- Can you name and identify specific Coaching or L&D activities that develop your peoples’ abilities to directly and positively impact their results?
- Do you invest solely in L&D or Coaching activities that demonstrate a clear and positive ROI to the performance of managers and their teams – or do your people adopt a sheep dip approach where some stuff works and sticks, and other stuff does not - but you are not sure which works?
- Do you persist in L&D activity that has no known relationship to improved performance of your people in your business?
If Output does not exceed Input, why do it?
Much of what I do falls within my unorthodox way to facilitate tangible, measured organisational and personal learning that generates results. – that is, supporting managers and their teams to take 100% ownership and commit to practising and perfecting new behaviours by ‘doing’ things (rather than just knowing more) that cause significant improvement?
What is important is that improvement should be a ‘continuous’ and measured journey of 'practising' and 'doing' things which pitch organisational performance beyond the competition and provide value for money to stakeholders and shareholders alike.
The Knowing – Doing Gap
My belief is that the average organisation does not activate, energise and motivate their people to start ‘doing’ more and raising their profile and performance. My experience is that far too much ‘run of the mill’ traditional L&D Coaching resides in people ‘knowing more’ – but not actually actively experimenting and performing at the higher level.
I take a strong point from change guru and acclaimed author Robert Quinn, that much deeper learning comes from ‘doing’ and ‘actively experimenting and being held to account’ than the common orthodoxy from passive reflection and group discussion.
Stretch beyond Your Comfort Zone
From personal interventions, I am also led to believe that people learn much more by stretching beyond their current comfort zones and actively and fearlessly ‘going for it’. If I had a large company I would want my staff to stretch and challenge more than offered by the orthodox route of attending routine, non-challenging training seminars and lacklustre and safe 1:1 or group coaching.
ROI on traditional Coaching and L&D
This next few bullet points may interest people who actually care and are responsible for performance…….
- If you cannot prove a direct relationship between L&D activity and Coaching and relate this to bottom-line results, - you may have a big problem.
- If you cannot trace the ‘golden thread’ connections between strategic vision, Coaching and L&D to actual behaviour change, you might want to explore new opportunities.
- If you want to reject the ‘lazy route’ of choosing the 'easy option' of traditional coaching for real organisational learning through personal transformation, you will soon yield the results you need to take you to the higher level of performance
- If you want to know which behaviours enhance learning and performance, email me to discuss things further or request my published article on the ROI of Coaching
And know that Nothing Changes until behaviour Changes. This simple truth has always guided my business advisory work. Stop doing what does not work and start doing what does. It’s as simple as that. And I am a great believer that we do learn more from failure than from great success.
I would be interested in your views and hope this short piece enlivens the debate over what works in organisational change work as opposed to that which consumes resource and time, but contributes little.
Email Philip Atkinson