In recent years I’ve found myself adding new “destinations” when building my customer lists. Initially that list consisted of one “destination”: Personnel, which quickly transmuted into Human Resources (HR). Next came L&D (Learning & development) and more recently Organisational Development (OD). All of these seem to have a respectable claim on being the ‘go to’ place when it comes it to Executive Coaching. To someone like myself, looking from the outside in, the rationale for coaching sitting in this wide variety of places does actually make perfect sense.
The organisation’s structure would determine the location that coaching belongs. Many larger organisations have the luxury of being able to provide staff with a specialist Learning centre and entitle that L&D or OD. Organisations that are smaller, or dare I say, still catching up with the drive for staff development, have tended to wrap coaching and other learning-centred interventions squarely in HR’s fold. There are probably advantages to each for the business; for the provider it can mean that you work directly with a learning specialist, rather than an HR generalist.
A results-oriented alternative
I also wonder however, if, regardless of where coaching lives in an organisation, it would be better located with the business.
Coaching, in whatever context is about helping to facilitate great results for your client. Going through a third party can result in biased views being given (often unconsciously) on what is working and what isn’t. At present discussions with the business directly, often only come about after you’ve won the contract, only to find that the context or key issues aren’t understood in the same way by HR/LD etc as they are by the business. So couldn’t businesses encourage a change that ensures learning and development sits even more squarely with the person that it is most likely to affect i.e. the leader of the people that make up each business unit?
What needs to be done?
In my experience there is such a wide variation between learning professionals, even now, that there would need to be a fair degree of education required in some cases, so leaders and managers get a good idea of what executive coaching can achieve. Once done, the members of the team can benefit individually, or en masse, whenever the leader/manager feels that it may be the right intervention to seek.
Glenn Wallis is an experienced Executive Coach and Coach Developer who will help you improve your own results and those of your organisation. When you are ready to raise your performance to the next level, find out more here