Coaching & ROI
Case Study on the Return on Investment
of Executive Coaching
Merrill C. Anderson, Ph.D.
November 2, 2001
This executive briefing was excerpted from the final report of the study conducted at a Fortune 500
firm and is intended for the private use of MetrixGlobal clients and professional associates. Please
contact Merrill Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515 278-0051, for additional information.
The Bottom Line: Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits
to the business. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to
788%. The study provided powerful new insights into how to maximize the business impact from
A Fortune 500 firm launched an innovative leadership development effort that was expected to
accelerate the development of next generation leaders. The participants in this effort were drawn
mostly from the ranks of middle managers and from many different business units and functional areas.
Leadership development activities included group mentoring, individual assessments and development
planning, a leadership workshop and work on strategic business projects.
Coaching was considered to be a key enabler for this approach to leadership development because the
participants could work privately and individually with his or her coach to develop specific leadership
competencies. The client organization engaged the Pyramid Resource Group to provide coaching to the
leadership development participants. While participants spoke very highly of their experience with
coaching it was decided to conduct a formal assessment of the effectiveness and business impact of
coaching. It is intended that the results from this study be used to determine:
1. How did coaching add value to the business and what was the return on investment?
2. How could coaching be best leveraged in the future, especially if coaching was to be
expanded to other business regions?
Data Collection Procedures
It was decided that the best way to isolate and capture the effects of coaching on the business was
through a questionnaire. This questionnaire had two parts. Part one was completed electronically via
email and examined clients initial reaction to coaching, what they learned, how they applied what they
learned and captured their initial assessment of business impact. Part two was conducted over the
telephone with each respondent and probed more deeply into business impact and the financial return
The target population for the survey was 43 leadership development participants. These participants
were drawn from two regions: Eastern United States (37) and Mexico (6). These participants
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represented a cross section of the business and included those in sales, operations, technology, finance
and marketing. All had been identified as potential leaders and executives. Thirty (30) of 43 leadership
development participants returned their surveys for a 70% response rate.
Coaching was a very effective developmental tool for the leadership development participants,
producing financial and intangible benefits for the business. Coaching sessions were rich learning
environments that enabled the learning to be applied to a variety of business situations. Decision-
making, team performance and the motivation of others were enhanced. Many of these business
applications contributed annualized financial benefits. Other applications created significant intangible
benefits. Overall, the participants appreciated their coaching experiences and would highly recommend
coaching to others.
Three-quarters (77%) of the 30 respondents indicated that coaching had significant or very significant
impact on at least one of nine business measures. In-depth discussions were conducted over the
telephone with each respondent to further explore the business impact of coaching. Sixty percent of
the respondents were able to identify specific financial benefits that came as a result of their coaching.
Overall, productivity (60% favorable) and employee satisfaction (53%) were cited as the most
significantly impacted by the coaching. Respondents defined productivity in this context as relating to
their personal or to their work group productivity and half (50%) documented annualized financial
benefits. Employee satisfaction was viewed both in terms of the respondents being personally more
satisfied as a result of the coaching as well as the being able to increase the employee satisfaction of
their team members. The respondents could not quantify this benefit in financial terms. Employee
satisfaction, then, was a significant source of intangible benefits. Customer satisfaction (53%) was also a
significant source of intangible benefits.
The next most frequently cited as being significantly impacted by coaching were work output (30%) and
work quality (40%). Twenty percent of the respondents identified financial benefits as a result of
increased work output. Many respondents reported improvements in work quality, however, they were
not able to quantify these improvements in terms of dollar benefits. Work quality improvements were
considered an intangible benefit of the coaching.
Program costs were tabulated for all 43 leadership development participants in determining the return
on investment. Overall, the coaching process produced a 788% return on investment. Given the client
company’s downsizing activities and the general state of the telecommunications industry, the client
was reticent to fully factor in the financial benefits from retention. Excluding the benefits from
employee retention, a 529% return on investment was produced. While those clients who had
customer or people responsibilities produced proportionally greater financial benefits, the realization of
benefits to the business was fairly widespread throughout the group involved in this study.
Recommendations were made to maximize the business benefits from executive coaching:
• Manage the entire coaching process to ensure consistency and quality. Though the
content of individual coaching sessions should always be confidential, the coaching
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process itself needs to be managed to ensure that the coaching clients and the coaches
are following the appropriate process and leveraging best practices.
• Prepare clients in advance for coaching and don't force coaching on anyone. Because
coaching remains a relatively new development technique, people may not understand
how the coaching process can help them become better business professionals. The
sooner they understand the process, the sooner they will see results.
• Offer clients the ability to select their coaches. Chemistry is important to build an
effective coaching relationship. Provide prospective coaching clients with information
about the coaches including biographies, education, coaching credentials, functional
expertise, industry experience and other background information.
• Provide coaching strong organizational support. Those being coached should receive
encouragement and support from their immediate managers. Also, coaching should be
conducted in the context of other developmental efforts such as competency
development, assessments, mentoring and leadership workshops.
• Ensure coaches are grounded in the company’s business and culture. Coaches are more
effective when they can identify with and talk about the realities of their client's
• Allow each coaching relationship to follow its own path. A major difference between
coaching and training is that coaching allows the individual to determine what works
best for him or her at a very personal level. Coaches need wide latitude to work with
“the whole person” and help each client be more effective as a person as well as to be
more effective as a business leader.
