Professional business coaching

We believe that coaching can make a real difference. So what evidence have we for making the case for coaching? Here are some interesting studies that will help to illustrate the power of coaching – how it inspires, involves and evolves.

See the results of our methods below…

In-house Improvement Team beats the ‘Experts’

A number of years ago I was part of a large multi-national company which was concerned about the high level of waste produced every day after new generation machines were introduced.

The company brought in the experts “ the machine designers and suppliers “ to consult and advise for two weeks at a cost of £1000 per consultant per day (£14,000). They observed and made adjustments and immediately the amount of waste dropped by 0.1%. The experts stated that this was the best they could offer without compromising quality.

The factory’s senior management did not want to accept this result so they set up an ‘Improvement Team’ made up of shop floor managers, machine operators and technicians. Within one week the team had proved that with slight alterations in ejection timing, and with some operational changes, the amount of waste could be reduced significantly. They then set a goal of achieving the same waste levels as the old machinery.

Read more...

After the initial week, the Improvement Team’s recommendations and actions were implemented by the 16 packing and making machines. The different shifts and production areas each had a member of the Improvement Team to coach them and take them through the process of change. The result was that the waste levels dropped from 0.96% to 0.39% with no detrimental effect on quality. This meant an annual saving of £30,000 in materials, and operator time was optimised because the operators spent less time reworking waste and more time adding value to the process.

The people involved in the team were part of something that made a difference to their own and their colleagues working day as well as contributing to organisational success. The ripples went through the organisation with the result that people wanted to be involved. This boosted morale as well as creating further trust and belief in the organisation.

If the recommendations of the consultants had been accepted there would have been some savings, but nothing like the outcome from asking the people directly involved in the process to look for answers and enabling them to find a better way without instruction.

The Metrics of Organisational Coaching

In an article printed in the Professional Manager, Matt Somers states “It is nigh on impossible to prove definitively a causal link between coaching and improved results, there are so many variables”. Taking this statement at face value, as the leader of an organisation you would probably hire someone who can deliver tangible results rather than a coach. However, I believe that coaching offers measurable results for both the individual and the organisation.

What is the purpose of coaching? In summary, it’s to help both the individual and the organisation become more effective. One of the biggest challenges in measuring the success of coaching is that tangible behavioural change is usually linked to intangible mindsets and beliefs. Effective measurement strategies require the coach to identify the mindsets that drive the critical behaviours and then to make those intangibles measurable. This can be done by defining ‘Success’ for the individual or the organisation. What needs to happen to move from the current position “ the starting point “ to this desired state? Who can confirm the movement has taken place? By answering these questions, progress can be tracked.

Read more...

For example, take this case:

A coach was hired by a business with a substantial turnover (circa £10 million) – specifically to address the sponsors concerns about Joe’s ability to develop the new role of training/quality manager. There were problems with low productivity and high customer returns, and substantial stocktaking errors were common. Joe’s current approach was very hands-on and he was achieving only limited success whilst working with small teams on two shifts.

How could the effectiveness of this coaching engagement be measured?

In order to make the intangible tangible in this case, first of all the coach needed to establish the following prerequisites.

  • The client must be coachable.
  • The coach must fully use all the data the organisation has that will help support and track changes.
  • The coachee must identify the real problems, with the help of the coach.

Point number 1 can be assessed by finding out the answers to the following questions.

  • How open is the coachee to receiving feedback?
  • How aware is the coachee of their own need, and do they have a sense of urgency?
  • How do they perceive the value of coaching and of the likely outcomes?
  • How strong are any competing commitments and any fear of consequences if the coachee does not seek and accept help?

Point number 2: It was agreed by the organisation that the coach must fully use all its available data to help support and track changes. They also fully supported the individual and verified that the metrics set out at the goal setting stage were real and trackable through their systems. Metrics such as production throughput and customer returns could be easily tracked.

Point number 3, the coach and coachee must identify the real problems. As coaching progressed, the coach investigated past attempts at solving the problems and what the outcomes were. The coachee explored the current situation and what options there were to move forward. The outcome they agreed was that the coachee needed to adopt a more engaging management style and change the way he interacted with his teams, which would change their behaviour as well. With a less hands-on style from him and by securing buy in from his teams, changes began to happen.

