I propose that evaluations of coaching programs conducted in organizational settings can best be systematically conducted by deploying a process called Intentional Analysis. I further recommend a twelve-step process that enables the leaders and stakeholders of an organization to be thoughtful about the relative importance associated with specific organizational coaching program initiatives—especially as related to other initiatives being taken by the organization. An Intentional Analysis also enables leaders and stakeholders to give simultaneous consideration to three other factors. It incorporates consideration of the relative influence and control the organization has over the desired outcomes of each initiative, the level of support in their organization for each initiative, and the progress made to date in achieving the desired outcomes associated with each initiative.
A successful Intentional Analysis encourages an appreciative perspective regarding the complex dynamics that operate within and among the program initiatives being evaluated and analyzed. An Intentional Analysis enables those making decisions regarding an organizational coaching program to incorporate and inter-relate this complex and dynamic set of considerations into their decision-making processes without being overwhelmed by this complexity. As Michael Scriven has noted, all evaluation processes are involved in the business of reducing complex data: “evaluation does reduce a large volume of information about various matters to a tiny kernel.” Intentional Analysis moves a step beyond Scriven in that it integrates the distilled evaluation data with the distillation of additional program considerations, thereby moving even further into the data-reduction business.
In the attached document I briefly describe each of the twelve steps in the Intentional Analysis process and introduce a hypothetical analysis as a means of concretely illustrating how an intentional analysis is conducted. We will assume that an advisory committee to an organizational coaching program is conducting an Intentional Analysis as a way to not only assess the impact of this program to date but also to map out future directions for this program, especially as it relates to other initiatives being taken by this organization—in other words, engaging in systemic analysis of the organizational coaching program within its institutional context.