• Build performance measurement into the coaching process. Evaluation of coaching
should be designed into the process from the beginning to better set performance
expectations and open up new learning opportunities for making coaching more
effective while the coaching is being conducted. For example, coaching can be
refocused to deal with issues or to ensure that business priorities will be met. In this
way, the evaluation of coaching becomes more than just a measuring stick – it becomes
a structured approach to deepen the business value of coaching.
About MetrixGlobal, LLC
MetrixGlobal LLC is a professional services firm specializing in performance measurement solutions that
increase accountability for bottom-line business results. Whether it’s developing a scorecard for a
corporate university, determining return on investment for a human resources program or conducting a
business impact study on an organization change initiative, MetrixGlobal consultants partner with
clients to create powerful measurement methodology. Please visit our web site, www.metrixglobal.net
to learn more about us
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Hey, Coach How'm I Doin'?
Dec 1, 2003 12:00 PM , VICTORIA JAMES CONNIE LaMOTTA
It takes good players to make a winning football team: reliable quarterbacks, sure-handed receivers,
quick defensive players and steady kickers. But some argue that all that talent isn't enough; it's the
coach who pulls it all together. The coach understands each player's shortcomings and inspires them
to do their best.
But coaches aren't just for athletes anymore.
“A coach may be the guardian angel you need to rev up your career,” says Money magazine. Industry
Week enthuses, “The benefits of coaching appear to win over even the most cynical clients within
just a few weeks.”
Years ago, coaches were brought into an organization to help a “problem” manager improve
performance. In the late 1990s, it became a perk for senior managers. Today, coaching is for all levels
of employees in the workplace and for achieving other life goals.
Coaching is often described as a collaborative effort or partnership that builds skills and capacities for
effective working relationships.
There are many types of coaching experiences, as noted by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)
in Greensboro, NC:
• Executive coaches work with the leaders of an organization. Last year Fortune magazine published
an article titled “Executive Coaching — With Returns a CFO Could Love.” The piece noted that,
“asked for a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from the coaching they got, these
managers described an average return of more than $100,000, or about six times what the
coaching had cost their company.” Executive coaching is generally paid for by the organization
and is frequently offered to the CEO and senior management team.
• Business coaches work with managers on a specific developmental goal. They are used, for
example, when managers are faced with a significant increase in the scope of their responsibility
or if traditional managers want to move to a less dominant, direct leadership style. John Russell,
managing director of Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd., says: “I never cease to be amazed at the power
of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an
individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable.”
Business coaching is either done by an internal team or by an external group. Each has its benefits
and drawbacks. Generally, internal coaches have a better understanding of the specific culture
and the organization, according to Lynne DeLay, CCL's manager in Europe. The downside is that
the internal coach sometimes has blind spots. “Coaches hired from outside the organization have
the advantage of offering an external perspective. They can sometimes be more useful in…
challenging the status quo,” DeLay remarked in CCL's e-newsletter.
• Career coaches help with such issues as business acumen, leadership and organizational abilities,
social and communication skills, analytical and innovative thinking capacities, career guidance,
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developing executive presence, corporate networking support, work/home balance and
A.R., a senior software engineer, says about her coaching experience, “Back in January I had no
idea where I was going with my career and my outlook was pretty bleak. I felt like I had awakened
and found myself somewhere I didn't want to be. My coach helped me look at these issues in a
systematic way. When I wasn't sure what direction to start in, she gave me many options and
asked me questions until the direction became clear. This process broke me out of my old habits
and made me grow. My coach helped me empower myself.” She is now in a new job consistent
with her inner vision for herself.
• Life coaches assist with relationship issues involving family, friends and significant others, or with
physical and wellness issues, self-confidence and self-esteem, communication skills, intended
achievements or financial guidance. Life coaching helps people get from where they are in their
life to where they want to be. It is the life coach's job to motivate people to achieve their desires
by breaking down the barriers they tend to impose on themselves.
Mary Anne Fisher, principal of executive coaching consultancy Strategies for Life and Work, asks
probing questions designed to draw out answers the clients are unaware they already have, and to
bring new possibilities to light.
In a study by the International Coach Federation, the following outcomes attributed to coaching were
reported by more than 200 coaching clients: a higher level of self-awareness, smarter goal-setting, a
more balanced life, lower stress levels, self-discovery, more self-confidence, improvement in quality
of life, enhanced communication skills, project completion, health or fitness improvement, better
relationship with others, increased energy, more fun, more income and more free time.
How do you make the decision about whether a coach is for you? All the typical coaching materials
caution you to recognize that coaching doesn't deal with counseling or therapy. Coaching deals with
the here and now and is oriented toward your future achievements, whereas therapy tends to deal
with the past and its barriers to creating a satisfying present.
Here are some questions that indicate it may be time to search for a coach:
• Are you looking to change your life?
• Are you interested in more satisfying communication with others?
• Are you ready to move from thinking about problems to taking positive action toward solutions?
• Do you want increased fulfillment and have a desire to understand the meaning of your life?
• Would you like to gain better clarity and focus about what you want to achieve?
• Did you ever wish you could shift from reacting to events to being proactive?
• Would you like to set your priorities and get some support in maintaining them so that you have
time to nurture yourself and others you care for?
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If so, it's time to ask yourself if you're in the game or just on the sidelines. And a coach might be just
the ticket to help you set up that big touchdown.
By Victoria James with Connie LaMotta
Victoria James is president of Victoria James Executive Search Inc., Stamford, CT.
