The Coaching Initiative: Developing Leaders and Producing Business Impact

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This situation with John and Phil is not unique; in fact, this situation

is being played out in countless companies throughout the

world. People who are being coached are finding value in the

process, but the sponsors or buyers of the coaching services are

looking for a return on investment (ROI) for the organization. Successful

coaching, therefore,must meet not only the needs of the individual

clients being coached but also the needs of the organization.

Coaching That CountsTM represents a model and methodology

that does both. For the first time, coaching is described as both a

developmental process (for the individual) and a strategic initiative

(for the organization). For coaching to be a strategic initiative, it is

more than just the sum of the individual coaching relationships. As

an initiative, coaching contributes to the achievement of business

goals. Coaching initiatives must be managed and create the context

for having the coaching relationships each contribute to achieving

the strategic business goals. Let’s return to our story to see how one

company achieved this goal, and in so doing, understand the essential

elements that make coaching count. Then we will explore how

the organization of this book delves into these essential elements in

more detail and provides the reader with the required tools and

knowledge to make coaching successful.

John and Phil, both being pragmatic people, decided to conduct

a study of coaching and let the data sway their decision about the

future of coaching in their organization. This study had two parts.

First, the senior partners of the firm would be interviewed to understand

the value they expect from coaching. If beauty is in the eye of

the beholder, then value is in the eye of the senior leaders. Second,

those who had been coached would be interviewed to explore what

kind of value—both monetary and intangible—had been produced

by their coaching. The ROI would be determined and, perhaps even

more to the point, the study would reveal the extent to which coaching

was delivering the kind of value the leaders expected.

The Coaching Initiative Was Decentralized

First, some words about the coaching initiative. This consulting

company was highly decentralized along business lines, so the

coaching initiative had little in the way of centralized structure or

processes. Leaders throughout the firm were encouraged to utilize

coaching as they deemed appropriate. The preferred option was to

use the centralized coaching referral service offered by John’s corporate

university. The key word here is option. Leaders could source

coaches in any way they wished, and in fact did so. Consequently,

many coaches and coaching companies were utilized, which resulted

in a mishmash of coaching models, styles, and personalities. Most

worked, but some did not.