‘The Coaching Organisation’ – A briefing on Executive Coaching organised by the diploma in executive coaching program at UCD Smurfit School of Business, Dublin, on Dec 7, 2011.
Presented by Dr. Geoff Pelham and Colm Murphy.
Very interesting evening. The 50 or so attendees included many with an interest in coaching or learning and development. Colm Murphy did an excellent job in involving the audience in the discussions and in soliciting their inputs. The noteworthy takeaways were:
- What ROI metrics can be used to justify spend on executive coaching or executive coaching training? This problem has not been solved. It has been a challenge for the industry to find accepted metrics and none were identified during the discussions. Some participants recounted that stories of personal transformations arising from coaching make an impact on senior management and decision makers, one participant liked comparisons of employee behaviours before and after the coaching engagements. Colm Murphy suggested looking at before and after engagement scores since engagement is highly valued by companies and is regularly measured. Conclusion: no consensus and a challenge to identify hard ROI metrics.
- Coaches should avoid trying to solve the coachee’s problems and should focus on giving them the space to find their solution. There is tension between expectations of companies who want to see outcomes from the coaching in terms of actions and individuals who need to reflect and develop an understanding of how they can best improve. The coaches warned of moving to action too quickly and cautioned that much of the effectiveness of coaching programs is down to the commitment and mindset of the organisation towards coaching.
- Coaching should be future focused, looking at improvement opportunities. In the past, coaching was seen as an intervention i.e. coaches were brought in when there was a perceived problem to be solved.
- Are there true ‘coaching organisations’ in Ireland (i.e. where management by coaching is pervasive in the organisation)? Not in the experience of the attendees. Even in the best companies there are only pockets where coaching is embraced. In these instances, the situation is most likely influenced by a department or group manager’s affinity for coaching. The practice of managers having informal coaching conversations with staff rather than formal, semi-annual events was lauded.
- Diageo was praised as an organisation that handles employee relations well in a downturn. Joan Hodgins, VP HR Supply, was cited for presenting case studies on Diageo’s approach in recent times.
- Reference book on leadership development: Leadership Coaching – From Personal Insight to Organisational Effectiveness, by Graham Lee
Thanks to UCD Smurfit for organising the event. The link to their website and course details is here: #mce_temp_url#