Defining the three Key Factors requires discipline on the part of leaders (and coaches!) to face the ambiguity of executives’ work situations. The process to finalize the three Key Factors with a client is an iterative one. The exercise is one of self-definition – the clients create their own platform on which to build a successful enterprise and will know specifically whether they succeed or fail in each area.
Anne’s first reaction to the three Key Factors was that they were probably another “canned” coaching tool. It wasn’t until she began practicing with them and using them that she saw the value in the tool and how it could help her with her team and business results. She said, “An important learning for me was that, although the three Key Factors list was a generic learning tool, my Key Factors were completely customizable.”
Assess Other Variables
In order to identify a return on investment for the coaching engagement with the leader, it is essential to explore with the executive the other variables besides coaching that will affect the likelihood of success – the ability to accomplish all three Key Factors. This will be important when a formula that only accounts for the coaching variable is calculated at the end of the coaching engagement.
I have learned to ask the leader to create a list of four variables:
1) variables internal to the organization that improve the chance for success, including the strengths and assets of the team or organization,
2) internal organization variables that detract from success,
3) variables external to the organization that benefit it, and
4) external variables that may jeopardize its success.
Executives sometimes need to be reminded to consider positive internal variables because they are so used to assessing negative threats that they forget what they have in their favor.
There should be a list of many items for each variable. A sampling from each of Anne’s variables is: 1) an internal strength: she had a team of skilled people who understood the business challenges they faced, 2) an internal challenge: executives higher in the organization made decisions that diminished the ability of Anne and her team to control outcomes, 3) an external opportunity: there was untapped revenue in the market place, and 4) an external challenge: other formerly reliable segments of the market were cutting business because of a dip in the economy.Download Article 1K Club