Connie LaMotta is president of Workplace Strategies Associates, Upper Nyack, NY.
The Coaching Wave: Are You in the Game?
Coaching for personal and executive growth, not the athletic variety, has generated
substantial momentum in the last five years as a major force in human development. The HR
profession, with some notable exceptions, is often not actively involved and may be missing a
major new trend.
For most people, the word “coaching” evokes images of sports teams and middle-aged men
screaming from the sidelines. However, coaching in the corporate setting, where a professional
coach provides one-on-one assistance to help a manager or executive achieve business and
personal goals, is becoming an increasingly important management tool. As evidence that
coaching is coming of age in the corporate setting, Fortune magazine devoted seven pages to
the topic in its February 21, 2000, issue; and Corporate Coach U International, Inc., drew
representatives from many well-known companies to its first conference for employers and
coaches in March 2000. In addition, the International Coaches Federation (ICF), the two-year
old nonprofit professional association for coaches, estimates that the number of people
entering the field has doubled each of the past three years. Currently, the ICF has
approximately 2,400 members and estimates there are well over 10,000 full- and part-time
The picture that emerges, however, is that top executives and operating managers usually are
the ones taking the initiative to find their own coaches. In many organizations using coaches,
HR is often being left out of the loop when it should be a natural advocate and strategic
partner. As an HR practitioner, therefore, you need to understand the issues and the driving
forces behind the coaching trend so that you won’t be left out of the decision making.
What is Coaching?
Coaching can be defined and practiced in many different ways. It is not consulting or therapy,
but many coaches are consultants or industrial psychologists. HR Matters contributing editor,
Lanny Blake, an HR consultant and executive coach, describes coaching as “guided self-
discovery.” In most cases, a coach collaborates with an individual client in a custom program to
help the client develop to full potential, both professionally and personally. According to the
ICF, most coaches work with clients to develop their natural strengths and often focus on
achieving goals related to business, career, finance, health, and relationships. For example, an
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executive may engage a coach to help master new job responsibilities or to facilitate an internal
A coaching program normally identifies values and strengths, goals, changes needed, priorities,
and action steps, and then provides continuing guidance and follow-up to direct progress and
celebrate milestones. In the corporate setting, coaching generally relates to accomplishing
organizational goals but also naturally involves personal issues as part of the process. For
example, a manager who wants to become better at setting goals and motivating employees
may first have to learn to become more assertive and communicate better.
There are two types of corporate coaching: external, which involves the use of outside
practitioners, and internal, which involves the use of specially trained in-house staff. Whether
external or internal, it is normally conducted in a one-to-one, customized fashion, but can be
tailored to groups. Telephone sessions are the normal mode for service delivery of external
coaching, although face-to-face meetings may be used in high-level executive coaching,
particularly in the initial stages. The length of a coaching assignment varies from a few months
to eighteen months and longer. Coaching sessions generally range from half an hour a week to
an hour or two at varying intervals.
Coaching, like any personal service, is not inexpensive. Fees for external coaching in the
noncorporate setting are in the $200 to $400 range per month. Fees for outside corporate
coaches are more likely to be at least $1,000 per month and can range substantially higher,
depending on the coach’s expertise and the client’s position and needs.
Why Coaching Now?
The coaching phenomenon appears to have strong forces propelling the need for its services.
The strongest force is the rapid and accelerating rate of change occurring in most people’s
business and personal lives. The industrial economy of the last century, which focused on the
production of tangible goods, has been replaced by the new “knowledge economy,” which
emphasizes learning, creativity, collaboration, and flexibility - skills that most workers are not
taught. In addition, new technology (like the Internet) is forcing companies to rethink their
business strategies and is also allowing, and even requiring, workers to be available 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. As a result, traditional business relationships and “comfort zones” are being
disrupted with the result that symptoms of stress, burnout, and imbalance are rampant not
only in the workplace, but also in employees’ personal lives. All of these forces place
tremendous pressures on workers at every level to establish focus, clarity, and balance in order
to function and grow. Coaching has proven to be a powerful tool to achieve these ends, for
both the individual and employer, because it teaches people to identify their strengths, to set
goals and achieve them, to be flexible, and to be self-reliant.
Why HR Is Not a Player, but Should Be
To date, most of the use of coaches in the corporate arena has involved external coaches.
Typically, a top executive or manager recognizes a personal need to accelerate change or
growth and contracts directly with an external coach to facilitate the process. Unfortunately,
HR often is left out of this loop because it is viewed primarily as an administrative function or,
worse, as one that will complicate the process. In fact, the Fortune article describes coaching as
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“one of the hottest things in human resources, except that it doesn’t usually come out of
human resources.” As a result of this perception, HR may be missing an opportunity to become
a strategic partner. There is a growing need in organizations that embrace coaching to unify the
process, coordinate and monitor performance standards (credentials, outcome measurements,
feedback, etc.), and control costs. In other words, HR has an opportunity to exert strategic
leadership and be proactive as a champion of coaching as a developmental tool.
