How to Build a Coaching Strategy That Can Positively Transform Your Organisation, Part 2: Context and Situation

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Now that you know how important it is to tie down your purpose and objectives and you’ve set the groundwork for your coaching strategy, it’s time to look at what’s around you.

Is coaching activity already happening at your organisation? What kind of culture has been developed at your workplace? How do people perceive coaching?

Getting to grips with your current organisational context and situation will massively help you tailor your coaching strategy to what is really needed at your workplace, deeply root your strategy in reality and make sure it really works.

Tip: This is also a very useful step to take before you make a presentation to your colleagues to get buy-in for workplace coaching courses.

Okay, let’s get started.

Step 1: Understand the current coaching situation in your organisation

Between 25 and 40% of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches. Is anyone at your workplace being coached? If so, how often?

While you do a bit of investigating, collect any extra relevant information. Has any official feedback been offered regarding the quality of the coaching being provided, for example?

Step 2: Assess your organisational culture

As an HR professional, you may have assessment tools in place and deeply understand your organisational culture. If so, how recently have those tools been used and is the information you have as current as it can be?

If not, tools like the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) could come in useful. The NHS have used a postal questionnaire survey to assess their organisational culture in different local regions. Sheila Margolis, PhD, also recommends conducting interviews and focus groups, as well as asking very specific questions to uncover your organisation’s core culture. You might also arrange a culture walk, to identify physical signs of culture.

Step 3: Discover the perception of coaching in your organisation

If previous attempts to integrate coaching into your organisation have gone wrong, or there is ineffective coaching going on and people have a negative view of it, it's good to know about it before you start implementing your strategy, so you can work to turn that bad coaching and negativity around.

More often than not, misconceptions have arisen or misunderstandings have occurred, and there are simple ways to resolve these. But you can’t do that until you know about them!

Why is looking at perceptions important? Well, according to studies, social perception can directly affect the way people behave. You may find this fact influences how likely the staff at your organisation are to benefit from coaching in the future, and accept the idea that it is beneficially initially.

You may also simply find out that your staff don’t have an accurate understanding of what coaching is, how it can help them and how non-threatening and useful it can be. Whatever the case, you can use this step to improve the effectiveness of the presentation you’ll give to key stakeholders and colleagues later, so be sure not to miss this important step.

Step 4: Identify and engage with key stakeholders

Before you do actually create the right strategy for your organisation (which we’ll do in Part 3 of this series), you’ll need to pin down and engage with the key stakeholders at your workplace.

This is one of the easiest and simplest steps involved in the process of creating your strategy: just make a list of your colleagues and superiors you’d like to have in a meeting about the new coaching strategy, and then begin planning that meeting with them.

Step 5: Structure and present a business case
Coaching should always help improve how an organisation functions. But how will it specifically help yours?

Consider everything you’ve looked at so far:

Your business priorities
The role coaching will play, its purpose and your objectives
The coaching approach you’re using and/or would like to move towards
The current coaching situation you find yourself in
What your culture looks like right now

Once you’ve given the above a good amount of thought and jotted down some notes, you’ll be ready to start creating your coaching strategy with all the right information in mind! More on exactly how to do that, next time. I hope this article has been helpful to you.

Trayton Vance, from Coaching Focus
Trayton is the CEO of Coaching Focus, and has been helping leaders and teams in major organisations overcome complex challenges for over 15 years.
Coaching Focus partners with organisations to create sustainable, performance-focused coaching cultures.
They offer ILM Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring courses for senior managers or HR/LD professionals who want to develop their expertise, Manager as Coach skills programmes, and other courses, to UK companies like Tesco and BSI Group.
They also offer coaching consultancy services to companies internationally.

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