In the world of athletics, good coaches have the tactical knowledge to teach needed skills and the ability to motivate the players and the team. They help athletes develop to their full potential. The role of the sports coach is to “enable the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours”. Coaches analyze an athlete’s performance and instruct their players in relevant skills.
Coaching is now Mainstream in Business
Executive coaching has grown into an industry with an estimated $1.5 billion in annual revenue and more than 20,000 dues-paying members of the International Coach Federation. Surveys indicate that most of the biggest companies now use coaches. Ten years ago, most companies engaged a coach to help fix toxic behavior at the top. Today, most business coaching is about developing the capabilities of high-potential performers.
Business coaches typically fall into one of several categories, they help professionals:
- Communicate better
- Improve their proficiency in a particular business area
- Negotiate better
- Address their personal weaknesses
- Find and support their strengths
Winning athletic coaches are carefully chosen based on their technical understanding of the sport so that they can provide the training and support needed. This is just as applicable to business leaders and professionals. The purpose of engaging a business coach is to enable you or a team member to perform better. When business leaders perform better, their organizations tend to improve as well. Highly effective organizations demonstrate superior market performance compared to their less effective peers.
How Coaching Improves Market Success
To realize superior market performance your Marketing organization must operate at the top of their game. The customer journey process, the proliferation of channels, data and technology, and the speed of business requires your marketers to add and hone skills more often than some of their peers. Securing coaches for your marketers and your Marketing organization is a worthwhile investment.
A Bain study identified that five critical areas enable higher performance: leadership, decision making and structure, people, work processes and systems, and culture. These capabilities are applicable to Marketing organizations that want to create and deliver value. Almost every Marketer, perhaps every person, needs help at some time in one of these areas if they are going to move the needle for your organization. Here’s how these five areas apply to the doing and running of Marketing.
To help your organization’s achieve success, your marketers must be able to align the work of Marketing with the business and build a strong team that can do more than tackle today’s activities. They need to support the business outcomes and long-term strategy and translate the outcomes into a set of explicit and quantifiable objectives and corresponding programs. Your Marketing leaders need to be able to coordinate and collaborate across the organization. This means they need to be able to attract the right people for the right roles and establish well-defined work processes. A marketing performance management culture must rest on a solid foundation of processes and systems.
How well does your Marketing organization stack up when it comes to serving as a value creator?
How to Best Determine Where to Focus Coaching Efforts
Assess and benchmark your Marketing organization. Use the information to decide how you can best enable your Marketing team to excel. Sustaining long-term performance is a challenge even for the most talented people.
If you are interested in making sure you’re Marketing leaders stay focused on the big picture and have the inside track on best practices, then secure a coach. As you consider candidates keep in mind their tenure in the focus area, experience in the same or similar industry, proven results, ready-made processes and templates (which reduce costs), experience in change management as well as their technical expertise. Coaches with these capabilities are more likely able to provide the training and support needed to make your investment pay-off.