The shift over the last century from agriculture to manufacturing with specialisation of labour being the predominant business operating model, an authoritarian style of management was prevalent. In the current knowledge economy, there is greater globalisation and talent mobility, quicker decision making, shorter time to upskill people, necessitating a different management style.
This is further confirmed by Valerio & Lee (2005) – Since the mid-1990s, the pace of change in the business world has accelerated. Greater demands are now placed on leadership. Corporations have grown lean and lost a great deal of talent in their downsizing. Those left in charge have often lacked the years of experience needed to inform their decision making. This means there has been precious little time for consensus building or intelligence gathering, and so the risk of errors by a leader or a leadership
team has increased. Coaching has emerged as the preferred just-in-time lesson to help leverage the areas that would have the greatest impact on results.
Coaching taps into the potential of individuals, the belief being the individual with the challenge often has the solution. Coaching has a holistic approach – shifting behaviour patterns, creating awareness of the management of emotions impacting self and others to changing thinking patterns with clear focus on end goals.
Organisations wanting to change the style of managing people often call in coaches to create a coaching culture. In this instance managers are trained to be coaches and are themselves coached to bring about the swell of culture change over a short period. These organisations see coaching as a strategic business imperative.
One of the frequent requests for Executive Coaching is working with the dilemma faced by executives to achieve business targets and results at the expense of supporting people. Thus, both Executives and people are fatigued, this impacting productivity, employee engagement and wellness. Targets may be achieved but levels of illness, absenteeism and staff turnover are on the rise. This begs the question of actual business results verse perceived results. What is it costing the organisation in absenteeism, and to recruit, re-train, and manage a disengaged workforce.
Each executive coaching intervention is unique to their situation. The benefits measured and observed has been tremendous; more self-awareness, improved communications at all levels, reduced stress levels, better relationships in the personal and business space, improved team engagement and clear focus and achievement of objectives.
Coaching in general and executive coaching works because the ownership rests with the individual being coached, through self-awareness changes are made by the individual. The coach is the facilitator of the change but the client is the one driving the process.
“The people, led by wise leadership, will come to the realisation, “we did it ourselves.” Lao-Tsu