Once HR chooses to become a partner in corporate coaching, there are still several hurdles to
overcome to successfully implement the program. First, as one internal coach at a large
pharmaceutical company aptly put it, for any coaching program to work, the coach’s stature
and credibility must be impeccable and the coach must be free from internal politics and
economic pressure. This standard is difficult for an external coach to meet but is even tougher
for an internal one, especially if the client to be coached is in a senior position in the
organization. Second, confidentiality is critical to any coaching relationship, and HR’s ability to
maintain it may legitimately be suspect because of its role in employment decisions. Therefore,
HR has a major challenge in building a wall between its employment role and the coaching
function. Finally, a good coach must be able and willing to identify “blind spots,” make
unpopular recommendations, and resist the temptation to be politically correct.
HR Should Take a Stand to Get Involved
The coaching trend and the driving forces behind it appear to have sustaining power.
T9ikherefore, HR professionals need to assess whether coaching should have a role in their
organizations. A first step is to take inventory and see if any top executives or operating
managers currently are using coaches or feel there is a need. The next step is to access the
growing body of information available on coaching. The Internet is a rich source for this, and
your first stop ought to be the International Coach Federation Web site (see “For additional
information on Coaching,” below). As you assess the applicability of coaching for your own
organization, weigh carefully the issues raised above and the relative roles and merits of
external and internal coaching. To this add a final observation: Most coaches seem to radiate
an almost evangelical commitment and passion for helping people develop their full potential.
This kind of enthusiasm and energy is a scarce resource in today’s environment and one you
should consider embracing.
For additional information on Coaching:
Corporate Coach U International, P.O. Box 881595, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488-1595;
888-391-2740; and Web site, www.ccui.com.
International Coach Federation, 1444 I Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005;
888-423-3131. Its Web site, www.coachfederation.com, includes a referral listing for coach
members and lists thirteen coach training schools. The organization also has developed a
professional accreditation program.
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Management Training and Executive Coaching: A High Return on Investment (ROI) Combination
An original Firstbiz article
by Joseph Eng
One of the most widely held notions in business is the value of management training. Every dollar
invested in management training should yield a healthy return on investment. Sadly, this has not
been the case for many companies large and small. A more common experience has been little or
nothing to show for the $2500-$5000 invested to train just one manager. Often all that remains is an
impressive looking binder of materials and the memory of all the work that stacked up during
Why? With the wealth of seminars with name speakers you wonder why so many great ideas never
become a reality in Corporate America. Seminars often provide great sources for excellent ideas,
materials, and enthusiasm. However, they do not produce the two things most needed for on-the-job
o Tailoring ideas to the organization's culture, processes, and people
o Providing on-going mentoring to make new behaviors a way of life.
A better way?
Yes there is.
Management training combined with the emerging practice of Executive Coaching delivers
impressive bottom-line results.
A recent survey measuring Return on Investment (ROI) of 100 managers and executives of Fortune
1000 companies who received customized Executive Coaching found Coaching returned an average
of six times its cost. Among specific benefits from Coaching include improvement in:
o Leadership effectiveness
o Bottom-line profitability
o Organizational strength
o Top-line sales
o Retaining executives who receive coaching
o Cost reductions
o Quality of products and service
o Overall Productivity
Among benefits to Coached managers and executives are improved:
o Leadership skills
o Conflict resolution techniques
o Working relationships with employees
o Job satisfaction
o Work and life balance
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o Working relationships with peers
o Time management
o Organizational commitment
o Relationships with clients
A recent study cited in the prestigious Public Personnel Management Journal found a typical
management training program increased a manager's productivity a respectable 22%, but when
combined with 8- weeks of intensive Executive Coaching, the manager's productivity exploded to
more than 85%!
Coaching works, but it does take time, energy and a personal investment by the Coached individual.
What exactly is Executive Coaching?
The field of Coaching is relatively new. It finds its roots in diverse fields such as: business
management, human resources, organization development, sports psychology, peak performance
training, adult learning, and clinical psychology.
According to the National Association of Business Coaches, Coaching is a relationship between the
Coach and a willing individual inside or outside of an organization. That relationship is built on
respect, safety, challenge and accountability. Its purpose is to motivate the Coached individual to be
"his/her absolute best and to achieve extraordinary results in performance and in living." (from the
NABC Registered Internal Corporate Coach Manual™)
Small Business Coaches generally work with entrepreneurs, small business owners and their
management teams in developing a vision and building a more profitable and efficient business.
Midsize Business Coaches work with executives, managers, and owners of companies who have
grown to a point where stronger leadership focus is needed as the company struggles to overcome
normal growth challenges.
Corporate Coaches often work within larger organizations to increase manager and executive
productivity, strengthen leadership abilities and achieve peak performance.
Executive Coaches usually specialize in working with mid- to upper- level executives and owners of
companies who desire to accomplish corporate or personal goals more effectively and efficiently.
What kind of professionals
typically use executive coaching?
All kinds--from front line managers to top executives; from home business owners to doctors and
lawyers. Coaches can be effective in all the major industries including: financial services, technology,
manufacturing, publishing, airlines, consulting, hospitality, professional services, hospitals, oil, and
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Why do individuals and
companies work with coaches?
There are a wide variety of reasons why individuals and companies work with coaches. Coaching can
help an individual:
o Better focus on vision, mission and personal integrity
o Eliminate the blocks that constrain peak performance
o Clearly define vision and strategy to effectively achieve goals
o Improve leadership skills
o Live life with purpose, passion and integrity
o Maximize strengths and abilities
o Learn to make more money with less effort
o Cope with conflict in a healthy and beneficial way
o Create a business that complements and enhances one's quality of life
o Rapidly accelerates career growth
o Achieve a dynamic balance between one's personal and professional life
o Focus energy in the right direction
o Feel confident in making the right decisions for self, business and family
o Create sustainable change in one's life and work
How does it actually work?
