So, You Want to Build a Coaching Culture - Building Block 2: Gathering stakeholders to create a multi-phase plan

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September 18, 2017 | Lexy Thompson | HCI

After learning who to assess, and how to assess, the potential impact of a coaching model that supports the business, as discussed in Building Block 1, managers must take another step: uncover the best way to create the infrastructure to roll out the coaching program, including how to gather the right stakeholders and communicate the plan.

Stakeholders: Identification and Enlistment

Stakeholders are the leaders who are the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the coaching program. They will help with influencing and enlisting those within their reach, and they’ll set the appropriate metrics to measure the program’s success.

As assessment of the coaching model is the first step in identifying potential stakeholders, some key stakeholders will simply shine due to their alignment with the business goals toward which the coaching program is aimed.

Other leaders can and may step in as stakeholders for various reasons; some of the most common are demonstrated coaching competencies, mentor program integration and stretch assignments for emerging leaders.

Some key things to keep in mind when confirming your stakeholder lineup are:

  • Create room for stakeholders to execute their additional responsibilities
  • Enable stakeholders to remove barriers as they show up
  • Avoid appointing anyone who is not performing or exceeding expectations in their current role 

The investment in a coaching program is a long-running game, so it’s important to ensure long-term alignment with the stakeholders. Creating an onboarding and offboarding process for all stakeholders will be imperative to that leader in enlisting their team and managing the metrics put in place.

Multi-phase Coaching Infrastructure:

  • Coaching Philosophy: Framework
  • Coaching Strategy: Assessment
  • Coaching Infrastructure: Stakeholders/Roles and Responsibilities/Communication Timeline

- Stakeholders:

  • Executive – organizational champion
  • Operations senior management – steering committee
  • Front line – community of practice

- Roles and responsibilities:

  • Define roles and responsibilities and communicate them to all impacted team members.

- Establish a cascading communication plan:

  • Executive sponsor communication to appropriate audience, explaining the “why” of the coaching program
  • Stakeholders echo the executive “why” and add the “how” and WIFM to the team enlisted in the coaching process.

(Note:  communication plan should be executed in several different ways, both written and spoken. Transparency is key.)

- Deploy the chosen coaching model according to a timeline that allows for the business outcomes to be realized.

- Perform intermittent pulse checks throughout the process to ensure it is aligned to metrics (Building Block 3) to allow for adjustments as needed. 

A powerful coaching program will be an accelerator of building talent and realizing robust success measures.