You may be at the very beginning of your journey to build a coaching culture or maybe you have already taken those first tentative steps. Perhaps you have invested considerable energy in trying to manifest a real change in your organisation but feel that the results have been mediocre or even downright disappointing. Don’t be disheartened, trust your research and remain confident that by building a coaching culture you will be enabling your organisation to meet the challenges of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future - you just need to figure out how to make it work!
Let’s start by looking at the playing field. Does this sound familiar?
“Our management style is command and control.” “Our teams seem reluctant to take initiative.”
“Our leadership team doesn’t really see the benefits.” “There is an air of secrecy about change.”
“People just think it is ‘another’ passing management trend.” “ROI! What ROI?
“We have internal coaches – but it’s still not making an impact on the broader culture.”
Whether you identify with these statements or not, it’s important to listen carefully to the noise that is emanating from your own organisation to gain valuable insights about where you are now and what has to happen to embed real change. If your coaching efforts only target, let’s say 5-10% or your organisation - which is typical of traditional executive coaching models - then it’s unlikely that you will reach the tipping point needed to generate the cultural change you want.
So, the first step to building a coaching culture is BE INCLUSIVE in order to tap into the potential of all people within an organisation. Notion’s Managing Director, Dominic Ashley-Timms explains that, “instead of forcing changes upon staff in the name of progress, by taking an ‘Operational Coaching’ approach you are inviting everyone in the organisation – at every level – to step up and give more; to begin to maximise their potential”.
Operational Coaching works within the environment and beliefs of a business to ensure that everyone feels listened to and valued for their contribution. Understanding how to ask better questions has the potential to swiftly reduce or eliminate cultures of blame which is vital to establishing a successful coaching culture.
Establishing the kind of culture where the predominant behaviour is focused more around helping people to think for themselves rather than telling them what to do can also help an organisation to embrace diversity by making it easier to work with colleagues from a range of different backgrounds, environments, and cultures.
Leaders play a pivotal role in making this change happen. Through POSITIVE PROJECTION leaders can role model an Operational Coaching approach that impacts upon the next level of management that subsequently emerges in the wider business. Clear articulation of how an Operational Coaching approach links to core business strategy will demonstrate clear sponsorship from the leadership team.
Leaders can help to ensure the sustainability of any effort to establish a coaching culture by IDENTIFYING ROI INDICATORS. A small number of metrics that really matter to the senior management team will work more effectively than a broad brush approach. Linking their day-to-day coaching with situations that support positive movement and alignment with organisational strategy is the key to helping them realise the tangible commercial benefits of their changed behaviour.
These results are powerful and can be used to CREATE AN AUDIBLE NOISE. To change ‘the way we work around here’ and for the language of a coaching culture to become common parlance, it is necessary to disrupt stubborn paradigms with constant, consistent and engaging communication. How better to do this than with hard evidence!
The more normalised these language and behaviours become, the closer the organisation gets to its end goal. With this end in mind, Operational Coaching needs to be ORGANIC and be implemented in a way that can be quickly pulled into the business, comprehensively integrated and fully adapted to meet the needs of the business. This means that a COACHING CULTURE MUST FLOW ALL WAYS, up, down and laterally across the organisation using clear feedback channels that enables leadership to respond appropriately to both positive and negative feedback and create the opportunity for continuous learning.
This is the decisive factor to achieve sustainability. A COACHING CULTURE MUST BECOME PART OF YOUR ORGANISATION, not an adjunct. The availability of continuous learning and development across the business will help to cement a coaching culture that will continue to evolve and generate the resilience and competitiveness needed in increasingly complex markets.
These 7 ideas to help build a coaching culture have been carefully curated from over a decade of working closely with a diverse range of organisations to develop strong coaching cultures that continue to deliver tangible results. If you’re still not sure where to start or would like to discuss any of these ideas call us on +44 (0) 1926 889 885 or visit our website www.BusinessCoaching.co.uk.