The Benefit of Coaching

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Robert Lashin (CEO and President, Houle Electric Limited, Winner since 2012): What I appreciate a lot from Deloitte and CIBC is that they sat down with us in our office and got us to articulate what they look for in what the best run company is. And it is one idea to say, “We are a great company.” But do you really understand what that means? What are the best principles that a Best Company follows? And they were able to coach us and extract from us, and for us to focus to find out exactly what that was, and we appreciated it very much and we learned a lot from that process that we use forward and articulated in our strategic plan.

Reg Robinson, Managing Principal, Solvera Solutions, Winner since 2011): There is a couple of sides to it, so the coaches are encouraging, they help us understand the process and the logistics of getting through it, but also the coaches have been a bit demanding to say, we know your organization, we know that you are best managed organization but what you're writing on paper today maybe too generic or maybe isn’t really describing why you're different or why you really are a best managed organization. So they kept pushing us a bit to make sure that we were going back and articulating it in a clear way that that really showed how our strategy and how our approach to the market was going to be a successful one.

Dino Medves (Senior Vice President, CIBC Commercial Banking, Ontario): What we bring forward as coaches is experience in dealing with multiple businesses within our role and 28 years of experience. We see companies in a variety of different industries, in different circumstances, early stage companies, growth faced companies, mature firms and we see many different management practices and principles that are used to run these organizations, and we can zero in on where there could be gaps so they can close those gaps, take advantage of opportunities and proven ideas from other firms to benefit them.

Bijan Mannani (COO, Landmark Group of Builders, Winner since 2013): Did we have the right succession planning, if that is the question, do we have the right culture, learning and developments, rather than just having the product or having figured out how you are going to be marketing it, the amount of money and the resources that we had assigned to R&D side of things: all of those were given because we had planned it, to do it that way. But there is lot of items it highlighted for us that we perhaps were not keen in focusing on because we are very in the production side and getting the technology up and running and the business going. So the value of it I think mainly came for us having a better understanding of our areas for improvements.