Coaching

My name is Raju Oak and I am highly experienced coach and mentor based in Bristol, focussed on coaching and mentoring leaders (typically executives and senior managers)

  • of knowledge intensive organisations which desire to grow rapidly in competitive fast moving environments
  • who want to manage change or lead others through change, and
  • are willing to transform the organisation to achieve such growth

Experience

I have several years of experience working at the strategic level and leading global strategic transformation initiatives in several knowledge intensive organisations

  • both local and global across multiple countries, in both, private and public sectors
  • across a range of verticals including information technology, finance, business process services, retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics
Typically, such organisations are between £5 million to £250 million in size, between 50 and 500 people strong, and are part of complex, fast changing market ecosystems. These were either stand-alone organisations, or part of large groups but with a degree of independence. They have usually demonstrated some success but have then plateaued, and the leadership had sufficient self-awareness to realise that their current strategies are no longer effective.

Coaching Work

I specialise in coaching in strategic thinking, leadership style, systems thinking, influencing and communication, managing stakeholders and ambiguity, team building, and resilience in managing transformation

Over the past fifteen years, I have coached CEOs, MDs, Executives and Senior Managers of several knowledge-intensive organisations around the world.

Value

I create value through a deep knowledge of:

  • the business environment
  • the non-linear impacts of growing complexity
  • appropriate business, cultural, financial and operating models
  • challenges, and strategies of business transformation

coupled with an approach that emphasises systemic thinking, eclectic models and the cascaded building of leadership within the organisation.

Benefits

The benefit to my clients is the single integrated source of both:

  • the knowledge to analyse, model and solve their growth challenges
  • as well as the skills to coach and mentor their leadership in acquiring and implementing that knowledge themselves

Through coaching and mentoring, a number of these organisations have gone on to grow by orders of magnitude in terms of revenue, profitability, product diversity, client numbers and global presence

Style and Approach

Coaching Style

I am a direct, pragmatic, challenging, supportive and empowering coach with an insightful, analytical, perceptive, and creative style, and an emphasis on feedback, accountability, and courageous goal setting.
I support my clients to analyse issues, understand realistic options, create effective solutions, and act.

My underpinning philosophy is all about enabling people and organisations to work towards where they need to be, building on their inherent strengths and realising their full potential, based upon belief in the extraordinary potential, capacity and capability of leaders. I believe that whilst the past can provide powerful lessons and great energy, ultimately it is shaping the future that really matters. That clear future focus on the future flows through all my coaching work.

Coaching Approach

I build relationships with my clients based on trust and mutual respect

  • supporting and challenging them to find their own solutions and achieve their objectives, often through complex circumstances
  • working with them to think differently, challenge the norm and develop courageous values driven strategies

thus creating globally minded leadership leading to inspirational, high performing, inclusive cultures.

Works well for those who …
  • see the need for change, believe change is possible, and want to positively influence their organisation
  • like learning and experimenting with new ideas and approaches, and exploring strategies for change
  • like thinking strategically and creatively, setting courageous goals, and taking ownership
  • like being stretched and challenged to expand their boundaries and fulfil their potential
  • are systematic, business-like, focus upon practical realities, motivated to act, and take manageable risks
  • prefer a thought provoking, open and insightful coaching approach
Works less well for those who…
  • need excessive emotional support and detailed guidance and direction
  • are looking for ready-made detailed plans and solutions, and expect to be given advice or a quick fix
  • are content in their comfort zone and only tinker at the margins of their identity, capability, and potential

Client Outcomes

Enhanced Skills and Confidence

  • Leading in a complex, fast moving and turbulent organisational environment with increasing clarity, impact and leveraging of leadership strengths to achieve successful outcomes
  • Creating clarity around career vision / goals, successful transition into a senior role while improving self-image, self-efficacy, resilience, confidence, and performance even in stressful situations
  • Growing emotional intelligence, political astuteness, courage, and focus, while dealing with conflict and self-limiting beliefs

