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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Executive Coaching - Worth The Money?

A recent Wall Street Journal article invited readers to comment on "Executive Coaching - Worth The Money?"

Wow! This one has people's attention!

Our views about it here at Six Disciplines:

  • Executive coaching is a good first step, but it’s kind of like treating the symptom, not the real problem.
  • What perhaps makes more sense is to work on solving the one business problem, that if solved, makes all the other problems – easier.
  • By it’s very nature, executive coaching implies that it’s just for the executive (typically, just for the CEO)
  • While this may indeed be necessary, focusing only on the executive of a small business does little/nothing for the rest of the organization.
  • The rationale is if you coach the senior executive on their key responsibility (strategy formulation) – BUT, what about all the rest of the workforce that is charged with executing the strategy?
  • What is really needed is a comprehensive coaching program that helps the CEO and senior executive team (on issues they need to focus on, i.e., strategy formulation, goal setting, choosing vital few objectives) – the middle management (on issues they need to focus on, i.e., initiative and project management) – and the rest of the workforce (on issues they need to focus on, i.e. aligning their daily activities to work on projects and initiatives that support the goals and overall strategy of the company.
  • This kind of coaching builds accountability across the entire organization – not just at the executive level.
    The payback/ROI is much stronger if the entire organization is engaged in program like this (as opposed to only focusing on the CEO/executive)

BOTTOMLINE: Executive coaching is a good start. Don't forget about the benefits of coaching -- for the REST of the organization!

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