Developing an Evaluation Strategy at OptiCom

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With these five practices firmly in mind, let’s revisit OptiCom and

see how they developed a winning evaluation strategy for coaching,

and along the way, put the full deployment of coaching on much

stronger footing. The first order of business was to respond to the

advisory board’s request to evaluate the business impact of the pilot.

Given how the pilot was positioned (vis à vis the five practices) and

the fact that only 10 participants were being coached, Jacqui decided

to take a risk and push back on the board’s request to evaluate

the pilot.

Jacqui arranged a meeting with the board’s leader and shared her

concerns about the evaluation. Then she asked the leader the question

that turned the tide of the conversation: What are your business

issues, and how can coaching help? The advisory board leader

was the executive VP of the point-of-sale business unit (BU). They

were planning a major foray into the consumer electronics market.

He said that what kept him up at night was that “we couldn’t make

the mistakes of the past and keep hiding in our own silos.” He went

on to explain that he was concerned that his direct reports—each

a VP of a division—were not collaborating quickly enough or

effectively enough to penetrate the new market. Moreover, he said,

several of the VPs seemed slow to engage their respective divisional

leadership teams on achieving project goals. Jacqui replied by saying

that full deployment of the coaching initiative could successfully

address these issues. They agreed that the focus of the pilot evaluation

would be limited to lessons learned and point out ways to

maximize the success of full deployment. Jacqui had her work cut

out for her, and she turned to Michael to develop the evaluation

strategy.

A good evaluation strategy is really a good business strategy.

Going through the discipline of developing the evaluation strategy

often brings added clarity to accomplishing the business strategy.

Evaluation represents the ultimate “so what?” question. Implicit

within this question is having business and learning leaders being

held accountable for results. Table 11.2 summarizes the fruits of

Jacqui and Michael’s labors to develop an evaluation strategy that

responded to the business leaders’ issues. This document chronicles

Table 11.2 Evaluation Strategy for Full Deployment of Coaching at OptiCom: