The Challenge

Pivotal Labs, now part of VMware, was a software development consulting firm headquartered in San  Francisco, with a globally distributed team of approximately 3,000 employees. Pivotal Labs partnered with Sounding Board to integrate coaching into their existing learning and development programs to address skills gaps at multiple leadership levels. Pivotal identified the following leadership skills they planned to target and develop through coaching: Interpersonal, Time Management, Conflict Management & Resolution,  Executive Presence, and Strategic Thinking.

The Solution

Sounding Board coaching was integrated into several existing learning and development programs, including an Executive Leadership Development Program, a HIPO (high potential) leadership program and a Leadership Fundamentals Program focused on mid-level managers. Leadership coaching was also made available through an employee sponsor program with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion – and through Pivotal’s professional development stipend program. 

Business leaders were paired with Sounding Board’s world-class coaches, meeting twice a month over a six-month period. Sounding Board’s proprietary coach matching algorithm generated a 91% coaching satisfaction rating during the engagement.

The Result

Business leaders reported significant growth across critical  leadership areas, including:

Managers reported meaningful improvement in their employee’s leadership skills:

A primary objective for Pivotal was to help business leaders create and achieve professional development goals that were aligned with the business and to measure the business impact of their learning and development efforts.

Sounding Board continued to support Pivotal throughout its VMWare acquisition, helping them prepare  for the transition and anticipate change. Sounding board coaches served over 200 coachees across all  leadership levels, from managers, to managers of managers, to directors and vice presidents. In addition,  by switching from a previous coaching vendor to Sounding Board, Pivotal saved an estimated $170,000. 

“Coaching played a key role in supporting the development of our top leaders,” notes Eileen Markatos,  former senior director of people and talent at Pivotal. “The value they got out of working with the Sounding  Board coaching program was clear, and from a corporate perspective, it was great to see the impact  happening in a scalable and cost-effective way!”

The value they got out of working with the Sounding Board coaching program was clear, and from a corporate perspective, it was great to see the impact happening in a scalable and cost-effective way!

Headquarters location:
San Francisco, CA

Founded: April 2013

Pivotal Software, Inc. was an American multinational software and services company based in San Francisco that provided cloud platform hosting and consulting services. Since December 2019, Pivotal has been part of VMware.