How does a Coach do this? A client interacts with his/her Coach once a week on the phone or in
person. The vast majority of clients enjoy the convenience of phone-coaching sessions. Clients bring
an agenda into each session, and their Coach helps them examine their issues and helps them create
a plan to reach goal-oriented solutions. Since Coaches have ongoing personal contact with their
client, they are capable of helping them continually set higher standards.
What should you look for when choosing a coach?
Chemistry. There must be a good chemistry between client and Coach. It also is important to find a
coach one trusts and respects and who has a successful track record. For those who are combining
management training with Coaching, the Coach needs strong management development skills. Often
actual management experience is desirable.
How much does it cost to work with an Executive Coach?
Many Coaches offer a "test drive" before requiring a commitment. Monthly fees for executive
Coaching range from $1,000 to $3,000 for a weekly coaching session. While Coaching generally takes
place either in person or over the phone, some Coaches use fax, email, and even chat rooms to
accommodate schedules of busy executives. Practitioners report that in dealing with out of state
clients they often find no decrease in effectiveness using electronic versus face- to-face
communications. New technology now makes voice and image coaching possible via computers with
small digital cameras.
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How long is the typical coaching engagement?
The initial phase of a Coaching relationship usually lasts at least 3 months. Meeting on a weekly basis
this gives 12-13 opportunities to interact and accomplish meaningful goals. A biweekly schedule
translates into a six-month engagement. Some Coaching firms report the majority of clients work
with them weekly for an average of 6-8 months, Some engagements last as long as two years.
How is coaching different from consulting or counseling?
Coaching has become a very hot topic in the last 3-5 years. Now it seems like everyone is calling
themselves a "Coach." Good Coaches, however, understand the differences between coaching,
consulting and counseling.
Most counseling is centered on healing mental and psychological issues. Generally the patient comes
into the counseling center or hospital to be treated for his/her "problem." The psychologist or
therapist generally diagnoses the patient and prescribes a treatment plan. In Coaching there is no
diagnosis; no "doctor-patient" relationship. The coaching relationship is founded upon the belief that
Coaching is a partnership of equals. A coach does not prescribe a treatment plan, Instead, client and
Coach develop a plan together. The solution as defined in Coaching comes not from delving into the
past but focusing on the future. Great Coaching helps one maximize strengths while developing
Most consulting relationships are also based on the "expert-student" model. The consultant is the
expert. The client is the student. Consulting is generally all about having the right answers. Coaching
is all about asking the right questions. In Coaching, the Coach is not viewed so much as the expert,
but as a partner. The Client is the expert on his/her life and business. The Coach will focus on learning
about the client and will solve problems more effectively and efficiently by asking the right questions.
How to Lay the Foundation for a Successful Coaching Experience
Since ROI (Return on Investment) is an important consideration to justify an investment in time and
money for Coaching, it's best to begin by defining clear business goals to improve profitability. Such
goals might include: renegotiating better terms with vendors; improving cash flow by improving
accounts receivable collection rates; increasing inventory turns; reducing scrap, or improving first-run
quality. Often there are many such "low hanging fruit" projects that were never started or never
finished. Accomplishing just a few of these goals during the coaching process provides ample return
on investment. Look for a return of at least 300% over 12 months.
In subsequent meetings develop realistic action plans to implement goals over a 3-6 month period.
Action plans should break the tasks into manageable two-week mini goals that are challenging but
Review progress with your Coach at each session. He/she is your accountability partner. This alone is
a powerful force for accomplishing goals. This process provides the time, opportunity and laboratory
environment to work through a variety of technical, organizational and people issues related to goal
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Making it Happen
Help yourself find the time to give to this effort. A key issue is time management. Effective time
management skills are essential to help you accomplish new tasks and focus your priorities. This is
where Coaching can provide the edge that often makes the difference between success and failure.
Focus on your passion. Look for ways to recognize and feel your growing success. Change is often
painful, frightening and confusing. Here is where you and your Coach work on personal growth skills
that define success.
At the end of a successful Coaching/ management training experience two positive outcomes occur:
o You will see a solid ROI as a result of accomplishing your goals.
o You will have grown in maturity and confidence in both management and life skills.
Winning the game
Companies hiring `coaches' for their executives
Baltimore Business Journal - June 30, 2000
by Adam Katz-Stone
As a rising star at Oracle Corp., Kim Smith needed help.
"I was a young consultant moving up in my career at a rapid pace, yet there is no book you can read that
really tells you what to do," she said. "I was looking for mentoring and coaching, both on the personal
side and primarily on the professional side."
In the world of executive coaching, Smith was the exception to the rule: a success who only wanted to
do things better. Executive coaches say the folks they see most often are those who ride the bumpy
"When someone is already successful, the companies generally will be less likely to spend the dollars on
added training, because they don't see the issue there," said Ellen Burke, senior vice president and
general manager with Lee Hecht Harrison in Columbia, which offers executive coaching in addition to a
range of other career services.
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Such coaching is becoming a popular tool for companies that are trying to help executives perform at a
"There's a huge gap between what managers have been taught and what they are being asked to do,"
said Alan Dobzinski, a principal with the Coach Development Group in Ellicott City. "Coaching is the most
guaranteed method we know ever devised to improve their productivity of their department or their
Dobzinski, who is affiliated with Coach U, (http://www.coachu.com), a national coaching network, said
companies are developing employees through either a one-on-one or group approach. He's doing work
for Pizza Hut, Johns Hopkins University and Marriott Corp.
