Cheryl Dyck is president and CEO of MSI Action Group and CASS Consulting Inc.
Tell me what you do?
Dyck: At a high level, we work alongside business owners and their teams to build their success, like business advisers. We become confidantes of the business owners and help them plan their business future, growth and team. Providing them a team of trusted advisers to reach out to for discussing issues and resolving obstacles.
At a detailed level, we help with the development of business, for example: business planning and projections assistance with finding and securing funding like loans, grants, subsidies, investors, through our vast alliance network and contacts. Team training and development, and we can secure Canada Job Training Grants to support this training. Efficient and effective process and technology. Development of management teams to create succession planning. Toolkits and alliance networks for sales and marketing strategies to support continuous growth.
Why do executives need business coaching?
Dyck: Owners need executive, business and leadership coaching to help develop their management and leadership team for ongoing growth. Executives need to develop skills for management and leadership that are important to build an efficient, engaged and motivated team.
Owners and executives need advisers as sounding boards and to help develop leadership skills and processes. The skills include develop self-management; lead by example; top-notch communication, and strategic planning.
Also, executives need guidance and facilitation to help them work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business, letting go of the day-to-day operations management and tasks to other team members.
Coaching also provides that external advisory/sounding board to help them see past obstacles and toward opportunities with outside perspective. This may be one of the most valuable components of coaching.
Who is your target client?
Dyck: We target companies in growth mode that are looking to build on their success and expand their market share and teams.
Though we will work in any industry, our sweet spot seems to be the energy sector, service industries, construction and manufacturing.
We prefer to work with businesses with 10-plus team members, so we can work on building strong engaged teams for growth. Companies with revenue in excess of $2 million that are medium to large private companies.
We will work with startups, but they need to have a solid and strong management team and some base financial support. We aren’t miracle workers if people are in major financial trouble, or have no money to put into the new business.
Is there still a resistance out there for leaders to take business coaching?
Dyck: I believe that the term ‘coaching’ still has a stigma associated to it and many are confused on just what coaches do. There are so many people out there who call themselves coaches, but they may not be business or executive coaches. Or they may label themselves as business and executive coaches, but they don’t have the experience to go along with that.
I believe executives and business owners who have run businesses, managed business and have proven they can do it, too. Executives and business owners are realizing they do better with a business advisory and support team. Whether you call it coaching or business advisory or consulting partners, they’re looking for people to help them make decisions, with the work experience to share, help them to connect to the right trusted services, and support contacts and build success. They’re looking for coaches who can help accelerate success and know how to work around or through obstacles, based on their own success.
One of our key differentiating factors from other coaching and consulting teams is that we have a vast network of alliance partners that we can call on to help our clients, and we have the experience and connections to help business owners successfully get the funding they need to support their growth.
What are the key things leaders need help with?
Dyck: Each leader is a bit different and it depends where in their business cycle they are and their growth plan and strategies. There’s a common thread, though, when it comes to finding and training an efficient and committed team, both operationally and in the management team.
With the changes in generations, leaders are having to learn how to manage and lead the younger generations. How to motivate them. How to adjust the work and business structure to appeal to the younger generations. Learning how to change from a time focus on employee commitment to a project results-oriented management structure.
I believe business owners will continue to need to learn how to manage and compensate based on results, rather than time at the office. Also, providing work structures that are more flexible for work life balance. Some ideas in this area will be virtual business structures, remote access, online projects, and information access and progress tracking, and changes to work hours.
The other key thing that leaders are faced with in many industries, like construction and manufacturing, is finding the skilled labour they need. There is a shortage in many skill areas. They face new ways to train and entice people to join their companies and carry on their business into the future.
– Mario Toneguzzi