Adopting Operational Coaching as a Management Style to Drive SME Productivity

Lead Participant: Notion Limited


Notion, a business coaching consultancy, has partnered with Coventry and Warwickshire LEP (CWLEP) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to trial the use of a virtual blended learning programme as a means to increase the adoption and effectiveness of Operational Coaching as a management practice in SMEs to drive team engagement and increase firm-level productivity and commercial performance.

'Coaching' is a widely-accepted method for improving performance and productivity. As opposed to traditional coaching interventions that often only reach the top 5% of the organisation via Executive Coaching programmes for senior managers, Operational Coaching practices are those that are used throughout the working day at any given moment.

To leverage the productivity and performance benefits that coaching can deliver across the whole organisation, many large, corporate businesses have made Operational Coaching part of their wider change journey. By practising Operational Coaching, they have adopted an approach to leadership and management that is 'enquiry-led', rather than 'command and control' and used 'in the moment', rather than being confined to a performance review setting. This has been proven to unlock performance and productivity benefits for many large organisations.

This project will conduct a randomised control trial of the introduction of Operational Coaching practices into SMEs in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) region by equipping managers and leaders within SMEs with Operational Coaching skills via the delivery of a blended learning programme, STAR(r) Manager. The evidence collected will establish whether the use of Operational Coaching practices in SMEs can impact positively on firm-level performance and productivity in the same way as it has been proven to in larger organisations.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Notion Limited, Leamington Spa £467,494 £ 210,372


Growth Hub Business Solutions Ltd £1,201 £ 841
London School of Economics & Pol Sci, United Kingdom £103,636 £ 103,636


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