Sometimes it is to help a specific executive come to grips with patterns of behavior that are detrimental to themselves and to their organizations. This form of “remedial” coaching can achieve remarkable results. However, much more frequently, we are asked to help an already effective leader move from good to great. There are significant challenges to success for these leaders. These executives are typically very bright and experienced and, as such, are often skeptical of such initiatives. Their development, given the scope of their impact, is undeniably important. But, while everyone’s time is precious, the more successful the executive, the harder it is to put anything on their calendar that isn’t part of an urgent and obvious organizational imperative.
4 Critical Success Factors for Executive Coaching
The demand for providing coaching, even to successful executives, is growing. However, success in these initiatives is far from assured. To achieve real and sustainable results, Executive Coaching initiatives must be designed around 4 Critical Success Factors:
1. Executive credibility through business context
It’s a given that executive coaches need to earn credibility and respect with the leaders they coach and many factors, including style and personality, come into play. But the best executive coaches not only have successful track records as coaches, but also as executives, themselves. A coach with a nuanced understanding of the specific business challenges, strategies and pressures the executive faces will not only gain greater credibility, but will, in fact, be far more successful.
2. Advanced and proven coaching skills
Few will argue this point. While it may seem obvious, it is often difficult to discern the proven coaches from the well intended amateurs. The best combine their business acumen and experience with highly tuned communication and facilitation skills. While effective coaching involves a clear process combined with great questioning and listening skills, the best coaches are able to bring deeper insights and real wisdom borne of experience.
3. Clear success measures
Coaching exists within the framework of the organization’s business strategy and objectives as well as its human systems. This means that the goals of executive coaching are a synthesis of the executive’s goals as well as the organization’s needs and expectations. Executive coaching will more effectively “move the needle” when these are established and integrated from the beginning of the relationship.
4. A clearly defined coaching process
Successful coaching drives change. The coaching process is designed to create clear and measureable change by integrating data and assessments with genuine empathy and insight.
|Metrics That Matter||Brief Description of Applicable Metrics|
|Participant Reaction, Satisfaction, & Planned Action||Measures leader’s reaction to the program and outlines specific plans for implementation.|
|Learning||Measures skills, knowledge, or attitude changes.|
|Application & Implementation||Measures changes in on-the-job behavior and specific application and implementation.|
|Business Impact||Measures business impact of the intervention.|
|Return on Investment (ROI)||Compares the monetary value of the results with the costs for the program, usually expressed as a percentage.|
|Employee Productivity Improvement||As measured by change in per capita sales, EBITDA or Market Capitalization from Time 1 to Time 2.|
|Employee Retention||Unplanned employee attrition reduction from Time 1 to Time 2, including a financial impact calculation.|
|Leadership Assessment Results||Time 1 baseline to Time 2 re-measure on Leadership PROfile-360 and/or Diialog Leadership 3-D 360 Dashboard results.|
|Culture Assessment Results||Time 1 baseline to Time 2 re-measure on Diialog Organizational Culture PROfile.|
|Decision Effectiveness Improvement||Time 1 baseline to Time 2 re-measure of decision quality, velocity, execution and friction.|
|Team Cohesion and Effectiveness||Time 1 baseline to Time 2 re-measure on Team Alignment, Communication, Conflict Management, Innovation, Process, Team Orientation, and Trust|
|Executive Transition Quality and Speed||Selection consensus among hiring stakeholders; time-to-placement; unplanned senior team attrition; new executive stick rate.|
|Stakeholder Relationship Improvement||Stakeholder verbatim regarding observed behavior change and/or business improvement.|