+44 333 566 0067

Operations Director Case Study

Business Overview

Joanne is the Operations Director at an established, successful and growing insurance company specialising in high net worth clients.  The company prides itself on its excellent service and a ‘competitive combination of experience and efficiency’.

As Director of Operations Joanne had many challenges, not least of which were the ability to manage her differing teams, oversee all operations and procedures, ensure great customer handling and efficiency in delivering excellence.

The intial remit of the coaching was to address issues around staff development and engagement, personal time management and task prioritising.


Isla used a variety of established and proven models and tools together with an innovative and creative approach to establish expectations and objectives with Joanne.

Sessions included updates, reviews, actions, targets and strategies, checking success criteria and measuring progress.  Where appropriate additional skills development was identified for Joanne and her Operations Team, including CRM and Excel to reflect progress in operational efficiencies.  Isla conducted a fun team engagement exercise workshop with all the teams and worked with Joanne to design and implement new, creative and exciting personal plans for each staff member.

How we did it

Joanne started with a set of 6 face to face coaching sessions of approximately 2 hours each month, then moved on to bi-monthly sessions, with email support and Isla providing her session record notes to support Joanne’s actions plans.  These actions were agreed at each session and then completed by Joanne, maintaining focus and momentum.

Isla lead a fun interactive development session with the staff, the contents of which were included in the individual staff PDP’s.

Working in partnership

The coaching relationship gave fruit to a great deal of innovative and progressive thought and action. The original appraisal system was reviewed and enhanced with the addition of individual PDP’s for each member of staff, based on the work Joanne and Isla did together. Joanne was able to take a macro view of her role and its component parts, gaining an objective perspective which generated some intriguing and exciting solutions to her challenges.  Her growing awareness of her own leadership abilities and opportunities to bring on her people continues to release fresh ideas and potential.


Isla’s journey with Joanne has supported her through some major changes in staff development and engagement, improving communication and independent thinking.  Joanne was “struggling with staff being too dependable on me therefore my workload was out of control”. 

Isla helped Joanne to take a fresh look at her workload, prioritise tasks, think differently in order to be able to instigate her Accessibility Rules, delegate more effectively and reduce stress levels.

Communications improved across the organisation and this facilitated the emergence of more self-directed thought with staff, which in turn released Joanne to create more efficiencies and spend time on other projects; it also enabled her people to start taking more control of their own task areas.  Some of the delights have been seeing her staff appreciate their own previously unrecognised abilities and talents, and enhancing her own leadership style to elicit better results in a constructive way.


“The whole experience has been extremely rewarding and worthwhile and I would highly recommend it to anyone in an operational/leadership role

“..the coaching I have received from Isla has taught me to think about other people’s perspective and how to get the best from my staff but she has also equipped me with the tools and thought processes to manage myself and workload more effectively

Joanne Louhaichi – Director of Operations, Lumleys Insurance