Internal Coaching: Why?

Let's stop juicing people

Imagine… 50 Top executives gathered (yes, this is before COVID19) at a luxurious hotel auditorium in Paris, or Dubai or …New York. The CEO proudly announces the new era transformation project with a catchy name like TRIBE or CYCLONE or YODA. Lots of money has gone to the fancy strategy consultants to design this, and everyone in the room applauds enthusiastically after its revelation only to cover the big hidden truth. Most of this project will probably fail, fade or be forgotten, precisely like the ones before.

Not surprisingly, 85% of organizations report at least one failed Change Management initiative as per the 2018 Human Capital Institute (HCI) & the International Coach Federation (ICF) research "Building a Coaching Culture."

In the same research, people were asked to report the change management activities they have used and how helpful they have been in achieving the change goals.

Accordingly, people within organizations report as most helpful to have access to a professional coach whom they can confide, someone who is going to listen to them, empower them, with no agenda. They also want support as a group, to deal with the different dynamics and learn from each other and finally, they want their senior management out there, to communicate with them, and to listen to what is actually happening.

Ironically, those initiatives that are listed as the least efficient, are the ones that are the most applied. Easy, we herd people in a classroom, tell them what to do and done with it, or even better let's have everything in a shorter time as a micro-learning or also via technology, here more money saved, for now…

It may be that key decision-makers don't really care about the long term effects of poorly managed change onto business results. After all, stock price and profitability have to be reported every 3 months, no time for a long time. However, for those who do care for the company's future, there is more and more evidence proving the link between a strong coaching culture and organizational performance.

  • Organizations that were assessed to have strong coaching cultures had leaders with stronger Management capabilities.
  • High-performing* (HP) organizations have two times stronger change management capabilities and stronger coaching culture. 

*High Performing organizations were the ones that met the highest criteria of Talent AND Business outcomes.

Quite merely, coaching helps actualize all those changes planned on paper, because simply people don't want change that is imposed upon them, they want Change that they have helped co-create.

Until now, 1to1 coaching in organizations is mainly offered by external coaches, i.e. Executive Coaching for senior leaders. Apparently, there are many good reasons to have external coaches for this seniority level but its high cost can't make it accessible to large numbers of employees. So what about the rest of the employees? As per the 2018 Global Leadership Board research, the Top Challenges reported by CEOS are related to developing people. The first one reported by 64% of the 1000 participating C-level executives is "Developing Next-Gen Leaders" and the second reported by 60% is "Failure to attract/retain Top Talent".

Hopefully, this is reflected in that 59% of organizations plan to build teams of Internal Coaches ("Building a Coaching Culture" - 2018 HCI & ICF research).

It essentially means that an organization prepares and certifies its own team of professional coaches, who parallel to their current role, support specific individuals in the organization through coaching.

As almost everyone who has managed people or has attended some coaching training self-proclaims to be a coach, there are some Do's and Don'ts of Internal Coaching and here are some key points for efficient Internal Coaching service that will not backfire and "burn" the concept of coaching within the company:

• Internal coaches are professionally trained and certified.

• Individuals supported by coaching are not reporting in any way to internal coaches.

• The internal coaching service is supported by an organized operating framework linked to the organization's strategic objectives.

Internal Coaching, gives access to coaching and its benefits to larger numbers of employees, in a shorter time and with lower costs.

Internal Coaching "democratizes" Coaching and helps people respond to Change because Organizational Change is about KPIs and Coaching is about the people who will implement it.

Solution Focused Internal Coach Certification Program

More Downloads

ROI measurement case study by Atom Wave published in Building and Sustaining a Coaching Culture by Clutterback, Megginson and Bajer, 2016
Article "From New York with Love" - HR Professional
How To Create Collective Impact with Solution Focus Mentoring
Interview to Alan Kay about Solution Focused Mentoring