Ekaterina Surkova

Executive and Team Coaching
Leadership Development
Organisational Effectiveness

About me

I am an economist-mathematician by education. Most of my professional life till recent, related to work in a large international consulting company, where in the latest 12 years I had leader roles in Learning & Development, then as a Head of Organisational Development for the CIS, and then as a Head of Coaching and a Development Programmes Designer for the top management levels of the organisation in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In parallel, I got certified as a coach and started my own coaching and consulting practice. In the meantime, I am working as a fully independent professional, which I believe is the best place to be in terms of working with top management.

 

In my work I focus on a systemic aspect. This means that when I work with an organisation (including individual leaders, groups or teams), I work in a context of the complete organisation or even the wider market (depending on the client’s request). From the organisational perspective, I regularly see that not all coaching requests should be dealt with at the individual level, but that some requests are signals that it is the organisation who needs to be “repaired”, not the individuals. This helps in showing the client what kind of intervention and budget spent would be the most impactful. I also see that in order for the organisation to function as a healthy entity, it needs people who are capable of being personally effective (i.e. agile, able to take a systemic view, to reflect, and to partner for the benefit of an organisation as a whole). Thus, in brief, my work can be described as an intersection of two major areas: the health of organisations as living systems and developing leaders.

 

Apart from the coaching approach, there are a number of other factors which allow me to be of value to my clients:

 

My corporate experience

 

  • I created development programmes for the leaders at different levels, as well as led projects at an organisational level around performance management and various processes design, such as selection and development of high-potential employees, nomination and selection process for the top levels of leaders in the organisation. This strongly impacted my ability to see things systemically.

  • I worked with executives in the company, and have a good understanding of the tasks and challenges that leaders and teams face at this level.

  • I grew through career path from junior grades to the leader of one of the strategic HR areas and understand the specifics of career transitions and of the changing requirements that the new role implies.

  • Because of the longevity in the company, I could observe the results of the projects and initiatives, and which ones were fruitful or not. So my lessons learned also help me in my client work.

  • In my roles I had a chance to work in the CIS region, and understand the local specifics, and also my experience at the EMEA region level gave me the chance to observe and work with very different value systems and approaches common for different countries.

  • During my years of work, I had a chance to be both in support functions for internal client and to be the internal client for HR and other support services; I performed work for external clients, and was on the buying side for external providers. This allows me to be aware of potentially different agendas of various stakeholders.

 

My toolbox

 

  • I read a lot, study the latest research and theories, and learn. I understand how organisations develop and function, and I can see the limitations of some currently used approaches in organisations. Also, I study individual development, including vertical development of leaders. The fact that I am fluent in English, allows me to learn directly from the main researchers, authors and practitioners. In my work with clients I am always happy to share these knowledge and ideas.

  • From all the variety of tools which I come across, I choose the ones which I find the most practical and effective. Sometimes I blend various approaches and tools in a combination tailored for client’s specifics.

  • Following the same logic, I get certified in the instruments which I find highly useful and pragmatic. For example, this relates to my coach certification under ICF standards, HOGAN Assessment tools, Global Leadership Profile – the tool for the diagnostics of a person’s action logic (relates to vertical development), the certificate in Systemic Team Coaching. First and foremost, I view a certificate as providing a legitimate opportunity to use this tool in my work and an access to experts and practitioners who can provide support, and to the much lesser extent – to demonstrate a beautiful collection of certificates.