Enhanced leadership

  • Strategic thinking, broader, more flexible leadership style, and perspective on leadership
  • Clarity about strategy and personal leadership strengths, ability to influence others to achieve targets and results, and ability to work with complexity and ambiguity
  • Ability to maintain personal integrity, manage, adapt to, and leverage turbulent organisational change in challenging circumstances

Enhanced Team outcomes

  • Improved team culture and successful partnerships across related organisations/systems/economies
  • Greater insight and awareness of behaviours and their influence on effective relationships
  • Improved ability to manage challenging relationships and conflict situations

Qualifications and Testimonials

Qualifications and Accreditations

  • I have a doctorate in Managing the Complexity of Business Processes
  • I have an MBA specialising in finance
  • I have an ILM level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring
  • I am a member of Institute of Leadership and Management
  • I am a Project Management Professional, and have several other professional qualifications including in Process Management, Quality Management, Software Technology, and the Product Development Lifecycle.
  • I am also a certified level 2 badminton coach focussed on coaching juniors towards county and national levels of play.

Testimonials

  • Raju's depth of thought and insight means that a conversation with him is rarely wasted. He is prepared to challenge preconceptions and has a rare ability to coach individuals and groups through to a better understanding of a situation, however complex …
  • It has been a great pleasure working with Raju … with such an abundance of insight, knowledge, and practical experience … he is a highly valued asset to any team that aspires to develop
  • Raju has an ability to predict and navigate the complex human and technical aspects of strategic change which is impressive to say the least. … Having worked with him for 5 years I am extremely grateful for the insight and learning he has imparted to me and would happily recommend his services to any organisation looking at complex transformation issues where I am confident he would have a significant positive impact.
  • Raju is one of the most incisive thinkers I have met. His ability to analyse a complex problem and distil into understandable, component parts is uncanny. I would thoroughly recommend Raju to anyone needing fresh and challenging thinking …
  • … Raju helped us very quickly grasp what we wanted and what was important to achieve success
  • Raju provided the inspiration, guidance and thought leadership that matured … from a single person start-up to an IT services provider of choice to premier Indian corporations, a software development partner to outsourcing companies, and among the first companies to offer mature 4GL code generation products and technologies
  • I have had innumerable experiences of reaching out to Raju, for his uncanny ability to deal with abstracts and break it down into specifics, which operational Managers can deal with. He would always connect theory to practice, bring in those elements which normally one misses, to (help us) create long term, out of the box solutions
  • … with his unique combination of knowledge, experience and deep insights into human and organisational behaviours, Raju is a visionary strategist
  • I spent a year working with Raju, which I consider one of the most educational of my career. His perception of the dynamics and his ability as a mentor to coach others in achieving similar perceptive skills, along with his detailed knowledge of the application of technology, make him an invaluable resource in any working environment
  • Raju enables people to achieve, through uncanny insight into the causes of issues and pragmatic advice on how to overcome them. In the time we worked together he managed to open my mind to new ways of perceiving situations and offered new tools and techniques for managing them. Raju is an invaluable asset to any situation that values clear good quality thinking and strategy
  • Raju's strength is his ability to understand the dynamics of business environment and challenges it faces and to (help you) visualise the way forward and build a strategy to achieve the desired outcomes
  • Raju provides an 'ideas centrifuge' to separate problems from symptoms thus focussing on solving real issues. As a coach his experience and intellectual depth provides a stimulating environment for his team
  • I have worked with Raju for 8 years. In my 27 years in IT I have never met anyone else with his unique talents. Brilliant insights in human behaviour coupled with an outstanding understanding of the technology markets mean he is both an instinctive and intellectual strategist. Working with him is a pleasure and a learning experience
  • Raju makes the job of capturing thoughts and ideas in models look easy. His sharpness of intellect and felicity of expression have left me impressed, time after time
  • One of the most creative thinkers who is always ahead of our time! Great individual and mentor!