After recently losing our Executive Director, our Board hired Cheryl to assess the team, begin a culture shift and help us hire a new leader. Cheryl was absolutely the right choice as a consultant. Her assessments of the organizational structure and culture were bang on. Even though she was with us for only four months, she was able to make significant changes that strengthened the team. Cheryl’s process and input into the hiring of the new Executive Director was invaluable. The Board had a ton of trust in her and knew she always had the best interests of the company at heart.
I highly recommend Cheryl’s work as a strategic leadership advisor and executive coach. She brings significant experience, insights, and proven processes to solutions for strategic planning, Board governance and development, employee engagement, and improving CEO and executive performance. She has field-tested methodologies for each of these solutions, starting with assessments, and building in metrics so that she can demonstrate results and prove her value. This is only one quality about her that sets her apart, in addition to her passion for leadership and creating a strong organizational culture, she has an overall grounded and powerful presence. I have had the pleasure of observing her coach leaders in a variety of challenging situations and she is a keen listener who brings value through her insightful inquiry and ability to help clients look at issues from a variety of perspectives. Cheryl would be a great asset to any leadership team that wants to improve performance, and unlike many of the professionals in this space, she is committed to bringing substance and metrics to prove her results while improving leadership performance and organizational effectiveness.
Founder and CEO
Center for Executive Coaching
It has been less than a year since we engaged Cheryl to help us improve our governance. Cheryl got to know us, helped us appreciate what we could accomplish and then presented a plan that made sense for our board. Cheryl laid out the steps and we followed them. We have now completed a thorough assessment of our board and its directors and for the first time in the history of Yarmouth Mutual, the nominations committee presented candidate recommendations to the membership at our AGM. Thanks to the encouragement and guidance that we received from Cheryl we have begun to diversify our board with a new director, having a younger and different skill set than our existing board members, and as a result created the successful election of the first woman on the Yarmouth Mutual board.
Our board felt we could improve our CEO assessment process and contracted Cheryl to help us do that. She suggested a process that included a self-assessment by the CEO plus a confidential online assessment of the CEO by all individual board members. Cheryl then led us through a facilitated discussion of our results to ensure that there was consensus from the Board on the final assessment. The CEO and our board members board felt that Cheryl’s guidance and support provided us with a process that was a significant improvement from previous years. The result was a professional assessment that maintained our positive CEO/board relationship.
The outcome of our board retreat was an overwhelming success which all directors attributed to Cheryl’s facilitative and results oriented skills. While we already had a strategic plan in place, Cheryl helped us to further clarify our strategic priorities and she encouraged us to determine the specific metrics we will use to measure the success of our plan. Cheryl encouraged discussions that led us to think differently about our future and the Board and management team appreciated her flexibility within the process.
When Cheryl first suggested a peer-to-peer evaluation of our Board effectiveness, many Board members were reticent. Now that we have completed the process, all Board members agree that it was both an enlightening and positive experience. As part of the process, Cheryl provided each Director with their confidential individual assessments at one-on-one debriefings and coaching sessions. Directors felt that although Cheryl asked them tough questions, she did so in a way that allowed them to open-up, reflect and consider ways to be a more effective Board member. The result was that we saw a definite positive change at our very next Board meeting.
Cheryl is passionate and highly motivating and has been an important coaching resource for me. Her supportive and focused coaching has helped me to achieve a breakthrough into my own leadership journey. At times her coaching questions were tough ones but her warm and caring style and persistent guidance has strengthened my foundation as an executive and as a board chair.
Cheryl’s expertise as a professional facilitator was evident during our recent Board planning session. She was able to easily engage with Board and management, creating an environment for constructive and open dialogue. Cheryl held us to task and kept us all on track while encouraging discussions required to understand the issues in front of us. She developed and facilitated a program that allowed us to gain a clear understanding of the challenges ahead and achieve our planning goal by the end of our session.
Our Board was very pleased with our recent board assessment process. After conducting a confidential on-line assessment of both our Board effectiveness and Board competencies, Cheryl facilitated a debriefing that promoted thoughtful dialogue. We appreciated the atmosphere that she created, the excellent reporting and the insights from an objective governance facilitator. Furthermore, as Chair of the Governance Committee, I appreciated the value of the process which provided recommendations for improvements to our strategic board oversight.
Strategic Planning and Metrics
Our Board really appreciated Cheryl’s approach to our planning session. She established a positive atmosphere for discussions and then encouraged us towards some bold thinking. Cheryl’s facilitation of our planning session took us further that day than we had hoped. Targets were set and action plans were put in place. At the end of the day, the Board was delighted with what we had achieved.
Cheryl’s facilitation of our national committee allowed us to accomplish much more than we anticipated. Cheryl has a way of gently nudging participants to consider possibilities and her style helps to engage all committee members and ensures they contribute to the process. I would recommend Cheryl to anyone looking for an effective and strategic facilitator.
Serving with Cheryl on the board of the Cooperative Development Foundation, I have appreciated her strategic insights, facilitation of discussions and moving us towards an actionable plan. Cheryl has a way of connecting with people very quickly and this gives her a sensitivity that is so important when facilitating meetings. In her capacity as Chair, I have seen her ability to manage board discussions through some sensitive agenda items and have the board end up in a place where they felt all voices were respected.
Cheryl, I want to thank you for all the great ideas that you helped our board and team to generate during our recent planning session. I had heard great things about your facilitation – we were very impressed with your efforts. As the board and my team told me, they all left re-energized with the steps we are taking to make the HLF a fantastic place. I also appreciate the personal guidance you’re providing as I work with our team to focus efforts on transitioning the HLF to achieve our five-year goals.
The Winnipeg Police Credit Union was very pleased to work with Cheryl as our planning session facilitator. Her knowledge and understanding of the credit union system and the economic, competitive and regulatory challenges that impact credit unions, was a definite benefit to our Board and management team during the development of our future plans. We look forward to working with Cheryl again in the future.
Cheryl did an excellent job of facilitating our recent Board evaluation debriefing. She has the natural ability to encourage open dialogue even when the issues were somewhat sensitive. I received many positive comments from Board members after the session. Board members appreciated the opportunity that her leadership provided in gaining clarity of the issues raised and then working through required action steps.