Being strategic about improving performance

A KILKENNY native who has been working in international business and sales for the past 17 years has launched her own executive coaching business.

A KILKENNY native who has been working in international business and sales for the past 17 years has launched her own executive coaching business.

StrategicFox was set up by Deirdre Foley, who had been coaching part-time since 2010 while also working as sales director for Siemens IT Services and Solutions.

The aim is to help managers and businesspeople improve their business performance and in turn boost their companies’ profitability.

Executive coaching, she explained, is a one-to-one confidential process for businesspeople who want to improve their business performance and achieve more work and life success. “It is normally focused on mid- to senior-level management, business leaders and entrepreneurs, where individual performance has an impact on the overall performance of the organisation and hence affects the bottom line,” she said.

The coaching is individual and therefore is focused on the area where improved performance of the executive will have the highest value. Coaching addresses a range of themes including skills and performance, personal development, leadership and the agenda of the executive.

“Executive coaching is gaining in popularity as the rate of change in our business life increases and the effectiveness of coaching as a way of learning gains momentum,” Ms Foley said. “In a recent survey of Irish managers of the top 1,000 companies in Ireland by the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School, 42% rated coaching as their most preferred choice of training.”

The StrategicFox website – – features news and articles about related matters such as leadership, interview tips and advice on the skills needed for career success.

Ms Foley’s own career has included sales management positions with Siemens, DoubleClick, Intuition and Misys Group and based in offices in Dublin, London, Zurich and New York.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin and is an accredited executive coach with a postgraduate diploma in Business and Executive Coaching with the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is also awaiting final award on a second postgraduate qualification from UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School in Coaching Psychology. She is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and abides by its ethics.

Recently returned to her native Kilkenny with her husband and three young children, Ms Foley said she was looking forward to establishing her business in Kilkenny.

“I’ve been working away from home for many years now and it’s great to be back in Kilkenny and getting a business established here,” she said. “I’ve built up a business network in Dublin and around the world and am now enjoying establishing business links in the area. Kilkenny is a great place to live and work. I’m enjoying being home and working in the area now.”