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Reviewed Piece of SF work: Rob Rave

“Conversations that stick”

In late 2012 I had a conversation with the head of management development of a FTSE 100 company. He said he was interested in putting on a “coaching” program for about 300 managers because he saw no signs of daily coaching going on despite having spent a large amount of investment over the years on “coaching”. So he concluded but I don’t want “coaching”. What do you want? I asked. “I want conversations like the ones we have ” was his answer. And what do you want those conversations to do? I asked I want those conversations to “stick” was his response So you want something around “Conversations that stick”? I tested… Yes was his definite reply.” That’s what I want “Conversations that stick” In 2013 I delivered 2 one day modules as part of an engagement program the modules were called “Conversations that stick” .

Candidate’s Summary:

I’d love to say it was all original , it wasn’t. Based on solution focused activities and exercises I had learnt and observed from Peter Szabo, Paul Z Jackson, Mark McKergow, Guy Shennan and BRIEF over the years I put this all together and added my mix of “performance, flow and stick ” to deliver a 6 months program to over 300 managers all over the UK. The result was their 5 year engagement target was met within 1 year and there were a lot of Managers and Regional managers equipped with practical and simple ways of having daily conversations that are driving every day performance and engagement.

Candidate’s Summary of Review Process:

In short very useful indeed. It enabled me to see what skills, and qualities I had to draw on, made several distinctions about the way I worked , the way I got it to “stick” even clearer to me plus also uncovered insights about how I would make more progress in a similar situation next time. The reviewers Aoki and Annette’s resource gossip also helped me to fully appreciate the efforts I had put into the project and get additional learnings from the experience despite it being over a year old …

Client Feedback

  • “I have just done five years worth of work in the last hour and really enjoyed it. That is day 1 WOW and thank you.”
  • “I have already started to put into practice some of the basic principles when engaging with my senior team and the effectiveness is just brilliant.”
  • “A really good balance of making it an enjoyable day but taking people out of their comfort zone in a challenging way”
  • “It’s being pitched at a level which is absolutely right for Store Managers and they’re really loving it”
  • “He made people feel comfortable that they were about to have a coaching conversation”
  • “You can’t have enough practice with coaching so this was ideal”
  • “A revolutionary way of approaching how we engage our colleagues to drive enhanced business performance”
  • “I have found the conversations that stick really useful and I’m getting success using the scaling discussions. Rather than going into detail on the problem, but imagining the solution and understanding what progress will look like, is a really clever way of having the conversation. I have found it moves people forward and has accelerated progress on complex issues. My role has 15 direct reports and over 300 colleagues reporting into it, so the conversations that stick are really important.”
  • “6 weeks have passed since attending a Rob Rave engagement workshop. Reflecting on the impact of the session the Return on Investment has been considerable, engagement and morale within my team has improved considerably.”
  • “We are already seeing very positive signs of the approach really working with noticeable progress on performance reviews and also on day to day performance conversations. The approach is sticking.” Head of Management Development Travis Perkins

Reviewers Summary:

Throughout this project Rob kept doing a great job of listening to the client, making use of what was expressed and also modifying what and how he gives his service in order to realize what was wanted by the client company. The in-house workshops made the 300 managers not just see the value of simple conversations that stick (CTS) but try out effectively what was learned. And the result was so tangible to the learners and was reported back to Rob with so much positive tone. And he utilized this information in the later workshops to give momentum to the effective use of CTS by the managers. Rob acted like a catalyst so that the client’s wish and the potential resource for the forward moving conversations at workplaces were made visible. As an SF trainer I learned so much when I heard his answer to my question, “What do you think was the most important success factor in this case?” He said, “LOTS and LOTS of DEMOS on each training from the first 5 minutes in including some unsuccessful ones!” And he told us how he did it including using lots of energy and working “live” with managers when they were coaching catching them “doing good stuff “. In his demos the important thing was not to show the best super example but to reassure the managers that it’s OK not to be successful all the time but to have many conversations, lots of practice and notice what was working. He stressed the importance of experimenting what was learned, AND he himself did lots of experimenting in front of trainees. The managers must have felt that Rob’s demos were so realistic and close to their life size. Rob showed me a great example of “do as you teach”. This is how I usefully “misunderstood” Rob’s great piece of SF work.

Second Reviewer:

Rob has facilitated a very impressive project that had him travel all over UK to deliver workshops to 300 managers on his own on “Conversations that Stick”. He found it to be a really tough culture/environment that did not support Rob work in terms of resources, workshop room set up, material support. Even in spite of all the challenges Rob was able to see a way through to act in more a “butterfly fashion than a locust”. His light touch enabled him to maintain a beginners mind moment by moment throughout the whole length of the project continually building on the stories and insights of participants to use in future workshops. Rob’s whole approach from the initial conversations with challenging stakeholders, the way he facilitated, the results and the train the trainer materials all had examples of the SF clues in action particularly “finding what works and doing more of it”. Rob modelled “being SF” all the way through the process. I also liked how he used the resourcefulness of the client (working with what’s there and noticing what was valuable) by using their language which is where he developed the title of the workshops – “Conversations that Stick”. In fact this work was so successful that the organisation was able to achieve their engagement target in one year what it had tried to achieve in five years!

About The Candidate:

Rob Rave works as a team and executive coach and facilitator. Working in a top 4 global professional service firm Rob provides 1 :1 executive coaching for Executive Directors and Partners on how to effectively transition into new roles and to deliver step changes in performance (and relationships) He also has worked with teams /individuals from Vodafone , Ernst and Young , Grant Thornton, Travis Perkins, Wickes, Eddisons at Yahoo , Cushman Wakefield, Capital Hospitals Trust. Thermofisher Scientific, Phardia , Vision Capital , Change Capital, Hera Capital and Lion Capital. In the public sector he has worked with Bristol and North East Somerset, Midlothian South Lanarkshire, Camden delivering Leadership Coaching for ILM level 5 and level 7 programs for over 1000 Head teachers, deputy, heads, managers, educational psychologists and other school staff. “Your approach is very powerful” Ex partner Top 4 global professional service firm.