Tag Archives: cultural fit

At Leap Solutions, we see your limitless potential, and we know you can achieve the kind of leadership growth that directly translates to business success. But we won’t just tell you how; we’ll partner with you, empower you, and guide you through an executive coaching program that’s entirely tailored to you.

You’ll come away from your Leap coaching experience with vital tools for identifying and overcoming barriers, proven methods for meeting and exceeding meaningful objectives, and new and powerful interpersonal and management skills that will make your leadership more impactful and rewarding than ever before.


Coaching in Action

We’ll start with a thorough evaluation to gain a deep understanding of you as an individual and of your role within the organization. We’ll learn about your personality type and core behavioral traits, your leadership competencies, the particular demands of your position, and the culture and dynamics of your workplace. We’ll then ask probing questions that elicit invaluable introspection and self discovery, help you distinguish your perception of yourself as a leader from reality, and allow you to develop an exciting new vision for what’s possible as a leader.

Together with your coach, you’ll determine and address the root causes of specific problems or performance challenges; weigh options and walk through decisions; role play difficult situations and challenging employee relations; and translate your own life experiences to the workplace so you can manage from a place of authenticity and strength. We’ll set meaningful goals and put into place a realistic, workable action plan for reaching and surpassing them. We’ll tap into your driving personal motivations, equip you with all the knowledge, skills, tools and resources you need, and hold you accountable for the outcomes you want to achieve.

Your Leap coach serves as your confidante and cheerleader throughout the process, continually supporting, encouraging and strengthening you into the leader you aim to be while never losing sight of the direction and mission of your organization.


The Client-Coach Fit

Coaching is for new and seasoned leaders. It’s for anyone experiencing transition or facing a juncture or precipice. It’s for professionals looking to manifest their inner leaders or push themselves and their boundaries. It’s for everyone trying to flourish while balancing career, family, relationships and more.

What matters is that you’re open to progress and willing to work for it.

The ideal coach will inspire, inform and transform your leadership. Personality and style matter! Look for a coach who is engaging and insightful and who energizes you personally and professionally. You’ll want an expert you can trust with confidentiality concerns and with whom you’ll feel at ease opening up and exploring strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and growth. Your coach should be compassionate but direct, someone who connects with you but also challenges you and holds you accountable.


The Faces of Coaching at Leap

Leap Solutions coaches have decades of leadership development experience, but we each bring unique perspectives and strengths to the coaching process.


Judy Coffey, RN, MBA, Senior Consultant, Leadership Coach and Mentor

Over the past 25 years as a healthcare professional, Judy has coached and mentored experienced and emerging leaders across Northern California to enhance their skills in employee engagement, department management, effective communication, emotional intelligence and more. Judy is an exceptionally good listener and collaborator known for her ability to create a non-judgmental, safe and comfortable space for clients to expand their thinking, build on their confidence and explore and develop their own unique leadership style and approach. Responsive, flexible, fair and frank, Judy is genuinely interested and invested in the growth and advancing potential of each and every coaching client.


Chuck McPherson, Partner

For decades, Chuck has transformed teams of all sizes through organizational effectiveness, change management, strategic planning and professional development initiatives. He cultivates leaders through nontraditional planning processes, managing relationships, improving organizational behavior and driving organizational results. As an executive coach, Chuck is intuitive, direct and steadfast in his focus on what’s best for the individual and the business as a whole. Clients can count on Chuck to motivate them, support them and hold them accountable to making significant improvement and seeing immeasurable growth and success.


Scott Ormerod, Partner

Scott has more than 30 years of experience in people management, coaching, organizational development and human resources in a wide variety of industries including his passion for community service. His diverse background in business, healthcare, education and nonprofits makes him especially well suited for coaching executive leaders . He skillfully guides clients through obstacles and toward a leadership potential they never thought possible. Scott is committed to delivering on his clients’ return on investment by ensuring that his leadership development programs are fully transparent and that every executive coaching experience is wholly worthwhile and truly valuable to both the participant and the sponsoring organization.


Susana M. Morales, Organizational Development Consultant

Susana is a facilitator, evaluator and researcher and has worked extensively with nonprofits, state and local governmental agencies and universities in the Bay Area and beyond. A first-generation American, woman of color and native Spanish speaker, Susana coaches in both English and Spanish. She asks the right questions and provides effective tools and methods for coaching the whole person—who you are at work, at home and even when you are alone. Known for her energy and enthusiasm, patience and positivity, Susana helps develop clients into the highly capable, creative, resourceful leaders they are meant to be.



Whomever you choose as your partner, you can count on your Leap coach to build trust quickly and show you how to establish powerful, career-long strategies and systems for becoming your best leader.


What Are You Waiting For?

