So, You Want to Build a Coaching Culture – Building Block 1

June 19, 2017 | Lexy Thompson & Dr. Christina Barss | HCI
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Conduct an assessment to better understand how coaching may help your organization meet strategic goals.

In our first post of this series, we started the conversation on developing a coaching culture in your organization. Today, we will explore building block one of three so we are able to forge a path toward this new reality.

If you’ve gotten your leadership’s buy-in for the long haul, resources have been identified to help with administration, and you are excited to move into creating a coaching culture, the next step is to run an assessment to create clarity around the specific strategic goals you can impact and how. Let’s explore who to assess and how to assess the potential impact of a coaching model that supports the business.

The ‘who’ of it all

We already spoke to the importance of long-term leadership buy-in; they have nodded and given you the thumbs up. Now, which ones do you need to go to for help in assessing champions, stakeholders, and end users of a coaching approach?

Champion/Sponsor: This is a leader that influences key areas where you’ll remove barriers or require the enlistment of others in the process.

Stakeholders: This group of leaders will be the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the coaching work.  They will help with influencing within their reach, helping to enlist others and setting the appropriate metrics coaching will be aimed at.

End Users: This group of people may include some stakeholders; however, few if it does. These are the people that will be learning and leveraging the coaching model. This is where the rubber meets the road.

The champion/sponsor and the stakeholders will be the group that will help you define the business goals you are aiming the coaching solution towards. They should understand the model and be able to work within it as much as possible. Some questions to help them help you:

  1. What are the gaps you are experiencing in your line of the business? 
  2. What would success look like once a coaching model is applied successfully?
  3. What is the measurable impact when success is achieved? (i.e.: revenue, quality, time, etc.)

Validating your findings

Once your champion/stakeholder group has answered these questions, it is time to test your theory in the ranks. There are several ways to test the assumptions that the stakeholder/champion group have identified. Beware skipping this step can have some very high costs!

Important reasons to test and validate:

  1. The assumptions could simply be wrong.
  2. The end user group may have data that would impact the strategy approach of the coaching solution, be it time or other resources.
  3. Skipping the end user group will more than likely impede the actual implementation as this process helps to secure total buy-in.

There may be many “reasons” to skip this step—don’t get lured into them! The cost will be huge on the other side.

The ‘how’ to test

Create small, diverse groups and discuss the answers to the above questions. Then let them poke holes and offer supporting data. One of many feasible approaches is to use a SWOT analysis to mine for things that were not visible before involving the end users. Once you have the added data, create a presentation back to the stakeholder/champion group to see if further adjustments to the plan are warranted.

What’s next when the hypothesis is supported and goals are identified? 

We will explore how to gather stakeholders to draft a multiphase plan that provides opportunities for all employees to develop skills and reach professional goals in Building Block 2.