Organisational coaching addresses gaps in skills and capabilities that can derail projects, slow initiatives, and side-line worthwhile interventions. It is quite distinct and varies greatly from consulting or contracting but is becoming more prevalent in the gig economy. While consulting focuses on high level scans and reports and contracting (usually) fills a specific job in the short-term organisational
coaches (OCs) bridge the gap. They provide true knowledge transfer and skill-building to your employees.
Organisational coaches (OCs) are brought on to fill a specific gap in the company. That gaps may be found in knowledge, methodology or an organisational process. Whatever the need, the OC works beside the client’s people, transferring knowledge and conveying a robust understanding of the overarching practices as they work as a team to resolve the challenge.
The implementation or an ERP solution or Salesforce is a great example of the OCs value. These types of projects require a variety of skills such as training, knowledge transfer, skill building, technical knowledge, etc. that may not be found within the company. Once the implementation is over, and the project moves to the maintenance stage (which, of course, has been well-institutionalised and set throughout the internal target markets) and roles that may be addressed within the company’s existing structure.
Within the company, the OC may be assigned to a group, a project or brought in to provide support within a belaboured initiative. In this latter case, not only can the OC provide process knowledge, but they work with the team to craft communications and messages that allow for greater understanding, uptake and engagement.
Most OC share profound knowledge of their area (eg, Salesforce vs SAP vs culture change) and an extremely broad knowledge of organisational change management (OCM) theories and practices. They bring a desire – some might say a deep-seated need – to transfer their knowledge to others. Vigilant about overarching impacts, they can roll up their sleeves and work ‘in the business’, beside the team, but are adept at ‘working on the business’; taking a strategic view of the immediate and long-term requirements associated with their engagement.
They don’t wait to be asked, but volunteer information and advice without being pushy. They understand that, as coaches, they cannot force change but can ensure that the client group has an optimal view of potential paths on the journey. They take a global approach, applying their coaching skills at a broader level than just individuals or groups. They actively look for organisational impacts and signs (or lack of) for business readiness. The hallmarks of OCs include:
- Leaving knowledge with the client
- Providing an organisational boost in communication, engagement or motivation
- Encouraging the use of modifiable templates and boilerplates to save time and resources (many of which they have at hand)
- Describing process stages and potential bottle necks so that they can be prevented in the planning stages or avoided on an ad hoc basis
- Flagging potential risks (base in part on their extensive experience in a specific area of expertise)
- Connecting the big picture to detailed tasks, actions, and potential outcomes
I believe that every company needs an organisational coach during different stages of development and at phases of their life cycle. If you would like to learn more about, or how to engage our organisational coaches, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.