It is no great secret that organisations are constantly striving for better productivity and in turn results. To achieve this, some will look to implement strategic change or undertake acquisitions, others will look to focus and enhance their core business. Whichever approach is preferred, most will hope to reduce costs and grow revenue through better human performance (behavioural change) or enhanced business processes and tools (system or technological change). In fact, research suggests that 8 out of 10 corporate bosses state that boosting results through productivity is a top business priority (Telstra Productivity Indicator 2012). Unlike the significant investment required in technology built solutions, changing behaviour does not require a large financial investment, it is predominantly about constructively challenging peoples' mindsets/attitudes, which then paves the way for skill development and change.
Although developing ‘soft skills’ and bringing about people related change can be challenging, it is fair to say it is also a ‘low hanging fruit’ in most organisations. As a result of this, many of our clients have recently become focused upon initiatives aimed at developing a culture of coaching within their organisations - particularly amongst leaders.
Research indicates that organisations with a culture of coaching are more productive, have lower turnover and are more innovative. (Manchester Review – Maximising the impact of executive coaching: Behavioural change, Organisational outcomes & Return on Investment 2001.) Furthermore, our extensive experience working with organisations to develop coaching skills has uncovered a number of key business reasons why this approach is rapidly replacing alternative approaches to leadership.
This paper will:
- Outline key changes in the market, in organisations and in technology which indicate coaching’s increasing importance.
- Outline key shifts in the requirements and expectations of people which elevate the criticality of coaching as a leadership approach.
- Outline the promise of coaching to find competitive advantage, address pervasive issues and unleash potential.