I am frequently asked to undertake one of several roles for organisations when they decide that they want some support through coaching and these are typically:
- provide some one-to one developmental coaching to a senior member of staff
- deliver a coaching programme to senior managers within the organisation
- design a programme for the organisation to use as their in-house coaching programme
I am often ask to complete more than one of these for the same business: it may be deliver the programme then provide one-to-one coaching; or design then deliver etc. Sometimes I get to do all three (which is especially good fun!).
Bringing about cultural change
I have debated with my peers which of these elements provides the most value to an organisation. If I work with one person as their executive coach the benefits can be huge and the higher up the organisation they are, the greater the likely impact for the individual and their area of the business.
If I deliver a programme to a whole raft of senior managers and all goes well then once again the impact for the individual and their team can be truly significant. They will be able to leave the programme much more able to coach effectively and bring about the kind of results that they would previously only have dreamed possible.
Designing a really effective coaching programme takes a level of insight and experience that not all coaches possess. They may be great coaches but they may not be used to designing in-house development in order to help an organisation build its own coaching culture. Knowing how to do this and what elements need real focus is a rarer skill. Being able to design the programme in such a way that it fits with the existing context but also helps prompt moves towards a new way of working, requires experience with many different organisations and a willingness to start from scratch with each coaching programme design i.e. not just pull a programme off the shelf.
And yet … guess what clients prefer not to pay for? Which part of the process of building a coaching culture do many businesses prefer to limit to a half day here or some time for a couple of key-people telephone calls there?
Yep! The design part.
The phrase “spoiling the ship for a ha’peth of tar” springs to mind. If you are going to invest in a bespoke coaching programme that will change the culture and way of working of your staff then the design is the critical element to get absolutely right. Like great wine it can take time to get right: not too long so that it spoils but enough time to make sure it is the perfect fit for your business and the objectives you want to achieve. I have witnessed for myself the impacts of not doing so, when asked to help companies out who have had bad experiences previously. “Coaching” has got a bad name or people enjoyed the programme but little or no change has resulted. Get the design right and be prepared to invest in it…
… or you could just hire a company that will re-brand the same programme they have been running for years but put your logo on it? Choice is yours of course.
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.