Prioritizing Your Executive Coaching Investment

By Chris Ihrig

Inconsistent returns on executive coaching investments are best attributed to challenges companies experience in linking the coaching engagements to business needs and goals. By contrast, the best strategic coaching programs require a much greater degree of focus and coordination so everyone (top management, targeted executives, and coaches) knows the game plan and are committed to carrying it out.  In such programs companies clearly define such business factors as the desired culture they are trying to achieve, competencies for leaders and prioritized business goals.  Once defined, coaching becomes a tool for implementation. But how do companies take an offensive-minded stance during such reactionary times?

Our clients tell us the most meaningful outcomes from executive coaching occur around transitions.  Coaching has a stronghold opportunity during changing chapters found in an organization’s life cycle, providing fertile ground for new ways of thinking and growth of leadership.  By being proactive and offensive-minded, companies can stimulate personal effectiveness in leadership while having a profound impact on business results. Here are a few critical coaching moments that can be cultivated during organizational transitions.

Grounding —For organizations rocked by a sudden change, coaching can provide support and guidance to executives while helping them stay grounded in the company strategy, direction, and values.

Casting— During times calling for greater clarity and action, the coached executive becomes more effective at transmitting and translating vision having the ability to achieve higher levels of performance, synergy, and retention across their organization.

Maximizing — Challenged with doing more with less calls for deeper insights and accurately using the right tools in order to optimize talent and productivity through times of difficulty including accelerating staff realignment and organization change.

Delivering — Corporate transitions provide an opportunity for developing higher-level executive habits to assure stakeholders, empower direct reports, and deliver on key initiatives and goals.

Although there is a common recognition that coaching should be business-driven, most organizations do not appropriately prioritize coaching engagements and in turn, lose prime advancement opportunities with their executives. By looking at the coaching investment with a new transition focused lens, companies may drive business results and experience multiple benefits that ripple through the culture while infusing focus and energy to drive results.