We need a new definition in our fast-changing world, says Nicky Little from Cirrus.
We all know what coaching is, don’t we? Most of us have been coached. Many of us have coached others, or led coaching programmes. We’re all aware of the benefits. However, at Cirrus we believe that by redefining coaching, the benefits could be much greater. As well as improving individual performance, we’ve seen that coaching can actually have an impact on overall business performance – and some of our biggest clients agree. In order for this to happen, we need to view coaching differently. Rather than view it as a helpful intervention for individuals, we need to redefine it as a tool for creating change across entire organisations.
Effective coaching often links individual goals to the goals of the organisation. The results for individuals can be very powerful. The effect on the overall organisation is rarely considered. Coaching is often viewed as one of the most effective forms of personal development in the workplace. However, it is rarely viewed as a business-wide intervention.
The Cirrus approach goes further. We help our clients to develop an overall coaching strategy. Working in partnership with them, we create bespoke coaching programmes that actually help the entire organisation to make a measurable shift within an agreed timescale. It’s a programmatic approach which we call Connected Coaching. My colleague Alison Tickner wrote about it in a recent post.
Why should we change our definition of coaching? All the usual reasons. We need to ensure that investment in learning and development provides real, lasting benefits. We need to link it to organisational strategy and goals. The pace of change is relentless and we need our people to keep up, to be more agile and more innovative. Connected Coaching can link large groups of leaders to a shared sense of direction. It can focus on specific strategic goals, so that a measurable shift in behaviour can be observed. Connected Coaching can be a fixed-term (often 100-day) coaching programme for leaders across an organisation, or it can be a large scale executive coaching programme. Both lead to measurable behavioural change to support wider strategic goals. The key difference with Connected Coaching is that the shift doesn’t just take place at an individual level – it can take place across your leadership population and ultimately your entire organisation.
So, let’s redefine coaching. Chances are, coaching already works very well for you. Just imagine how much better it could be.
In our next post, we’ll offer some top tips for making coaching more effective in your organisation. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch. We’d love to talk to you.