Use coaching to inform your organisational learning.
In my recent research, I asked a number of South African senior HR contractors of executive coaching services in multi-national organisations how this is managed in their company. Most could not define the extent to which coaching takes place in the organisation, how it is being used and whether coaching is aligned with the business objectives. Coaching usually tended to be contracted by each division independently, often on an ad-hoc basis, with little or no system-wide alignment of approach. Furthermore, only 20% of respondents were aware (or could easily find out) how much their organisation had spent on coaching in the previous financial year, and could explain the tangible benefits to the organisation.
Coaching is widely considered to be highly effective in the development of successful leaders, and it seems many companies are missing a great opportunity for the valuable organisational learning to be gained from strategically managing it. In maintaining an individualistic approach to coaching, the opportunity of leveraging the investment and using it as a driver towards the organisation’s overall performance agenda is missed.
Not many organisations have engaged their key stakeholders in clarifying their own strategic coaching approach. One of the challenges experienced is where responsibility lies for the implementation, management and analysis of the results of coaching engagements.
Katharine Tulpa, award-winning CEO of the UK- based Association for Coaching, emphasises that a defined coaching strategy, which has been created with input from key stakeholders and is readily available to all stakeholders, encourages delivery to organisational requirements.