He and other coaches say they see all types of issues pop up in management these days.
Coaches typically see the people who are having problems. These may be recently promoted supervisors
who need help adjusting to their new roles, Burke said, or they may be employees who "need to
develop more effective behaviors or resolve specific issues that may be interfering with their ability to
be successful managers."
Managers who are insensitive to gender or ethnicity issues, or whose leadership style frustrates or
disappoints subordinates and higher-ups -- these folks clearly need some help.
There are plenty of them out there, too. A 12-year study by the Hagberg Consulting Group in New York,
for instance, found that a quarter of executives at high-technology companies are ineffective managers
who lack the people skills to inspire and develop a cohesive team.
It's a circumstance Skip Pettit has seen repeatedly.
"An organization will have this valued employee who they have invested a lot of time and money in, and
they want to know is this person salvageable or if this person is just a lawsuit waiting to happen," he
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As president of the eight-year-old International Training Consortium in Rockville, Pettit oversees some
100 consultants and offers a range of coaching programs. He typically gets $1,500 a day for one-on-one
A former Army first sergeant, Pettit can sympathize with managers who have trouble wearing their
authority with grace and tact. In the military, "we would say jump and people will jump. But in the work
world today it is no longer, `You work for me, do what I say.' Now the question is: How can I help you be
successful so that we can be successful together?" he said.
Pettit's approach to these issues is essentially behavioral. His programs give people the resources to act
differently in everyday situations.
"A hammer is a wonderful tool. Nothing beats a nail better than a hammer. But if you go home tonight
and take a hammer to your VCR, you are going to have limited results," he explained. "You need to have
a number of tools in your toolkit, and we try to help get those new tools into people's hands."
Other executive coaches take a more systemic approach, working almost as therapists to help clients
examine and hopefully alter deep-rooted behavioral patterns.
A good example is Mickie Crimone, who has operated her one-woman shop The Leader's Edge in
Potomac for five years. Crimone is the coach who helped Kim Smith adjust to her changing role at Oracle
a few years back.
A psychiatric nurse by training, she said that workplace problems and domestic strife share much in
"To the degree that the person at the top is clear and visionary, that leads to success," she said. "That is
true whether you are talking about a parent or talking about a president."
Likewise, "corporations can get wedded to `we have always done it this way' in the same way families
get wedded to `we don't talk to Aunt Susie.'
In a corporation this mean it is always the sales division that has a problem, or always this other section
that cannot get the information that it needs."
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Crimone urges clients to first become aware of themselves and their surroundings. She teaches them to
step back and take an objective view of the corporate culture and of their own role within that system.
In this effort, she often sounds more like a couple's counselor than a corporate coach
"You can't control those around you, but you can control how you operate. You can change what you
do, and you can change your responses. The more you do that, the more you act from a mature thinking
stance, the better you will be able to function," she said.
In work as in life, she said, "you can keep the lungs breathing, you can keep the heart pumping, but you
really don't function unless the head is in charge."
Smith was turned off at first by this deeply personal approach, but in the end she became a believer.
"I had always been reticent to do that. I said business is business, and I keep my professional and
personal lives separate," said Smith, an Arlington, Va., resident who is presently on leave from Oracle
and pursuing personal interests.
By breaking down that wall and coming to view her work relationships as meaningful bonds, she found
herself able to function more effectively in the office.
"Your manager is a person just like you, and so are your peers," she said. "All the way up the chain,
people above you have not just organizational goals, but also personal goals, and getting to know those
people as people helps tremendously."
A note of caution: While executive coaching can help managers be more productive and organizations
more effective, one needs to beware of unintended consequences.
Burke for example gets $20,000 to $25,000 for a 12-month coaching commitment, and $12,000 to
$15,000 for a six-month program. (These consist of an average of two in-person meetings a month and
numerous phone calls.) She said that despite the weighty expense, there is no guarantee that the end
result will be an improved executive.
In fact, the program may result in no executive at all.
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"This is a major change process the person is going through, and when people go through this kind of
process, they may decide on their own to leave an organization," Burke said. "Sometimes when there is
a performance issue, for example, it is because that person is not a good match for that job. Companies
need to be aware of this possibility going in."
The ROI of Leadership Coaching: Three Key Insights for Value Creation
Leadership coaching has emerged in recent years as a popular—and powerful—way to develop
leadership skills. ROI studies conducted by MetrixGlobal, LLC, over the past four years clearly
demonstrate that leadership coaching consistently delivers business value. The ROIs have generally
been in the range of 500% to 700%. This being said, what have we really learned about how coaching
There are three key insights that we have drawn from the data:
1. Leaders who were coached developed according to a fundamental evolutionary process. We
describe this process in the book Coaching That Counts as a four-quadrant model. These quadrants
are described from the perspective of the leader, or client, being coached.
a. The first quadrant involves the client finding focus and creating the space to make change. Often
there is some proximate issue that the client feels must be addressed. Getting more organized to
focus on strategically important issues, and overcoming dysfunctional habits and behaviors are some
examples of first quadrant learning.
b. The second quadrant involves relationships. Building stronger partnerships or strengthening peer
relationships through more effective collaboration could be examples of Quadrant Two coaching
c. In the third quadrant, clients create alignment between intentions and actions. With the help of
the coach, they align who they are with what they do. The focus of the client’s outward actions is
increasingly strategic, as larger projects, such as managing change, are taken on.
d. The fourth quadrant is characterized by clients taking bold and original action to make positive
change in their organizations. This may include launching a new product line or restructuring a
2. As leaders transformed themselves, they created strategic value for the organization. We
examined how each leader took actions as a result of their coaching and the impact that these
actions had in the organization.
