Strengthening your organization through leadership coaching is an inviting, yet developing trend. Sufficient research indicates that coaching inside organizations is a valuable development tool, with many studies citing a positive return on investment. Yet there are also a few articles, including one cited in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, which serve to alert organizations to remain mindful of the inherent challenges when developing and sustaining an effective coaching initiative for an organization.
Current research also found a significant number of articles written about the “how-to’s” of coaching more than the overall strategy or plan for coaching in the organization. An article in Executive Coaching substantiates these findings. “In reviewing the executive coaching practice-based literature, six themes emerged:
(a) definition and standards
(c) techniques and methodologies used
(d) comparison with counseling and therapy
(e) credentials of coaches and the best way of finding them
(f) recipients of services.”
Drawing from ample material in a search of more than 30 published articles and a general Internet search on the topic of coaching inside organizations and nascent themes in professional journals, academic papers, practitioner newsletters, conference proceedings and popular news magazines, we found a handful of emergent themes:
- Internal coaching is a valuable development tool for organizations, with several programs citing a positive ROI.
- Internal coaching has an important place in coaching initiatives; most organizations use a combined resource of internal coaches and an external cadre of coaches.
- There are unique challenges and roadblocks that internal coach programs and initiatives need to address.
- Important factors for success, whether it’s an internal or external coach, are: honest, reliable feedback and actionable ideas.
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