When is the Right Time to Bring in a Coach?
Coaching engages us in the process of growing our companies from where they are now to where we envision them to be by helping us clarify, simplify, and achieve our vision.
In the early 20th century, French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss was onto something about the nature of coaching when he observed, “The wise person doesn’t give the right answers, they pose the right questions.”
Whether he knew it or not, he expressed a fundamental difference between a coach and a consultant: A coach doesn’t give all the right answers, unlike what a consultant might lead us to believe about their purpose. A coach is a teacher, facilitator and mentor who has the perspective, experience and training to create a dialogue among team members that will help us ask the right questions, find the answers and apply them to our companies. A coach helps us learn how to solve any challenge together.
Great coaches may even know something about Claude Lévi-Strauss because he inspired an intellectual movement called structuralism theory. His ideas touched upon a process to uncover the structures that influence all the things that humans do, think, perceive and feel based on our culture and its relationship to a broader system.
Sound familiar? Coaching engages us in the process of growing our companies from where they are now to where we envision them to be by helping us clarify, simplify and achieve our vision.
When To Consider Using A Coach
Coaching provides an objective sounding board and can help:
- Companies on a growth path that need a foundation.
- Open minds to new possibilities and foster the mindset to succeed.
- Companies strategize better about growth instead of putting out fires all the time.
- Bring focus, discipline and accountability to the organization.
- Companies create a greater purpose and legacy.
- Make sure the right people are in the right seats.
- Teams become accountable decision-makers.
- Get everyone in the organization 100% on board.
Ask yourself if you are coachable, i.e., open to an outsider's perspective. If you are, look for a coach.
Know Your Process Truths
In any company, there are a handful of functions run by departments. Within each department, there are actions driving the way work is done and value is created. A core process is the high-level view of the handful of things your organization routinely does. Whether you have identified them or not, they exist.
Before bringing in a coach, identify your process truths. What do we mean by that? For example, here are Ninety’s process truths:
You Love Process More Than You Know
Process doesn’t stifle creativity; it improves it! Documented workflows allow for better communication and efficiency among team members.
Discipline Is a Must
Once in place, processes must be followed to be effective. If you don’t follow your processes, then don’t expect your team to do so, either.
Freedom to Dream Is Possible
Your team becomes more agile when you are able to systemize what is routine. This ultimately frees up time for working on the company.
Systemize Only a Handful of Things
Document only at a high level. This prevents you from overprescribing tasks. A great rule is to document the 20% that gives you 80% of the results.
“Kind Of” Will Kill You
Followed by all (FBA) is the key to strengthening your core processes. If one person or department falls short, it can affect other areas of your business. Go all in!
Refinement Is Critical
Don’t think of a process as perfect once it is created. Continue to refine the process. Review employee feedback and process-related measurables each quarter.
“Systemize the predictable so that you can humanize the exceptional.”
Consider this advice from Isadora Sharp, Founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Once we know our process truths, we can endeavor to understand:
- Which area is the biggest opportunity?
- What should we solve first?
We will be better equipped to find our greatest opportunities and solve our challenges after we’ve learned and practiced the skill sets we need under the guidance of a coach.
How Ninety Helps
Working with a coach will help to get our entire team on the same page with where the organization is going and how we’re going to get there.
Ninety assists with coaching a company to greatness by providing a central location for core processes and a complete set of simple, practical tools that help us recognize more opportunities, establish clear accountability and get more of what we want from our companies.
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