Leap Solutions believes wholeheartedly in the career-enhancing, life-changing value of coaching. We’ve coached countless leaders to find the clarity, skills and confidence to strengthen their roles and performance in their companies, achieve their highest goals and experience exponential growth in every aspect of their lives. Let us do the same for you!

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Recently, Leap Solutions was retained to recruit a CFO for an existing client. The client has been with us since 2005 and the current CFO was retiring. Leap has assisted in every hire including the President/CEO. This in depth involvement allows us to fully understand the culture of the organization and quickly assess candidates for the organizational cultural fit.  Cultural fits refers to an organization’s employment brand that attracts and retains top talent and how the applicant’s values and aspirations are compatible with the organization’s values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.

To commence the search, we engaged a small team of board members and the President/CEO as the “Search Committee” to support the interview process and make the final selection. We received a lot of applications especially in light of the job market. Vetting through the resumes was the easy task knowing the technical and cultural dynamics of the organization. What resumes quickly piqued our interest were shared and discussed with the client. There was a difference in opinion among the search committee about the applicants. The search committee focused on technical skills and education; whereas, we focused on both the technical and cultural aspects of the client organization.

Cultural vs. Technical Fit

The cultural knowledge comes from two sources: one is being intimate with the organization and having a clear understanding of our experience with the culture, and the other asking the right questions of the organization to define the cultural fit. So often, recruiting firms drive for placement with technical skills and forget to consider the cultural fit. Some recruiters might even say that placement is primary (the money side of the transaction) when in fact sustainability, technical capabilities and fit is the ultimate goal for a strong hire. Much has been written, and with good reason, about the cost of a hire and the impact of a bad hire, which results in only having to rehire again. Sometimes it is because the company is not clear on the position’s technical requirements, but the most common reason is because the person does not fit into the culture.

Selecting for Cultural Fit

The search committee had their favorite applicants and even made comments about the leaders of the hiring race. We, of course, kept emphasizing the selection process, evaluation criteria and while early leading candidates can emerge, we must see the process through to the end. Finally, when the field was narrowed to the top two candidates, both candidates clearly were technically capable of performing the duties of this position. One candidate had a broader skill set with larger companies, while the other had significant technical skills with smaller companies. After the final face to face interviews, the candidate with the perceived disadvantage because of smaller company technical skills became the top candidate because of their cultural fit. Remember, while both had incredible technical skills, the candidate that had both the technical capabilities and cultural fit was a clear choice at the end of the process. It is important to recognize that cultural fit is a key differentiator in the selection process.  Individuals selected on with cultural fit in mind tend to contribute faster, perform better, and have longer tenure with the company.

The search committee at the end of the process said, “Wow, we would have never guessed this candidate would have come all the way through the process just from their resume and the first phone screen. We clearly made a great hire by allowing the process to work and focusing on both the technical and cultural fit aspect of the candidates.”

In the workplace, intellectual capital, along with individual and organizational qualities, represents a competitive value proposition for a company.  As the employment market enters a hopeful economic upturn, top talent may be more difficult to secure.  A tight talent market often can lead hiring managers to make decisions under strict deadlines and not incorporate the cultural fit throughout the hiring process.

Best Hiring Practices for Determining Cultural Fit

  1. Ensure a clear and well defined job description focused on the technical aspects of the job is ready before the position is posted.
  2. What is the organizational culture? What is expected of a candidate in regards to the cultural fit?
  3. With whom does this position interact? Is there a broad or narrow spectrum of interaction with others?
  4. In regards to the organizational culture, what specific values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are acceptable and desirable for employees?
  5. How might this hire change the organizational culture, if desired?
  6. Are you hiring to find an exact fit to the previous position holder or do you want something different for the position?
  7. Does your hiring process support discovery for technical and cultural fit? Ask and probe with a lot of questions and be sure to test the answers with more questions to understand both the technical and cultural aspects. Don’t be fooled by a person that interviews well, drill to the core.
  8. Consider the various avenues to obtain perspective and input regarding candidates. Use committees, search teams or stakeholders to participate in the interview process.  Work together to discover and uncover areas that might be overlooked. The variety of interactions can lead to important information and observations as you never know when a candidate might let their guard down, which might raise a red flag. One cautionary note, make sure the interview questions are vetted and approved to avoid misleading or illegal questions.
  9. Thoroughly understand and state the organizational culture before vetting resumes. This will help you keep the “sleepers” in the process and discard the obvious candidates not meeting all the requirements.
  10. Take your time and ensure a great hire. The cost of a bad hire is high and can send the wrong message within the organization. Making a good hire the first time not only saves considerable costs, but has a direct impact on staff morale, productivity, and performance.

For more information on understanding and hiring for organizational cultural fit, contact Leap Solutions at 707.527.0969 or email us at leap@leapsolutions.com.