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Like so many organizations is today’s global economy, Booz Allen

Hamilton requires leadership that is diverse in its thinking, strong

in business acumen and open to new ideas and opportunities.

Founded in 1914, Booz Allen Hamilton is a strategy and technology

consulting firm with more than 16,000 staff located on six continents.

We have experienced tremendous growth, averaging 20

percent per year, over the past seven years. This growth has stretched

our current leaders and created new challenges for developing future


In order to meet these challenges, we needed a way to implement

a development methodology that would build the leadership

pipeline with leaders ready to take on expanded roles in the most

efficient manner.We also recognized that we needed to supplement

our internal succession process by recruiting leaders from outside of

the firm. Business growth required us to hire new leaders to build

specific markets and functional areas, and these new hires needed to

rapidly learn their new roles as well as how to operate in our culture.

The Booz Allen culture is highly collaborative and networked and

so leaders must be adept at engaging the hearts and minds of team

members to work on highly complex strategic change projects, often

with globally distributed clients. Successful leaders are those who

coach—and not try to control—others.

The Cascading a Coaching Culture initiative was launched to

build critical leadership competencies in a way that is an expression

of our culture.We realize that we are in this for the long haul. Sam

Strickland, Chief Administrative Officer at Booz Allen, continuously

reminds us that “success is a journey, not a destination.” Our experience

with creating a coaching culture has and continues to be a

great journey. After we were about two years into this journey, we

benchmarked companies known to have outstanding coaching programs.

Several themes emerged:

_ All companies had dedicated staff to support the initiatives

_ Coaching was viewed as part of a strategic initiative of the organization

to turn the quality of its leaders into a competitive

advantage for the firm

_ Coaching was integrated with other leadership development

programs and competency growth

_ All viewed coaching as an investment in top performers or high


_ External coaches were preferred in order to maintain confidentiality

and reduce feelings of vulnerability in the most

senior staff

Excited about what we learned, we decided that it was the right time

to enhance and expand our coaching initiative. Led by two outstanding

specialists in senior executive development,Hazel Solomon

and Vernita Parker-Wilkins, we launched our Coaching Program

office to centralize the management of coaching. This office was

responsible for implementing a coach qualification process, defining

the rules of engagement and conduct, conducting evaluation, as

well as cost management and tracking.

In 2003, we decided that it was time to measure the effectiveness

and perceptions of the initiative. This is how we came to know

Merrill Anderson. Merrill came into Booz Allen and helped us to

first determine what our senior leaders expected from the coaching

initiative. This was a crucial step. Expanding the coaching initiative

required added investment and our senior leaders were expressing

their expectations for a return on this investment. Specifically, their

xii Foreword

expectations were organized into eight areas of potential business

impact: increased productivity, retention of leadership talent, accelerating

senior leader promotions, improved team work, increased

quality of consulting services, increased diversity, increased team

member satisfaction, and increased client satisfaction. These eight

areas formed the nucleus of a formal ROI study of our executive

coaching initiative. We knew that it was not enough just to show a

high ROI, we also had to demonstrate that the value was being produced

in the areas that the senior leaders felt were most important

for the organization.

Merrill then proceeded with the ROI study. He designed the evaluation

approach and then conducted, with several Booz Allen staff,

a series of interviews with leaders who had been coached. The eight

business impact areas were probed, as well as the impact that coaching

had on building critical leadership competencies. Specific examples

of what leaders did differently as a result of coaching were

documented and, in many cases, the monetary benefits that were

produced as a result of these actions were recorded. The study

was a real eye opener. Even after adopting the most conservative

approach to determining the return on investment, we showed a

700% ROI for the coaching initiative.Moreover, the value was being

produced from many of those business areas that the senior leaders

expected.Merrill also shared his insights and recommendations that

further enhanced the coaching initiative.

Even though I felt good about the results and knew that the return

on investment study would solidify the credibility of the initiative,

there was still something missing. That’s when I was offered the

opportunity to read the first draft of Merrill and Dianna Anderson’s

book, Coaching That Counts, Harnessing the Power of Leadership

Coaching to Deliver Strategic Value. As I read through the draft, I realized

we needed to travel even further into the realm of the strategic

value of coaching and find more effective ways to increase its alignment

to the business. I also resonated with, as I am sure you will as

well, the Leading With Insight model and its four quadrants. This

model was something that has been missing from our initiative.

Our coaches, who come from outside our business, are highly

skilled and talented coaches. That said, they have been trained in a

variety of models and although they appear to be on the road to

similar destinations, there are differences amongst their approaches.

This book provides a common language and a common roadmap

for internal and external coaches to follow. Greater consistency in

the approach to coaching facilitates its strategic alignment to the

organization. The second section of the book provides companies

with practical tools and approaches to managing coaching as a

strategic initiative, while the third section describes a roadmap to

implement and measure coaching programs. From my own experience,

these ideas work and will improve the design, deployment and

management of coaching initiatives. Merrill and Dianna provide

concrete examples, case studies and draw from their own experience

to make each step in the Leading With Insight model come alive.

And then they take us further—providing a clear method for documenting

the impact of coaching and using those results to gain

even greater effectiveness from the coaching initiative.

I know you will enjoy this book as much as I have.Whatever stage

you are in your coaching journey, you will find in this book a wealth

of practical tools and ideas that will make your coaching initiative

count. Best of luck to you on your coaching journey.

Ed Cohen

Senior Director

Center for Performance Excellence

Booz Allen Hamilton