The Value of Coaching- A 12 Point Business Case
The Coaching Profession has grown significantly in recent decades. Today it is estimated to be a global industry, and according to the International Coach Federation (ICF), worldwide coaches has grown to 53,300 in 2016 (International Coach Federation 2016, ‘2016 ICF Global Coaching Study’, accessed 23 October 2018, < https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2017/12/2016ICFGlobalCoachingStudy_ExecutiveSummary-2.pdf >, p.8). IBIS World stated business coaching in the US is now a $10b industry with an annual growth rate of 1.6% (IBIS World 2018, ‘Business Coaching in the US- US Industry Market Research Report’, July 2018, accessed 23 October 2018, < https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/market-research-reports/educational-services/business-coaching.html >).
Coaching is now clearly an established profession and quickly becoming a benchmark for difference, excellence and success. This is particularly so for leaders and managers of businesses or other organisations. This trend has been accelerated by the fast pace of change, globalisation, and rising market and other uncertainties. Innovation and Digital Disruption have now made the need for mindset and team coaching acute.
Some traditional leaders or managers might ask: ‘I do not need coaching’, ‘we are doing ok’, ‘coaching is for people who are lacking something, I am not lacking anything that requires coaching.’ Here lessons from elite sports people are useful. Elite sportspeople have two very important ways of thinking. First, they have what Carol Dweck (Dweck, C. 2017, Mindset- Change the Way you Think to Fulfil your Potential, Little Brown Book Group, London) called a Growth Mindset, as distinct from a Fixed Mindset. Elite sportspeople believe excellence, being at the top, ‘their edge’ was found and maintained not just form natural talent, but through persistent, often gruelling training. This would usually produce cutting edge insights and innovations. Second, excellence coupled with commitment and drive, particularly when things go wrong, can best be achieved in the long term through the assistance of an effective coach. For the CEO or manager the lesson is clear- in the face of constant change, especially in the 21st Century, in the face of rising, global competition, to be and to remain at the top of your game, having a coach is essential. This is true not only for CEOs and top executives, but for all managers.
Today, it is fair to say, if you are not engaged in coaching in some way, then your competition is. We are of the view that the evidence based, business case for coaching is quite clear. Here are twelve chief reasons why you or your team should consider coaching-
- Objectivity and Perspective. Coaching gives perspective. Having a third party giving you an objective perspective of you, your team and how things are going is invaluable. Often we are simply ‘too close’ to things to see solutions and fine adjustments needed for change or excellence.
- Self Awareness. Coaching gives you greater self awareness. Discover your strengths, weaknesses, and often subtle things to enhance productivity and success.
- Leveraging Strengths. By becoming more self aware you can then better leverage strengths and minimise or manage weaknesses.
- Broad Awareness. Coaching facilitates a broader awareness of your team, stakeholders and even higher principles, such as service, sustainability and mission. These higher principles are fast becoming keys to long term success through greater media and consumer scrutiny, and the rise of the Millennials who demand more from all organisations.
- Relationships and Resolutions. Having a broader awareness can help you with all relationships, personal and professional, you can better manage teams, in fact learn how to inspire teams. Through improved communication and understanding, you can better resolve conflicts, and perhaps circumvent them through proactive processes.
- Clearer Communication. Effective, direct and a engaged communication style is the key to stronger relationships, both internal and external to the organisation. Coaches, particularly through questions, listening and facilitating can help you and your team excel in the art and science of effective communication.
- Kaizen. Coaching has at its heart the pursuit of excellence and our highest potential. It can therefore help you implement constant and unending improvement (Kaizen) as both a management and process principle.
- Creative Mindset and Creative Culture Transition. Coaching can help you usher in a new ethos- a culture of excellence, adaptability and creativity. We call this a Creative Culture. It is derived from Creative Leadership, which in turn is derived from a Creative Mindset. This helps you and your organisation be at the cutting edge. It can help you transition from the now inefficient models of the 20th Century characterised by: rules, fear, dependence, command and control, rigid bureaucracies, defensiveness and blame, to the new organisational 21st Century culture characterised by: trust, interdependence, creativity, flexibility, fluidity, agility, adaptability, sustainability, inclusiveness, Kaizen, and above all, an organisation driven by a higher purpose.
- Leader to Coach. The transition towards a Creative Culture can be achieved externally or internally. Externally through a coach, consultant or advisor, internally through leaders learning how to be coaches or ‘coach like’ for their people. They realise to help their people grow is to help them grow, and if we all grow, our organisation grows. Interdependence and inclusion in this way can become integrated in organisations through the power of coaching.
- Innovation & Disruption. Constant change, innovation, and the threat of Digital Disruption are core concerns of all leaders and managers today. Our coaching specialises in this area, and can help you understand key trends, better select and prepare your people, create and manage an innovation team, and through the Creative Mindset, design a more agile, adaptable organisation more suited to the challenges of the 21st Century.
- New Balance. Our coaching emphasises a philosophy of New Balance. This is a movement away from polar or linear thinking to more creative, dynamic thinking styles. This is part of the Creative Mindset and is better suited the fast pace of change of our times. New Balance allows us to think in three or more dimensions, for example, it looks for win-win-win outcomes and not win-lose outcomes. In addition, it draws on natural systems, and looks to find a balance or harmony in the individual person or the organisation by linking key principles- the most important of which is purpose.
- Purpose and Trust. Many people or organisations lack a clear, higher purpose. This leads to confusion, inefficiency and today, an unsustainable approach or business model. Organisations with a clear purpose, a higher purpose, one that serves others, our society or our environment are already proving to be the organisations that will thrive. Purpose breeds trust. Our coaching focuses on the Creative Mindset and puts purpose, an ethos of service and trust at the peak of all we do for our clients.
It is perhaps no coincidence the rise of coaching in the last three decades coincides perfectly with the ushering in of the Information Age through advances in digital and communications technology. This marks the end of the Industrial Age of the 19th and 20th Centuries and its linear models of thinking and doing. Just as the invention of the printing press in 1439 by Johannes Gutenberg ushered in the Renaissance, the internet and digitisation are ushering in, what might be called, Renaissance 2.0. In the 21st century, our century, new creative ways of thinking and doing will signify vast technological, social and economic changes no single person or leader can grapple with alone. Through enlightened, creative teams committed to purpose and service, will we all grow and thrive.
“The good news is that change is in the air, evolution marches on despite expected resistance, environmental concerns are becoming integrated into business strategy as opposed to being a tick-box exercise for appearances, and this is further driven by consumer and public demand for transparency, which is becoming more effective at policing business excesses, often via the internet. Evolution is key if we are to rise to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Coaching is the mechanism of transformation.” – John Whitmore (Whitmore, J & Performance Consultants International 2017, Coaching for Performance, 5th Edition, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London, p.20).