Bob Vecchiotti, Ph. D.
Senior Vice President, Consulting Services-Leadership Development
President, Strategic Initiatives
Effective and timely coaching can make the development and implementation of your business strategy less daunting and more successful. This is especially true in an environment that is global, fast paced, and uncertain. Coaching people to break old habits and stimulate creative thinking can establish an integrated strategy process that sets clear ways to achieve sustainable results and increased profits. Research findings support the “results-driven” value of knowledgeable coaches for your key individuals and core teams during the business strategy development process.
Several of the well established requirements for building a successful business strategy include:
- Gathering data from diverse perspectives.
- Thinking “outside the box.”
- Encouraging the participation and involvement of your key resources.
- Providing for a focused dialog for consensus building and realistic implementation planning.
- Assuring disciplined and outcome-focused implementation.
- Having competent leaders and managers who guide the effort and monitor results, and
- Being flexible, with a willingness to re-evaluate based on performance feedback, and to make necessary changes throughout the process in order to get the desired results.
Coaching to increase management competencies and practices has a positive impact in making strategy development and implementation achievable with confidence, efficiency, and full use of your company’s resources.
Coaching can begin during any phase of business strategy development. Preparing the team for strategy development provides opportunities for individual and team coaching which will maximize outcomes, establish clear roles and relationships, and assure that existing competencies contribute quickly to measurable results.
Coaching your senior managers and high potentials to the next levels of contribution provides an important developmental opportunity during the implementation phase of business strategy. Implementation is more efficient with coaching especially in effective communication and negotiating skills, in setting objectives and expectations for change, in reviewing specific techniques for running the business from sales to finance, in building consensus and buy-in for key decisions, in enhancing team problem solving, and in using feedback to improve the entire business planning process.
Sometimes business strategies demand that new competencies be acquired in time to implement new strategic initiatives. New business lines, new products and services, and greater leadership effectiveness practices, are more likely to be integrated into business functions with tailored and timely coaching. Senior executives can create the environment that encourages self-development and use of coaches during the entire process of business planning and implementation.
Today’s well trained and experienced coaches understand executive leadership and what it takes to guide an organization to continued high performance and sustainable success. These coaches and advisors transfer their knowledge into management practices and competencies that make a positive difference in achieving your business objectives. Coaches with significant profit and loss experience can assure individuals properly apply analytical tools, measure and assess operational performance, ask the thought provoking “what if” questions, design relevant incentive systems, and identify ways to enhance profitability. These are the skills and abilities that contribute to successful business strategy implementation.
Coaching doesn’t break the bank when you consider the lasting effectives of good coaching. A sample of renewable benefits that researchers and company executives have regularly identified as most relevant to improved business strategy development and implementation include:
1. A greater sense of confidence in both facilitating the decision process and effectively getting the tough decisions made.
2. People are motivated to exceed expectations.
3. A better understanding of teamwork and shared accountability.
4. A better understanding of the business and how it makes money.
5. A clearer focus on what’s needed for success.
6. Implementation planning that is realistic with contingencies understood.
7. The right competencies are used for greater success and more competitive advantages.
8. Less wasted time with fewer delays when competing in a tough global market place, and
9. The link between planning and results is shortened.
In many organizations, coaching is continuous and delivered as needed by the best talent from within or provided by experienced external resources. Your company’s core competencies can then be renewed and strengthened in a systematic manner.
Experienced coaches with a list of satisfied clients have the right “tools” to add considerable value to your business. They build on the strengths of your leadership team; they facilitate and increase performance in all phases of important business initiatives. Their knowledge of behavior and their business acumen will increase individual and team effectiveness. Senior managers who want their initiatives to succeed often seek facilitators to add value with new insights, and provocative inquiry to increase individual accountability. An experienced coach will offer more to meet the challenges you face.
To find coaches who can boost important competencies, sharpen your company’s management practices, and improve your business success, you can ask your colleagues and peers for the names of people who have turned around an individual or a business through coaching that is delivered in a better, faster, cheaper manner. Great coaches have great reputations. Word of mouth testimony from people you trust is your best source. Great coaches don’t advertise. You’ll see immediately the benefits of coaching by hiring the best.