Change You Can Believe In: Organizational Transformation With an Executive Coach
Executive coaching has been known to help entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground as well as support leaders stepping into new and challenging roles. But did you know that executive coaching can also help an organizational transformation initiative to take hold and thrive?
Here are three recommendations to help you get this process started by partnering with an executive coach.
Find Your Path
Drastic change is hard for organizations and people. In many cases, the way to begin implementing change is by taking small steps toward a strategy. Regardless of what's trendy right now, each organization needs to find its own path to change. Partnering with a coach can help find the path that's unique to your organization's goals and current environment. A coach will work with leaders to unearth the root causes of ongoing challenges and set a change strategy that will bring about improvement in the areas that need it most.
It’s been proven that when leaders believe in the change, they can build buy-in among others in the organization and maintain the momentum needed to ensure it happens. Having the coach there to guide and advise leaders will enable them to follow the unique path they've designed and drive change across the organization.
Be a Change Agent
Leaders are the people most responsible for causing an organizational change, and one-on-one coaching can help them build new muscles, elevate their skills, and bring them up to date.
During a recent assignment, our coach worked with a Senior VP who aimed to improve her presentation skills and generally gain more of an executive presence. After a 360° evaluation, it became clear what the leader needed most was to spend more one-on-one time with his direct reports−coaching, mentoring, and training them. Our coach worked on developing this leader's skills and strategies to become a better mentor to her team members. This small step began an organization-wide cultural change, as others in the organization saw positive impact from having one senior executive spend more quality time with his direct reports.
Senior leaders are important change agents, but so are mid-level managers, team leads, and department heads. An executive coach can help leaders at every level improve the way they lead, and thus−set desired and necessary change in motion.
Scale Up Your Success
A solution that works for one leader or one organizational unit can work for others as well. If you like a change that you see on a small scale, look into scaling it up. Individual solutions take into account circumstances and factors unique to the individual leader oraspecificarea, so be preparedto customize your approach as you apply it across the organization.
In our example, more frequent mentoring and coaching by one leader led to organization-wide employee training, more leaders working with a coach, and a culture in which team members felt a greater sense of collaboration and empowerment. While team members now felt safe to make decisions based on their expertise, leaders developed trust and more partnership-based relationships, as opposed to needing authority and control in order to lead. The organization as a whole was able to leverage the strengths of each of its regional offices and identify new areas of opportunity. Overall, the organization became more interconnected and collaborative.
Coaching is only one piece of the puzzle, in addition to assessments, consulting, and training, so consider it one potential way to begin your organizational transformation.
Nick Papadopoulos is the Managing Director of The International Matrix Management Institute. He is an executive coach, an accomplished public speaker, and a radio personality. Nick works with individual leaders and teams with an end-goal of improving organizational outcomes.