Operational Coaching

If you want to change the culture in your organisation so that managers stop 'telling' others what to do, and instead ask insightful questions to help them to find the solutions themselves, then Notion can help.

Operational coaching utilises what we have come to call an ‘enquiry led approach™’ towards leadership and management, enabling managers and leaders to have highly effective conversations ‘in the moment’ and ‘on the job’. This new skill will enable managers to increase their own effectiveness within their role and build high functioning collaborative teams (plus many other benefits that are too numerous to list!).

Organisations that have embedded operational coaching have shown dramatic increases in engagement, productivity and performance.

Please read on to discover what operational coaching is, how it helps drive culture change and some of the real benefits our clients have seen from introducing a coaching style of leadership across their organisations.

download now

Article: Why the Grow Model is Groaning

download now


Click play to watch our MD, Dominic Ashley-Timms, talk about what Operational Coaching involves


This will definitely be beneficial to our organisation. It has come in at the right time in my career and is an immediate realisation that things can be done differently and that there is always a way forward."

KPI results improved significantly in my store where I was Deputy Manager, most noticeably around Customer Service and Colleague Engagement. I was promoted this year to Store Manager as a result!"


Fill in your details and we'll get in touch for an informal conversation about our Operational Coaching programmes


A Background to Operational Coaching

After several years of research and development, Notion’s STAR® model, designed in collaboration with a team of world class Coaches, became the first ‘Operational Coaching’ model designed solely to help managers to change their habitual management style to embrace more of an ‘enquiry-led approach’.

Unlike other coaching models (including GROW) that favour a traditional coaching setting and focus on the coachee alone, STAR® focuses on the Manager’s actions and encourages them to change how they behave and respond in everyday operational settings, enabling them to use more of a ‘coaching approach’ more of the time.

The STAR® model provides the framework for an alternative way of thinking that helps to re-programme unhelpful management responses and revolutionises the way that people engage with each other. The resultant commercial outcomes can be remarkable and provide the reward needed to reinforce the new behaviour.

Already used within programmes for FTSE organisations, the STAR® model has successfully improved engagement, performance and productivity and has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to generate up to 100x ROI in the early stages of rolling out these skills.


What is Operational Coaching?

  • It happens in the moment
Typically, Executive Coaching models don’t lend themselves easily to an operational environment as they are designed for working with coachees on specific development areas (in line with their development needs). Within busy operational environments, the stark reality is that Managers just don’t have the time to have multiple off-line ‘coaching sessions’. However, by using an ‘Operational Coaching’ approach, the Manager can coach in a split second, in every interaction, on the fly.


  • It is quick and can form a natural part of everyday conversations

A typical Executive Coaching session will follow a formal structure, guided towards an outcome for the individual being ‘coached’. Operational coaching is more natural. It could occur in a chance encounter and it could take as little as 30 seconds. Operational coaching conversations can sometimes be exactly one question long! By purposefully using an ‘enquiry-led approach’ the Manager creates an opportunity to engage with the person that they’re speaking with in a different way, pulling from them different, often unexpected and perhaps unique insights and ideas.


  • It focuses on ‘matter-at-hand’ outcomes

When using the STAR® model, Managers quickly discover that the 
 people they work with have genuinely creative ideas and solutions 
 that can generate even better results in the immediate situation being 
 addressed. This releases Managers from the pressure of always 
 having to have the answers and gives them the capacity to relate 
 to others in a new and more engaging way.


Notion analysed 500 coaching conversations that took place within a single organisational client and found that 76% were related directly to the immediate business situation: technical issues, cost savings, increased revenue and improving operations.

This demonstrates clearly the link that operational coaching conversations can have to commercial results.


Fill in your details and we'll get in touch for an informal conversation about our Operational Coaching programmes