, work styles
(could also be; Manage Self, Work Collaboratively, Deliver Results, Demonstrate Accountability, Plan and Prioritise, Optimise Business Outcomes, Manage and Develop People)

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09Managing, Leading and Coping with/Resilience to Change, NSW AMES, 240 Staff and Managers

NSW AMES was an ‘off-budget’ agency. The agency was going through a massive restructure and downsizing process, and the majority of its staff were being involuntarily retrenched as a result of the organisation losing a large Federal Government teaching contract that had been awarded to the Private Sector.

As a result, there was a massive amount of change & incredible uncertainty occurring, which the managers (who were themselves also affected) had to lead. Most managers had very little or no experience or skills in this area. Most of the staff had also never been through such an upheaval. In addition, throughout the change, the organisation had to continue to deliver teaching services of a high standard to all its current several thousand students until the end of the teaching year – and then help them transition into the new organisation.

SCC&D designed and developed a bespoke Managing, Leading & Resilience to Change program for the management team, which was delivered to all affected managers in the organisation. The program existed of a 1-day training program with the option of post-training individual follow-up coaching.

This training was so successful that SCC&D was subsequently invited to also design and deliver a Coping with/Resilience to Change Program for the 240 affected staff members (which the managers also attended).

The programs were designed and delivered within the ‘Knowing/Doing/Being’ development framework, and the 70-20-10 principle of program design, as well as to the NSW Government Capability Framework released by NSW Government (Public Service Commission). The training fully met the requirements of these frameworks and contributed significantly to the program’s success.

This course covers the following NSW Capabilities:
1. Resilience and Courage
15. Manage Reform and Change
16. Manage and Develop People

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10The Neuroscience of Leadership, Giving and Receiving Feedback, DiSC assessment and Ad Hoc Coaching Program for NSW FACS Strategic Reform and Policy

In June 2015 NSW Family and Community Services Strategic Reform and Policy division (which reports direct to the Minister on the development of cutting edge policy design) engaged SCC&D to run a series of training with supporting coaching programs to improve leadership and management development for 60+ grade non-SES equivalent managers and SES level leaders.

The program was two one day workshops separated by several weeks with one-on-one Executive Coaching support between the training days to support participants with more effective on-the-job application. The program was tailored to each level (non-SES and SES) and supported capability development across the board.

Brain-based Meaningful Conversations and Giving and Receiving Feedback (Part 1 and Part 2) course delivered leadership performance improvement and crucial conversation skills. Part 2 includes an introduction to DiSC personality profiles and effective ways to communicate with each other and self awareness.

For senior SES leaders we also ran our flagship Neuroscience of Leadership to develop a wide range of leadership capabilities. Coaches worked with individual participants in 1-2 hours of one-on-one coaching sessions to address very specific individual development needs following Part 1 and Part 2 of the key training.

Our brain-based Meaningful Conversations and Giving and Receiving Feedback program was requested by NSW FACS SRP based on previous delivery of the program to approx 400 non-SES and SES leaders (including the Housing NSW Executive Board) across regional and metropolitan NSW. This was approx a $350,000 contract which was benchmarked by the Global Corporate Leadership Council (GCLC – now the CEB). The independent feedback from the CEB, based on direct feedback from leaders 9-12 months after they completed the program, was it increased productivity by an average of 26%.

These combined courses with coaching cover the following NSW Capabilities:
5. Communicate Effectively
8. Influence and Negotiate
9. Deliver Results
10. Plan and Prioritise
11. Think and Solve Problems
12. Demonstrate Accountability
13. Inspire Direction and Purpose
16. Manage and Develop People

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