How Coaching Leaders Enhance the Effectiveness of Transformations

When an organisation embarks on a transformation, what is its ultimate goal? And how does this differ from the previous restructuring process?

Yesterday’s restructuring efforts primarily focused on lowering costs, improving efficiency, and occasionally increasing productivity. Work processes were modified with the aim of minimising time and effort wastage.

Transformations involve creating a sustainable future that incorporates flexibility to effectively respond to unexpected circumstances.

This means:

  • In various organisational structures, there are not fewer job positions, but rather a multitude of distinct roles that are interconnected in unique ways.
  • More than just improving methods of connecting with customers, it involves transforming the entire customer journey.
  • Making faster decisions and being willing to accept a certain level of uncertainty.
  • Modifying the agreement between employees or staff and the organisation to acknowledge that a significant portion of life unfolds within the workplace.

Additionally, it is crucial to construct businesses that can adapt to future changes, possess flexibility, and potentially be self-governing in order to address the intricacies of tomorrow. While our understanding of tomorrow is limited, the one thing we can be certain of is the rapid acceleration of change.

In order to facilitate transformation, it is necessary for the leaders themselves to undergo a change. To effectively support transformative change, leadership must establish self-evaluating processes that are adaptable to changes in the surrounding circumstances. Decision-making should be decentralised, and the ability to sense and respond to a change in real time becomes crucial. This will require a system of internal perception based on understanding and evaluating changes. The traditional approach of top-down, authoritative leadership is insufficient in achieving this.

An effective leadership style that is both influential and adaptable is necessary. It should possess sufficient decentralised power and authority to cater to the rapidly changing demands of customers. Additionally, leaders should foster operational flexibility and foster collaborative relationships throughout their ecosystems to promptly address unforeseen challenges, such as supply chain disruptions.

Unveiling the Concept of “Leader as Coach”

The suggestion is that “the work of coaching” has a significant systemic effect by offering a fresh leadership option. Leaders who adopt a coaching approach are in a favorable position to facilitate changes.

Utilising a coaching approach brings forth numerous advantages in various significant aspects.

  • It enables the process of change and flexibility. This arises from a mixture of intensified questioning and attentive listening.
  • The primary emphasis lies on the acquisition of the “Learning how to learn” skill, which is crucial for maintaining resilience and adaptability. Exceptional coaches who have passed team coaching ICF competencies prioritise the development of this meta-skill, which encompasses learning strategies, over solely providing immediate problem-solving solutions.
  • A leader who embraces a coaching approach has the ability to empower and free up the decision-making process for others. This is achieved not only through delegating responsibility but also by fostering self-authorship.
  • Change becomes more manageable when there is an increase in both personal and systemic awareness, leading to the discovery of new perspectives. A coaching approach emphasises the importance of introducing fresh systemic viewpoints.
  • Without sufficient dedication at all levels of the organisation, transformations will not be successful. Coaching promotes self-motivation instead of imposing conformity on others.
  • In order for small groups or teams to achieve remarkable results, it is crucial that they are given the resources and support needed for success, without being hindered by fear and internal conflicts. Establishing trust and fostering a sense of psychological safety among diverse teams is fundamental to effective coaching.

A coaching approach not only aligns with authentic leadership, servant leadership, and adaptive leadership but also extends beyond them. It encompasses all of these styles and, furthermore, fosters the ability to continuously evolve and adapt. By incorporating essential coaching skills, leaders can facilitate a transformation for both themselves and the organisation, paving the way for long-term success.