Return on investment? We stopped tracking attempts to measure ROI for coaching last year. For years, we published a formula in our annual survey. It didn’t make much difference. The number of organizations with a working formula to measure ROI for coaching never passed the 11% mark. The level of activity was decreasing.
In fact, we collaborated with some brilliant people at the most process-driven companies in the world, who never found an answer that satisfied everyone. HR, training and development experts do not speak the same language as accountants and financial analysts.
Still, business behavior and its relative impact on business (IOB) is getting more and more attention over time. The formula “Positive skills plus positive behavior creates a positive impact on business” (IOB) ™ seems to resonate more than the complicated formulas of the past.
If you want to keep your job, you have to know what you are doing. That’s part of Impact on business (IOB). But, IOB is more than knowledge and skill. Your impact on business is directly related to your behavior. When you display positive business behavior, the rest of your life will get better, too.
SKILLS PLUS BEHAVIOR: If you want to be happy and successful, then delivering a positive impact on business (IOB) should be your ultimate target. Stated specifically, this formula tells you how to deliver the biggest impact where you are:
Positive Skills + Positive Behavior = Positive Impact on Business (I.O.B.) ™
Positive skills: Leave either skills or behavior out of the equation and performance will eventually fall short, guaranteed! Take an expert, well versed in her field. She knows all the ins and outs of her profession, but has no ability to lead and behave effectively. She will have a negative impact on business because of her leadership behavior.
Positive behavior: Let’s look at the other half of the equation. What happens when you have a person with great leadership ability, but lacking essential knowledge and experience? Leaders like this are great at creating “Kumbaya” sessions. They’re wonderful at throwing motivational events, but they don’t have the skill set. They haven’t earned respect. Absolutely nothing gets done.
True success comes from positive skills and positive behavior. Together, the two create a positive impact on business (IOB). As creators of this equation, we live and operate by it, day in and day out. Without both positive skill and positive behavior, it is impossible to have an overall positive impact on business.
Why does coaching work? How do people choose to use it? What do clients and customers expect from their executive coaches? The Sherpa Coaching survey has tracked the reasons people use coaching for seven years. In this report, we’ll tell you about trends and changes in what people want from coaching,
Some people know exactly what they want. Others aren’t sure when to call in a coach. A leading university educator recently addressed the current state of affairs in coaching: “People know to call a doctor when they’re sick. People know to call a mechanic when their car breaks down. But when a team or an organization is being crushed under the weight of bad business behavior, people don’t always know they are supposed to call an executive coach. In time, that will come.”
The time is coming. Almost every HR and business leader we surveyed sees real value in coaching. Coaching has been used to solve specific behavioral problems, to assist in transition and to develop ‘up and coming’ leaders.
In the early days of coaching, an executive who wasn’t living up to expectations was the most likely to be assigned a coach. There was a certain stigma attached to coaching: “You have a coach. You must be having some problems.”
For seven years, the Sherpa survey has asked coaches, HR professionals and coaching clients to share the ways they saw coaching used. There’s been a clear trend. Coaching is widely used as a leadership development tool. More coaching is now devoted to developing upcoming talent, and a smaller share of coaching is designed to address specific problems.
As a result, having an executive coach can be a status symbol, the mark of an up and coming leader being groomed for greater possibilities: “You have a coach. You must be something special.”
In 2012, the majority of coaching is designed for leadership development, with the balance of coaching split pretty much equally between transition and problem solving. That applies equally to companies of every size. Over seven years’ time, the amount of coaching used to solve a specific behavioral problem has dropped from 40% to near 25%.
How coaching is used.
No matter why coaching is brought to bear, the results are pretty much the same. Our university educator says:
“Coaching helps people in three ways:
One coaching client describes the benefits of coaching as:
An executive, asked if coaching produced benefits, said:
The Benefits of Coaching:
Describe changes you’ve seen in your business behavior since beginning coaching:
Dramatic reduction in length of routine email correspondence. Saves time. Recipients more likely to read what I send.
Identified "separating the person from the issue" as a means of facilitating my approach to personnel-related problem solving. Focus on the problem.
Began to incorporate your expectations technique into my planning for staff discussions related to new projects, urgent responsibilities and problem solving. Huge difference.
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This is an extended version of information contained in the seventh annual Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey.
Media contact: For exclusive material and interviews: Karl Corbett, Managing Partner, Sherpa Coaching LLC, (513) 232-0002 USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a library of 60-second videos about executive coaching, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/sherpacoaching.