Through feedback, the coach was able to identify and verify behavioural changes in the way the coachee was interacting with his team.

The outcome was that the coachee, whose coachability was established at the start and who had the full support of the organisation, made a series of decisions based upon past experiences and newly found options, and was committed to change his approach to dealing with the challenges he faced. His intangible mindsets and beliefs changed and drove tangible behavioural changes in the way he managed his team. His behavioural changes could be, and were, verified by feedback from his teams and his direct manager. The teams changed their perception of their manager and their role which then allowed them to change procedure and practice. Commitment was increased because they, the employees, initiated these changes with the managers support and facilitation. This was then tracked by the organisations management reporting systems which showed an increase in productivity and a drop in customer returns.

Both the individual and the organisation had benefited from the coaching process.

  • Increased output “ better efficiency, less use of overtime = cost savings
  • Better quality and fewer returns “ better customer perception, customer loyalty increased, less time re-working = cost saving
  • New working practice and procedure “ training new people easier as training now fully understood by all through formal written quality procedures that can be followed and taught by people below managerial level = increased confidence
  • Engaging people “ involvement, satisfaction, being listened to
  • Optimised manager’s time to concentrate on job/people development rather than hands-on problem-solving
  • Increased team involvement and understanding organisational goals
  • An easy assessment method for quality procedures
  • Staff retention

Professional business coaching

We believe that coaching can make a real difference. So what evidence have we for making the case for coaching? Here are some interesting studies that will help to illustrate the power of coaching – how it inspires, involves and evolves.

See the results of our methods below…

In-house Improvement Team beats the ‘Experts’

A number of years ago I was part of a large multi-national company which was concerned about the high level of waste produced every day after new generation machines were introduced.

The company brought in the experts “ the machine designers and suppliers “ to consult and advise for two weeks at a cost of £1000 per consultant per day (£14,000). They observed and made adjustments and immediately the amount of waste dropped by 0.1%. The experts stated that this was the best they could offer without compromising quality.

The factory’s senior management did not want to accept this result so they set up an ‘Improvement Team’ made up of shop floor managers, machine operators and technicians. Within one week the team had proved that with slight alterations in ejection timing, and with some operational changes, the amount of waste could be reduced significantly. They then set a goal of achieving the same waste levels as the old machinery.

Read more...

After the initial week, the Improvement Team’s recommendations and actions were implemented by the 16 packing and making machines. The different shifts and production areas each had a member of the Improvement Team to coach them and take them through the process of change. The result was that the waste levels dropped from 0.96% to 0.39% with no detrimental effect on quality. This meant an annual saving of £30,000 in materials, and operator time was optimised because the operators spent less time reworking waste and more time adding value to the process.

The people involved in the team were part of something that made a difference to their own and their colleagues working day as well as contributing to organisational success. The ripples went through the organisation with the result that people wanted to be involved. This boosted morale as well as creating further trust and belief in the organisation.

If the recommendations of the consultants had been accepted there would have been some savings, but nothing like the outcome from asking the people directly involved in the process to look for answers and enabling them to find a better way without instruction.

The Metrics of Organisational Coaching

In an article printed in the Professional Manager, Matt Somers states “It is nigh on impossible to prove definitively a causal link between coaching and improved results, there are so many variables”. Taking this statement at face value, as the leader of an organisation you would probably hire someone who can deliver tangible results rather than a coach. However, I believe that coaching offers measurable results for both the individual and the organisation.

What is the purpose of coaching? In summary, it’s to help both the individual and the organisation become more effective. One of the biggest challenges in measuring the success of coaching is that tangible behavioural change is usually linked to intangible mindsets and beliefs. Effective measurement strategies require the coach to identify the mindsets that drive the critical behaviours and then to make those intangibles measurable. This can be done by defining ‘Success’ for the individual or the organisation. What needs to happen to move from the current position “ the starting point “ to this desired state? Who can confirm the movement has taken place? By answering these questions, progress can be tracked.

