What is business-driven coaching?

Business-driven coaching is coaching that is linked to the real, important and immediate goals of the business. Business goals are expressed in terms of financial results or other measurable business outcomes.

Business-driven coaching concentrates a leader’s effort on the one or at most two areas of behavioural change that will have most impact on their immediate business performance.

Leaders are challenged to prioritise the development of their leadership “in service of” the business outcomes that they are currently tasked with a achieving. This will, more often than not, challenge them outside of their comfort zone and will avoid wasting valuable coaching time pursuing behavioural development that will have minimal or no impact on business performance and would simply be “nice to have” capability.

As a result of business-driven coaching, organisations raise the likelihood of achieving their immediate business goals whilst increasing the capability of their leadership talent, long-term.

When coaching is not business-driven it will invariably result in the development of leadership capabilities that are not mission-critical to achieving business outcomes.

In short, business-driven coaching starts with business outcomes and can be measured by business outcomes.

The business-driven coaching process

Business Driven Coaching Process

Awareness: an examination of where the leader is right now in terms of approaching immediate business challenges.  By helping leaders understand how their leadership currently plays out, how that impacts others and how that impacts performance, the coach helps the leader develop an acute sense of self-awareness around how they currently operate.

Analysis: a drilling-down to the specific leadership behaviours that need to be developed, discontinued or changed in order to increase the likelihood of achieving current business goals. The coach challenges the leader to find the motivation to prioritise the development of new behaviours or to change familiar ways of working, which may no longer be productive.

Action: the actual implementation of new behaviours or changes to behaviours that will make the biggest difference to business outcomes.  Drawing on the first two phases, leaders are challenged to put together a practical plan for working in a different way. These personal development agendas are shared with coaching sponsors, to provide the leader with support, feedback and encouragement as they change the way they operate.

Achievement: an assessment of value delivered to the business by the coaching. Assessing coaching achievement is an ongoing process. Throughout and at the end of an assignment, the client and the coaching sponsors are encouraged to evaluate the impact of the coaching. Evaluation measures the impact that the coaching has on business outcomes, as well as on the development of the leader.

Who will benefit from business-driven coaching?

Business-driven coaching has most impact on leaders who have been high-performers, so far, and who are seen as having even higher potential; those leaders who have the potential to deliver most value to the business.  It is not appropriate for leaders who have reached their potential or leaders who are simply in the wrong job. Business-driven coaching is about accelerating potential.

Leaders at every level of the organisation can, at different times, be tasked with delivering vital business outcomes, so business-driven coaching is appropriate at all levels of leadership.

Both leaders and teams will benefit from the business-driven coaching process.

When is the best time to provide business-driven coaching?

Business-driven coaching works on the basis that the best time for a leader or a team to develop is when faced with new, challenging and vital business goals.