How to Build a Coaching Strategy That Can Positively Transform Your Organisation, Part 3: The Coaching Strategy

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You’re almost there. After this post, you’ll execute your strategy.
 
And you have now done enough research to perfectly align coaching to your organisation’s priorities.
 
You know exactly what your colleagues think about coaching.
 
You’re doing great.
 
And coaching is the perfect solution to so many organisational challenges these days, so I’m glad you’re here.  
 
Do you have sign off yet? If not, now’s the time to schedule that meeting and get it. Here’s a post I wrote about getting buy-in for coaching and coaching training from senior staff if you’d like a little support.
 
Why do you need to get sign off ASAP? Because this phase is where we’re going to get stuck into structure, resources and organising everything you’ll need to support the implementation of your coaching strategy.
 
If you’re feeling lost or behind at this point, go back to this post, where we start at the beginning, or see previous posts.
 
If you’re raring to go, great. Let’s get stuck in.
 
Step 1: Create the right strategy
 
Yes! It’s time to create your strategy.
 
And the process is relatively simple, but there may be a lot to take into consideration. This is where you place the current state of the organisation alongside your goals. Look at where you are now, and where you’re going, and then identify how coaching can help bridge the gap.
 
Let’s look at an example.  
 
I’ve been working with Aggregates Industries since 2015. Their original goal was to create a powerful, efficient pipeline of leaders during a time when the leadership skills of managers on all levels of the company were ready to be developed.  
 
They wanted to identify “high potential” managers with promise, and help them transition to more senior roles smoothly.
 
The obvious path to take was to train a team of strong coaches internally, and use coaching as a development option. This would allow Aggregates Industries to take a long-term approach, get the maximum ROI from the project, and achieve their goal in a sustainable way.
 
See how the process works?
 
So what skills are necessary to achieve your organisations’ goals? What experiences could help develop those skills in your staff members?
 

Step 2: Put in place the right structure and coaching team
 
When I say structure, I’m talking about resources (funding, resources and time).  
 
Once you have the funding in place (a major consideration when you got buy-in, and you should have an idea of the financial resources available for the project now), you’ll certainly need to think about who is going to get coached and by whom.
 
Who will be coaching whom?
 
With regards to who might get coached, in “Executive Coaching: Designing Your Organization's Strategy”, Mindy Hall, Ph.D. writes:
 
“It is my strong bias that the individuals who get the most from coaching relationships are high potential, curious learners.
 
“In my experience, these individuals have achieved the emotional maturity required, and are motivated to do the serious work that coaching requires.
 
“Less emotionally mature individuals are often still forming within the organisation; that is not to say that they do not benefit from a customised development approach, but other methodologies may be better suited to this stage of their growth.” 
 
Hall goes on to say that because of the commitment required for coaching to be effective during these times—when there are so many demands on an executive's time—allowing for some self-selection can help ensure that your organisation’s investment goes to those that can generate the greatest return.
 
And when it comes to selecting coaches, Hall adds:    “One mistake organisations make is assuming that all coaches must come from outside the organisation. There are often people inside organisations who can be wonderful coaches if given the right tools and mechanisms ... Aside from the obvious financial benefits, internal coaches have a deeper understanding of the culture (after all, they are working in it), and are able to work on a less formal, or longer-term basis.  
 
“Additionally, some may feel more comfortable entering into a coaching relationship with an individual they already know and respect.”
 
Internal Vs. External Coaches
 
Are you thinking of building a team of internal coaches, or external coaches? In a literature review of issues regarding the use of internal executive coaching conducted by Carol Turner, Ed.D., a Hudson Institute graduate, she cited the following, which I think is worth bearing in mind:
 
“1. Internal coaches are often in a better position to partner and coach in your organisation because of their knowledge of the business, the politics, the culture and the players.   “2. Internal coaching holds the potential to significantly expand traditional approaches to leadership development.”
 
Michael H. Frisch, Ph.D., executive coach and former senior consultant at PDI, agrees. When he addressed the emerging role of the internal coach in a 2001 issue of the Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, he said:  
 
“There are many benefits of internal coaching that are fueling its growth. An obvious one is cost savings as compared with the fees for external coaching. More important, internal coaches can often use their existing insights about the organisation and its players to make faster initial progress in suggesting a developmental agenda.”
 
However, here are a few things to watch out for:
 
● Confusion regarding who the client is and boundary issues
● Differentiating internal coaching from regular HR functions
● Using internal coaches that are within the chain of command of those they coach
 
Step 3: Clarify roles and responsibilities
 
It’s important that everyone who’s involved in your coaching strategy at your organisation knows what’s expected of them.  Coaches, coachees and managers (sponsors) need to know their roles and responsibilities and how to get the best from the coaching.
 
But this is also about commitment. For coaching to make your organisation thrive, everyone must be committed and engaged to the process.
 
Step 4: Agree standards and codes of practice
 
Coaching policies are incredibly important. But the generic policies and templates provided by your coaching training company can help make this process quick and easy.  Connect with us if you require support in developing these. Step 5: Confirm process and systems
 
There are a few things you need to consider here: 1. Who will authorise coaching requests? 2. Who will match coaches and coachees? 3. How will you handle coaching activity reporting?
 
Think through in detail the different journeys people will need to go through to make your coaching strategy work.
 
Now it’s time for a shameless blowing of our own trumpet—well, at least a little bit: Coaching Focus have designed and created a Coaching Management System called mye-coach. It supports best practice and minimises your administrational burden with its coaching process and system tools, keeping admin costs to a minimum and reducing the need for additional people resource. So, naturally, I do recommend it – if this might be of interest ask us for a demo. Well, that’s all for this post. I hope it’s been useful to you. Next time, we’ll look at how to execute, communicate and manage your coaching strategy.
 
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.
 
References http://peakdevelopment.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PDC_executive_coaching.pdf http://cenera.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HI-Org-Strategies-for-Coaching-2.pdf