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Initiating a new culture of feedback from the top

  • "Our CEO has changed a lot in terms of clarity of leadership, being strategic, and his own personal health."
    Head of Operations
Type of Organisation

Family-run FMCG company

Type of Solution

Stakeholder-centred executive coaching



The Problem

A second-generation family-run business in the Philippines needed to undergo an organisational transformation. They wanted to achieve a very ambitious five-year growth strategy but needed a high-performing team and future-ready leaders to achieve it; they decided to start at the top. The CEO had a great team of recently-hired champions and established veterans but wasn’t sure how to create a cohesive, high-performing team that could bring about its own potential – especially in light of uncertainties presented by the first COVID-19 outbreak.

The Solution

Although the CEO had some well-defined growth areas, we needed to understand how he was being perceived by his organisation, including the needs and preferences of his direct reports. Using 360 degree interviews with seven different key stakeholders, including board members, siblings, and leadership team members, we artfully gathered insights into the CEO’s growth areas. When stakeholder feedback wasn’t explicit, we used culturally-appropriate questioning techniques to read the feelings and non-verbal communications of those closest to the leader, and gained nuanced insight into how the leader was perceived. 

We found that besides his own time and priority management, a healthy culture of feedback and (peer) accountability was missing. Like the leaders of many Asian family-run businesses, the CEO found it difficult to get feedback from his direct reports, whilst also struggling to skillfully give it without delay. Through the coaching process, we were able to provide the CEO with the feedback that his team weren’t giving him freely, and worked with him to develop the company’s feedback culture – largely by honing his own capacity to give and receive feedback. The CEO also became much more aware of how best to prioritise his time. By combining delegation with accountability, he could spend twice as much time on strategic, future-focused thinking and create a more healthy routine of exercise and sleep.


The CEO self-reported more clarity on long-term strategy, trust in the team, and time for the important, rather than the urgent, tasks. In the post-coaching evaluation, the leader received exceptional stakeholder feedback, proving that not only was the transformation felt by the leader, it was also validated by those who matter most. He requested a year of continued coaching sessions and organised for his brother to receive the same leadership support. The company has outperformed the first two years of its ambitious five-year plan.

Using a rating scale from -3 (much less effective) to +3 (much more effective), we asked more than ten stakeholders to rate the CEO’s progress. Here’s what they said:

100% of respondents said that the CEO improved on the specific growth areas he identified through the 360 feedback, with 20% saying +1, 40% saying +2, and 40% saying +3.