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Chapter Twelve: Coaching and Training at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf®

Brinkerhoff, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

C h a p t e r Tw e l v e

Coaching and Training at

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

®

Scott Blanchard and Dennis Dressler

T

he Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® is a chain of coffee shops located in the Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona, areas. When the training in this scenario was offered, the company had just over 100 retail outlets. The company originated in 1963 and grew somewhat slowly during its early history. It was one of the earliest “coffee shop” chains, starting well before the current coffee shop chain phenomenon in the United States. The company, however, has undergone very rapid growth in the past several years.

The company utilizes a fully integrated operational model. It purchases coffees beans and tea leaves globally, blends, flavors, and roasts those products in a Southern California processing operation, and makes fresh baked products and sandwiches in a commissary operation to provide the retail stores. (Because the current Arizona operation is a new, expansion market, baked goods and sandwiches are produced under contract in that area.)

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8 Introducing Four Courageous Training Leaders

Mooney, Tim Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The path from business-as-usual training to training that makes a worthwhile difference to the business is a long, uphill, and rocky road. We are honored to work with many training leaders from our user group who have forgone the opportunities to exit for an easier route and have achieved some remarkable results for their organizations and the employees in them.

Four of these bold leaders tell their stories in the following chapters. We wish that length limitations could have permitted us to include more such stories, as it was difficult to cull only four from the potential pool of Courageous Training profiles. But the four we chose represent an excellent range of industries, approaches, and challenges faced.

All of the authors who wrote case examples refer to a similar set of methods and tools with which readers may not be familiar, because they are part of proprietary training approach 134called the Advantage Way system. Each of the four authors is a member of the Advantage Way User Group, sponsored by Advantage Performance Group (APG). The Advantage Way system is APGs proprietary version of High Impact Learning (HIL)—the conceptual framework, methods, and tools developed initially by Robert O. Brinkerhoff (see Brinkerhoff and Apking 2001) and continuously upgraded and refined. The system helps training leaders plan and design learning interventions that are guaranteed to help participants achieve increased business impact. The Resources section at the end of this book provides an explanation of the tools and terms referred to in the four case examples. Brief summaries of each of these four stories follow below, highlighting the type of industry in which each courageous leader works and, more importantly, the principal sort of challenge each leader faced that demanded bold action.

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Chapter Thirteen: Executive Development at Allstate Insurance

Brinkerhoff, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

220

Telling Training’s Story

One of the important development programs for leaders is the

Allstate Business Simulation (ABS). The Allstate Business Simulation is a two-month executive development program that gives high potential leaders the opportunity to:

• Use strategic planning and fact-based decision-making skills;

• Run a 100 million dollar company through the use of a computer-based simulation;

• Make marketing, finance, human resources, and operations decisions;

• Create an action plan for an Allstate project that links to a strategic goal; and

• Network with key business leaders.

The course is designed to give the managers exposure to business issues and challenges beyond their immediate functional area. It addresses many of the topics covered in most MBA curricula. The course is for high-potential managers and directors with at least five years of experience with Allstate, and requires nomination by an officer to participate.

Evaluation Purposes

This comprehensive course was a significant investment of time and money for the organization. It made good business sense to get answers to the following questions:

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Contents

Brinkerhoff, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF
Medium 9781576755648

13 Getting Started on the Courageous Training Path

Mooney, Tim Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Afew years ago one of us was touring the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The largest pyramid there— Kukulkan—seems to grow out of the ground and soars above the jungle a remarkable 25 meters high (80 feet), about the height of an eight-story building. It is a common practice for tourists to climb to the top of the pyramid. There are 365 steps (one for each day of the year), each step very narrow in depth, but considerably higher in rise than the typical staircase. In addition to the architectural and engineering phenomena, one observes another more human phenomenon that occurs daily at the pyramids. People tend to climb the pyramids—all 25 meters of them—facing the rock, using all fours, as a child might go up a set of stairs for security. For many people, once they get to the top above the treetops and turn around and gaze out over the jungle, their fear of heights—perhaps even if they did not214 previously know it—kicks in with a jolt and they realize getting back down safely is a serious problem.

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