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Hi everyone, here’s what we have for you this week:
How do you ensure data-driven decisions are accepted by your team? Martin Gathuru of Kenya shares his approach to gaining team buy-in from experience working at companies like Bridge and Penda Health.
Some business leaders fear the unknown of working with a coach. Business Coach Geoffrey from Kenya shares his experience working with business founders and managers around the world in our weekly Coach Spotlight.
Each job application is a unique opportunity. Join Career Coach Arnold this Wednesday for his free group coaching session to discuss your job search strategy.
Read on for more details…
Leading with questions, overcoming operational constraints, and making data-driven decisions at scale
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Martin:
Lead through questions to bridge technical gaps: Martin once worked for a non-technical manager who oversaw a team of engineers. This manager skillfully led the team by leading with questions. He made sure everyone’s technical work was aligned with the project’s bigger picture by requiring them to explain clear and logical answers to his questions. This approach can be used broadly, since no one can be an expert in everything. Simple questions and prompts such as “Walk me through the process” and “How are we measuring success?” can be powerful and effective questions to ask as a manager. This is particularly relevant for individuals who grow into generalist roles rather than specialists.
Use new operational constraints to drive innovation and efficiency: Martin’s team of 36 staff across 6 teams now only has 10 days, compared with 2 months previously, between each school term to prepare over 100 school locations for their new semesters. This includes activities such as building maintenance and repairs, school material distribution, and other mission-critical preparation ahead of school re-openings. This has forced his team to challenge their previous assumptions and innovate around what needs to happen by Day 1 of the semester and work backwards to make the most of their resources and timelines.
Data-driven decision-making is highly reliant on agreement and trust in data quality and underlying assumptions: Martin spends time in his weekly team leadership meeting aligning on data sources and what nuance might be missing. This is true for him at Bridge, and was also important during his time at Penda Health, where data was used to determine where to open up new locations for their medical care network. While the full information will never be available, its vital to have the team onboard around why and how a data-driven decision is being made to make sure everyone is aligned moving forward. This is especially true in startup environments where there is often a lot of gray areas.
Navigating the African business landscape, working with founders, and overcoming the fear of the unknown
Geoffrey is a Business Coach from Kenya. He is an experienced Strategy and Design Thinking expert who has worked for major blue chip companies for the past 20+ years.
CoffeeChat: What do you think prevents more business leaders from seeking out their own coach?
Geoffrey: The fear of the unknown affects the way leaders view coaches. They fear losing control or being answerable to a third party. This hides the very many benefits they could gain from coaching such as having a person who shows you your blind spots, a compass to guide your growth, a partner who can unlock your potential, generation of innovative ideas, among many other benefits.
Free group coaching session
This Wednesday, we’ll host Arnold from Kenya, who shares:
If you’re looking for a new job opportunity, chances are you’ll deal with rejection. Every job application, interview and rejection/success is unique. There are many different factors that play during a hiring process that it can be almost impossible to predict an outcome. Even if you’ve given a fantastic interview or have an exemplary CV, there may just be someone else who beat you to the position, leaving you to wonder why. In this session I will cover the practical strategies to stand out from the rest.