Home Concepts Strategy Coaching with Groups and Teams Collaborating for Survival and Success: Organizational Coaching Strategies to Meet Unique Opportunities and Challenges

Collaborating for Survival and Success: Organizational Coaching Strategies to Meet Unique Opportunities and Challenges

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1.In an age of limited and diminishing resources, collaborative ventures offer expanded capabilities, allowing organizations to do more with less or do something entirely different than their existing resource base permits. Increasingly, professional people have found hierarchical structures too inefficient to achieve their goals. In order to survive, organizations found ways to get more accomplished with fewer employees. As a result they are learning to share their capital, people, and time with unlikely entities. Vendors partner with suppliers, competitors with competitors, businesses with customers, for-profit organizations with nonprofit organizations. For this sharing and partnering to occur, a leader must access appropriate networks (other people, resources, organizations) and a coach can be of value if she is network-knowledgeable.  She can help her client identify, evaluate, establish and manage connections, without taking on the responsibility of establishing this network connection herself.

2. In an age of intense and turbulent change and shifting boundaries, collaborative ventures enable companies to be more flexible, to share resources and to create new ventures that would have been inconceivable on their own. Today, the pace and direction of change is often unpredictable and inconsistent. We often see rapid change existing beside stability and stagnation. Increasingly, realities such as these require contingency-based structures that are fundamentally incompatible with hierarchies. To survive in these turbulent times, organizations must be nimble, adaptable, and often subservient to some higher purpose.

For this nimbleness to be present, leaders of a collaborative venture and leaders of collaborating organizations must be able to act quickly and be flexible.  An organizational coach can help her client identify nimbleness in their existing work life experience (using an appreciative perspective)  or can help her client acquire an attitude of nimbleness and accompanying competencies (through additional training, mentoring, performance coaching).

3. In an age of growing unpredictability and complexity, collaborative ventures offer easy and convenient access to specialized resources. We are increasingly finding that many small businesses have an informal or even a formal partnership with a CPA firm, a payroll service, or a marketing agency that provides specialized services they can’t afford or don’t need on a full-time or even an extended part-time basis. Organizations also avail themselves of such contracted services as a means of reducing costs. Organizations of all kinds are increasingly moving into collaborative relationships with other organizations in order to share medical, dental, and disability plans or to share administrative staff, professional development services, libraries, computers, or other expensive resources and technologies.

The sharing of resources or assignment of specific organizational functions to an outside source or partner will only be successful if the core business of each partner and of the overall collaborative venture is identified. It is essential that the distinctive strengths and core mission, values and purposes of the overall venture and each organization be clarified. An organizational coach can provide invaluable assistance to the leaders of the collaborative venture and each participating organization in this clarification process.

4. In an age of growing globalization, collaborative ventures can offer a wider geographic reach into diverse markets, allowing for approaches that are customized for local markets and individual consumers. Businesses are being forced to respond to a growing diversity of marketplace interests. We are living in an age of expanding territories and shifting boundaries on the one hand, and a growing need to affiliate or establish identities based on special interests, on the other hand. Increasingly, organizational leaders have come to realize that to enter new markets they will have to look outside their organizational walls, and seek people and organizations that can help them break into—and succeed in—these new markets. An organizational coach can assist with this cross-cultural bridging by offering support and critical reflection when their client prepares for or debriefs these bridging initiatives.

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