Realising leadership potential
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is one of the world’s largest metal and mining organisations, employing over 55,000 people around the world.
You don’t get as big as Rio Tinto without recognising the importance of leadership development and the value that executive coaching can provide.
Although very different in size, we shared a common belief – executive coaching is not about remedial performance management – instead it allows senior leaders to ‘fine tune’ their behaviours and have greater impact on the performance of their teams and organisation.
Rio Tinto were looking for their leaders to realise the potential they undoutedly possessed. The key to this was greater self awareness and making necessary changes in behaviour.
It was very important that the leaders were challenged and supported, and that changes were undertaken in such a way that is enhanced their abilities to work collectively.
Put simply, this should be individual support that bought them closer together as a team.
How we helped
We used a team of coaches to help Rio Tinto, all of whom were supervised throughout the coaching process to share experiences, keep them abreast of business changes and ensure the leadership team was ‘on track’
We evaluated the coaching in the middle and at the end of each assignment with both the coachees and their line managers to ensure the progress was matching expectations.
Coaching a complete leadership team is a brilliant opportunity to gather insight, so we also undertook confidential audits of the culture of the business as it was perceived by the coachees. This was fed back to the senior leadership team in a way that wouldn’t conflict with the confidentiality of the coaching conversations themselves.
The executive coaching resulted in significant benefit to the business and a number of the leaders were promoted or moved to more significant and challenging portfolios as their capabilities developed and their contributions to the performance of the business became clearer.
In fact the CEO of the business commented following his internal promotion to the post:
“I genuinely didn’t think I would have got the job had it not been for the objective and focused coaching that I received.”
In spite of cost pressures, executive coaching is continuing across the business, largely because the CEO and his team recognise and value the impact it has had, and continues to have to their business.