Susi Astengo

Coachmatching

What does your company do?

CoachMatching (Pty) Ltd is the leading provider of high-performance coaching solutions in South Africa. Our integrated approach to coaching leverages cutting-edge technology to deliver agile and relevant solutions for all levels of an organization. Since 2008, our vision has been to democratize and professionalise the coaching industry through powerful partnerships that blend technology and human interventions to deliver maximum ROI. Our team is committed to upholding our values of integrity, collaboration, innovation, and customer-centric behaviour, which drives our culture of excellence. We specialize in developing leaders, high potentials, teams, and individual contributors, and building resilient learning organizations. Our approach is to partner with our clients to make the best ROI decisions on who to coach, when to coach, and how to coach. We support businesses in integrating their coaching strategy into your broader human capital and people development strategy to ensure that it delivers solid business benefits. What sets CoachMatching apart from other coaching organizations is both our rigorous independent coach assessment centre and our technology capabilities.

What is your biggest success?

Seeing people develop and grow is my passion. I am very proud of the team I have created but my greatest achievement has been designing, building and launching a coaching software platform that will rival International competitors and was built and funded locally. It enables us to coach at scale, match and manage coaching assignments and will assist in our vision to democratise coaching. It's my desire to capacitate leaders, HR and the organisation with data that enriches their decision making and also enables them to show the ROI of their investment in people. At a time when there is great and growing uncertainty everyone should have access to coaching wisdom and to be able to support in excess of 150 people each month through some form of coaching is a highly rewarding experience. Being thought leader, respecting trees and being open to combining AI with Human coaching has meant that CM is as relevant today as it was 15 years ago. We continue to grow year on year, make a positive difference in so many peoples lives and that for me is my greatest success. Additionally, that I have built a company that is future fit.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Being diagnosed with Breast cancer in 2020, as a single mother with an only child plus at that time learning a whole new skill set to be able to work with the developer team and to constantly stay ahead of trends and remain relevant. I had little or no understanding of technology development or software design. My major concern was I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I used my network to find a “white hat” (or in my language a unicorn) to act as my guide and mentor throughout the initial decision making phase and also who could oversee the development of the systems architecture. Also staying within budget and to time. We had to consistently reprioritise and make judgement calls regarding the essential functions. Not being influenced by our competition and creating a me too product. I actively avoided to much research into the competition as I wanted to create a unique solution and also ensure that the developers were given a tight enough brief and a good enough understanding of our business to be able to partner with us to offer extra functionality. This meant that for a period of 3 months we had to run 2 sets of accounts and systems whilst testing the new one and with only 3 people permanently employed we were at times stretched very thinly. I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted for much of that time and had to dig deep to practice what we preach around resilience and healthy habits. I wanted to give up so many times and am proud that I didn't as I was also a role model for my team and many women in business.