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a. 58% of those clients whose coaching experience was limited to working on the more tactical issues
in Quadrant One reported that their coaching significantly impacted the business. In contrast, 100%
of those whose coaching progressed to work on more strategic issues in Quadrant Four reported
making a significant impact on the business.
b. 70% of all monetary benefits attributed directly to the coaching leaders received came from those
leaders who worked on the more strategic issues in Quadrants Three and Four. The remaining 30% of
the monetary benefits came from those clients working on issues related to Quadrants One and Two.
c. In looking at the sources of benefits, clients in Quadrant One tended to cite personal productivity,
while clients in Quadrant Four cited examples such as increased net revenue from launching a new
From a strategic perspective, launching a new product line is far greater than gaining increases in
personal productivity. Leaders transform themselves as they progress through the four quadrants.
According to our research, their impact on the organization increases accordingly.
3. Insight—and deepening levels of insight—is the key enabler for transformational change.
Unfortunately, only 15% of all leaders progressed through all four quadrants. There were a variety of
reasons why the other 85% did not make it to Quadrant Four: the leader’s lack of will or
understanding that this level of transformational change was possible or desirable, lack of time or
budget to pursue coaching sufficiently, or the skill level of the coach.
However, the key enabler for the progressive development of the leader was insight, specifically, how
the coach and leader together created deeper and deeper levels of insight. The leader takes actions
based on new insights. The coach helps the leader explore the outcomes of these actions, which then
creates a new platform—and new questions—for even deeper insights to be created.
We have identified four levels of insight, each of which is associated with one of the four quadrants:
a. Reflective insight, Quadrant One, opens up the possibilities for change.
b. Emotional insight, Quadrant Two, comes from learning how to discern and decipher the emotional
context of situations.
c. Intuitive insight, Quadrant Three, affords the leader the opportunities to tap into their own
d. Inspirational insight, Quadrant Four, enables the leader to act with the faith and courage to
achieve major accomplishments.
The good news is that leaders and coaches can acquire both the insightful capabilities and the
understanding of how to achieve transformational change. The four-quadrant model suggests a
developmental process that leaders can utilize. Both coaches and leaders can employ the four levels
of insight to achieve transformational change. And, as our work clearly shows, this transformational
change will lead to strategic value for the organization.
What can coaches do to structure their coaching engagement and make their coaching count? Here
are some ideas:
1. Use the four quadrants as stepping stones to structure the coaching relationship. For example, be
sure that the client has done the appropriate work with finding focus (Quadrant One) before
exploring the emotional context of the client’s situation (Quadrant Two).
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2. Be sure to set objectives for coaching that relate to Quadrant Three. So often, we have observed
coaching relationships that set their sights too low (e.g., Quadrant One). Begin with Quadrant One or
Two objectives, however, at the appropriate point in the relationship, reset the objectives to dig
deeper into Quadrant Three issues.
3. Occasionally probe for specific examples of application and explore potential impact on the
business. When giving feedback to coaches on what their clients have accomplished, they are often
(pleasantly) surprised at how seemingly little ideas or suggested actions that came up during
coaching have had a huge impact on the organization. Coaches can explore with their clients the
business impact of their actions as part of the coaching process. In fact, we find that exploring
business impact is an important aspect of developing insights.
Merrill C. Anderson, PhD, is a business consulting executive, author and educator with more than 20
years of experience improving the performance of people and organizations. Dr. Anderson is
currently the chief executive officer of Cylient, a professional services firm that offers coaching-based
leadership development, change management and MetrixGlobal™ evaluation services. He has more
than 70 professional publications and speeches to his credit including his latest books Coaching That
Counts and Bottom-Line Organization Development. Dr. Anderson was recognized as the 2003 ASTD
ROI Practitioner of the Year, and his work with clients has been recognized as an international best
practice by numerous professional industry groups. Dr. Anderson may be reached at
Dianna Anderson, MCC, is the vice president of leadership coaching for Cylient. She has more than
15 years of experience as a professional coach and management consultant, creating
transformational change for individuals and organizations. Dianna is the co-author of Coaching That
Counts. She was an adjunct professor for the School of Education at Drake University, where she
taught graduate level courses on coaching. Dianna was one of the first graduates of Coach U and is a
Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She received her MBA from
the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada. Dianna may be reached at email@example.com.
Executive Coaching Yields Return of Almost Six Times its Cost!
Author: Work / Life Solutions, Inc. Date: 01/04/2001
Manchester Inc., the global leader in customized executive coaching programs, has released the results
of a study that quantifies the business impact of executive coaching. The study includes data on
executive behavior change, organizational improvements achieved, and the return on investment (ROI)
from Manchester's customized, comprehensive executive coaching programs.
The study included 100 executives, mostly from Fortune 1000 companies, who received coaching from
Manchester. Manchester Inc. is a part of Prolianz, the professional services division of Modis
Professional Services Inc. (NYSE:MPS) of Jacksonville, Florida.
