Biocatalysts (coaching) - Leigh Lawry Accountancy

Biocatalysts (coaching)

The Challenge

To coach and mentor the existing Financial Controller to become an effective and influential Finance Director.


Biocatalysts is a company employing ~60 people and has an annual turnover of ~£9m. They are a leader in the biotechnology industry and export their product around the world.

The Financial Controller had been a long serving employee (11years) within the company, having started as a Finance Assistant, before progressing to Assistant Accountant and then subsequently Financial Controller 7 years ago. Historically, their development had been via Interim Finance Directors and the Vistage executive coaching and leadership development programme. Despite this progression, the Managing Director did not feel they were ready to progress and was unsure if this could happen within the next two years.


  • Perform a 360o evaluation to identify current strengths and weaknesses of candidate
  • Evaluate the Finance Director role and the associated desired skills
  • Create a development plan and associated timelines
  • Set expectations and progression plans with Financial Controller
  • Set development tasks and provided routine feedback


  • Within 6 months, the Executive Board and Managing Director agreed significant change had occurred and they were ready to assume the position of Finance Director.
  • All resolutions were passed, and they were in position one year after starting the coaching programme.


  • Confident leader developed
  • More effective contribution in meetings
  • Developed an ability to persuade, manage and influence others
  • Strategic capability enhanced
  • Able to manage difficult conversations
  • Greater control, discipline and accountability instilled throughout their team
  • Better operational knowledge and understanding of how to select the right lean management tools to implement improvement programmes
I believed that when the chairman announced I would be promoted to FD within 12 months of Leigh working with me, that I was worthy of it.
Craig Phillips
Finance Director