Read more...

For example, take this case:

A coach was hired by a business with a substantial turnover (circa £10 million) – specifically to address the sponsors concerns about Joe’s ability to develop the new role of training/quality manager. There were problems with low productivity and high customer returns, and substantial stocktaking errors were common. Joe’s current approach was very hands-on and he was achieving only limited success whilst working with small teams on two shifts.

How could the effectiveness of this coaching engagement be measured?

In order to make the intangible tangible in this case, first of all the coach needed to establish the following prerequisites.

  • The client must be coachable.
  • The coach must fully use all the data the organisation has that will help support and track changes.
  • The coachee must identify the real problems, with the help of the coach.

Point number 1 can be assessed by finding out the answers to the following questions.

  • How open is the coachee to receiving feedback?
  • How aware is the coachee of their own need, and do they have a sense of urgency?
  • How do they perceive the value of coaching and of the likely outcomes?
  • How strong are any competing commitments and any fear of consequences if the coachee does not seek and accept help?

Point number 2: It was agreed by the organisation that the coach must fully use all its available data to help support and track changes. They also fully supported the individual and verified that the metrics set out at the goal setting stage were real and trackable through their systems. Metrics such as production throughput and customer returns could be easily tracked.

Point number 3, the coach and coachee must identify the real problems. As coaching progressed, the coach investigated past attempts at solving the problems and what the outcomes were. The coachee explored the current situation and what options there were to move forward. The outcome they agreed was that the coachee needed to adopt a more engaging management style and change the way he interacted with his teams, which would change their behaviour as well. With a less hands-on style from him and by securing buy in from his teams, changes began to happen.

Through feedback, the coach was able to identify and verify behavioural changes in the way the coachee was interacting with his team.

The outcome was that the coachee, whose coachability was established at the start and who had the full support of the organisation, made a series of decisions based upon past experiences and newly found options, and was committed to change his approach to dealing with the challenges he faced. His intangible mindsets and beliefs changed and drove tangible behavioural changes in the way he managed his team. His behavioural changes could be, and were, verified by feedback from his teams and his direct manager. The teams changed their perception of their manager and their role which then allowed them to change procedure and practice. Commitment was increased because they, the employees, initiated these changes with the managers support and facilitation. This was then tracked by the organisations management reporting systems which showed an increase in productivity and a drop in customer returns.

Both the individual and the organisation had benefited from the coaching process.

  • Increased output “ better efficiency, less use of overtime = cost savings
  • Better quality and fewer returns “ better customer perception, customer loyalty increased, less time re-working = cost saving
  • New working practice and procedure “ training new people easier as training now fully understood by all through formal written quality procedures that can be followed and taught by people below managerial level = increased confidence
  • Engaging people “ involvement, satisfaction, being listened to
  • Optimised manager’s time to concentrate on job/people development rather than hands-on problem-solving
  • Increased team involvement and understanding organisational goals
  • An easy assessment method for quality procedures
  • Staff retention
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We have worked with leading companies including…

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They observed and made adjustments and immediately the amount of waste dropped by 0.1%. The experts stated that this was the best they could offer without compromising quality.

Call today: 07990 592 267

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Paul Adams-General Manager

David's input helped to develop Steve, enabled him to more effectively carry out the task whilst involving and considering the effect on all stakeholders, and do so in a structured manner.

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Angela Anderson-Managing Director

David's personal qualities - being an excellent listener, empathic, approachable and a tough questioner (when required) - make him very easy to strike up a relationship with. He is very honest and direct and inspires trust.

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Jo Lupton-HR & Administration Manager

To have external support coaching and guiding this process most certainly brings about clarity and has significant motivational impact on team members to strive for achieving results.

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Andrew Summerbell-District Commander Cleveland Police

The police have delivered Professional Development Days for a number of years but this year we wanted something different from the norm; something more inspiring and innovative.

Contact Us

8 Chilton Close, Woodham Village,
Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham, DL5 4RH
Company No. 6816089

M: 07990 592 267
E: david@proformperformance.com

Proform is a brand name for KEY – Unlocking the Potential Ltd