Companies that provided coaching through Manchester to their executives realized improvements in
productivity, quality, organizational strength, customer service, and shareholder value. They received
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fewer customer complaints, and were more likely to retain executives who had been coached.
In addition, a company's investment in providing coaching to its executives realized an average return
on investment (ROI) of almost six times the cost of the coaching.
Manchester conducted what is believed to be the first major study to quantify the business impact of
Half of the executives in the study held positions of vice president or higher (including division president,
general manager, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, partner,
principal, and practice leader). Almost six out of 10 (57%) executives who received coaching were ages
40 to 49, and one-third earned $200,000 or more per year.
The coaching programs that executives participated in were a mix of both change-oriented coaching -
which is aimed at changing certain behaviors or skills - and growth-oriented coaching - which is aimed at
sharpening performance. The coaching programs typically lasted from six months to one year.
Among the results of the study:
Manchester's coaching programs delivered an average return on investment of 5.7 times the initial
investment in a typical executive coaching assignment - or a return of more than $100,000 - according to
executives who estimated the monetary value of the results achieved through coaching.
Among the benefits to companies that provided coaching to executives were improvements in:
Productivity (reported by 53% of executives) Quality (48%) Organizational strength (48%) Customer
service (39%) Reducing customer complaints (34%) Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
Cost reductions (23%) Bottom-line profitability (22%)
Among the benefits to executives who received coaching were improved: Working relationships with
direct reports (reported by 77% of executives) Working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%)
Teamwork (67%) Working relationships with peers (63%) Job satisfaction (61%) Conflict reduction (52%)
Organizational commitment (44%) Working relationships with clients (37%)
Manchester's executive coaching programs focus on helping executives adjust to new organizational
realities and not just survive, but thrive.
Manchester's tailored approach is a collaborative process that includes a pre-coaching needs
assessment to set clear objectives and a complete, valid - and reliable - assessment protocol.
Considerable emphasis is placed on both action planning and achieving measurable results linked to
identified business objectives.
Manchester's executive coaches typically hold Ph.D. or MBA degrees and have at least 20 years
experience as organizational development practitioners or line managers. All coaches have graduated
from standardized internal coaching that focuses on principles of assessment and intervention in
executive coaching practice, and have gone through an extensive certification process.
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Corporate Learning Strategies
Daniel R. Tobin, Ph.D.
The Difficulty of ROI
About four in 10 respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
Coaching Survey 2008 agreed or strongly agreed that two other reasons were behind
the termination of coaching assignments: the inability of certain employees to change
(42%) and the difficulty of measuring return on investment (ROI) (39%).
Resistance to change is, of course, relatively common in organizations and is already
well-documented in change-management literature. But the subject of the ROI of
coaching is less well understood and continues to be a subject of debate in the
It’s interesting to note that, out of the various factors causing the termination of
coaching arrangements, the strongest negative correlation was associated with the
notion that the ROI of coaching is not easily measurable. That is, the more respondents
said that coaching was terminated because of difficulty in measuring ROI, the less
likely they were to report overall success in coaching at their company. This suggests
there might be a significant upside to being able to measure the ROI in organizations.
So far, however, the literature indicates that relatively few organizations have formal
procedures in place to measure coaching’s success. McCormick (2007) polled 500
readers of Personnel Today and reports that 67% of respondents say their organizations
don’t measure coaching ROI and an additional 20% say they simply don’t know if
coaching outcomes are measured. Furthermore, not only are formal measurement
systems not yet in place, many companies (some of which have used executive coaches
for years) aren’t even sure what they would measure if they had to. In fact, 44% of
respondents in McCormick’s study (2007) believe it is impossible to measure the ROI
of coaching at all, and, if their organizations must measure it, then anecdotal evidence
of its effectiveness is all that’s possible.
Sherman and Freas (2004) explain why this thinking is popular. “Unlike most
business processes, which tend to reduce information to abstractions, executive coaching
engages people in customized ways that acknowledge and honor their individuality. It
helps people know themselves better, live more consciously and contribute more
richly. The essentially human nature of coaching is what makes it work—and also
what makes it nearly impossible to quantify.”
That said, some experts believe that organizations are making progress in the
area of quantifying the results of coaching. While measuring the “feel good” factor
may be the easiest method to administer and tabulate, there is little evidence that this
leads to changed behavior and improvements in the bottom line (Sparrow, 2006).
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As a result, more sophisticated measurement techniques are gaining ground. Typically,
these methods involve estimating the impact of coaching on at least one business area
(such as the total value of resolving an issue). Both the financial and non-monetary
benefits must be identified and estimated.
Another way to track the benefits (or lack thereof) associated with coaching is
through the use of assessments. Assessments conducted at the beginning of a coaching
program help focus the goal-setting process, and readministering the same assessment
Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree feedback, for example, has become almost
synonymous with coaching programs. Assessments that compare self-perceptions and
the perceptions of others can provide invaluable information for the employee who
needs a better understanding of how his or her behavior affects others (Nowack, 2007).
Other assessments—such as ones that measure personality, interests, values, and
health—can also be used. The critical lesson for coaches is to administer these assessments
in a pre- and post-test format. Otherwise, it is impossible to tease out whether it was coaching or some
other factor that was responsible for the assessment scores.
Section taken from American Management Association’s Report: Coaching: A Global Study of Successful
Practices. Current Trends and Future Possibilities 2008-2018. Full study (79 pages) is available at http://
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