There are a lot of things HR managers should consider — including how to pick a coach for a “nightmare” scenario.
Professional coaching, once a sign of a struggling leader, is now considered a positive development tool designed to tackle the stresses of managing a business in a complex global economy. It has also grown into a lucrative industry — the most recent figures, as shown in a new study by the International Coach Federation, has global revenue for the profession at nearly $2 billion.
Picking an executive coach, however, isn’t simple. Just as recruiting a high-ranking executive is a tedious process, selecting a good coach for one requires an equal amount of diligence on the part of stakeholders.
First, the selection group — usually a team of HR managers and other stakeholders, perhaps a CEO or other executive — must determine what kind of situation the coaching calls for. George Bradt, founder and managing director of executive on-boarding firm PrimeGenesis, envisions each possible coaching situation as a four-by-four matrix where “personal transformation” resides on the horizontal axis and “organizational transformation” on the vertical (Figure 1).
The situation on each axis is either going to be “simple” or “complex,” and the selection team needs to know the exact situation before they begin examining potential coaching candidates. “There are a lot of different [types] of coaches, and different coaches are appropriate for different situations,” Bradt said.
For instance, say the organizational transformation is simple — business is chugging along just fine — but the executive transformation is complex — an executive is being promoted into a stretch role, and coaching is required to ensure that his or her development into that role goes smoothly.
In another situation, the organizational transformation might be complex — a firm is going through a rough patch; maybe it is restructuring — but the personal transformation is simple — a moderate transition accelerator coach is needed to help a standing executive through the process.