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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Executive Coaching: Is It Coming Of Age?

Management-Issues offers the key points from a recent Harvard Business Review article, that states American companies are spending more than $1 billion annually on coaching.

The biggest problem? Coaching remains a largely unregulated industry and there has been little research into the effectiveness of the various approaches to coaching -- or even how to measure its success.

The study did point out that "coaching programs can make a significant difference in overall organizational effectiveness by improving teamwork and ability to execute strategy."

Another key finding: "Coaching is particularly effective when it is focused on driving behavioural change rather than cultural change and when the emphasis is upon positive performance outcomes rather than remedial issues."

And: "Most organizations are still in the early stages of learning to use coaching in a systematic way and may not be realising its full value."

BOTTOMLINE: Fortunately, the steps used to make coaching effective are easily achieved, according to this research study. Visible leadership from the top, defining behavioral objectives and measuring success and centralized management of coaches will result in desired results.

The ultimate benefit will be leaders who are better equipped to drive organizational performance, more skilled at working with team members who are better attuned to learning and adapting throughout their careers.

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