In a previous article, I discussed the benefits of an advanced coaching leadership strategy. Now, let’s take it to the next level and examine how to achieve an advanced coaching leadership strategy.
Take the time to truly understand the gaps
Every company is in a different situation with different challenges. Even so, the first step for any company should be to consciously understand where they are, where they need to go, and how to fill the gap between the two. The best way to start this process is to run diagnostics, examining two dimensions:
- First, stop the never-ending intellectual discussion about your company culture and measure it. I have worked with different culture assessment tools and the top one I recommend is the OCI® (Organizational Culture Inventory) from Human Synergistics. In my experience, companies can spend months and years talking about their need for cultural transformation without reaching any actionable conclusion and results. Using a culture assessment tool allows you and your team to clearly understand the desired culture, speak a common “culture language,” and measure concrete gaps to fill.
- In parallel, individual and team leadership assessments and transformations are a key part of the process. We all know that the number one influencer of a company’s culture is its leaders’ behaviors and mental models. There are several excellent individual and team assessment tools, and the one I would recommend for transforming a leadership culture is the LSI® (Life Style Inventory), also from Human Synergistics. It allows you to make the connections between your desired culture and your individual and collective leadership transformation. It is then easy and straight forward to make the connection between the 12 leadership styles measured by the LSI® and the mindsets and behaviors corresponding to the “Command & Control” as well as the “Advanced Coaching” Leadership strategies.
Then take action
After completing the diagnostic phase, along with the accompanying debrief sessions about your results, it’s time to take action. First, I recommend taking your team on a strategic off-site workshop to define your leadership culture transformation needs and goals. Use a “From-To” analysis, driven by a solid business case for change.
From this concrete exercise, the executive committee can formalize a kind of “Manifesto.” It will summarize the commitments in terms of mindsets and behaviors that the members agree to. They will need to adopt them individually and collectively, role modeling the desired culture and its impact on the company’s strategic success.
The next step is about empowering the executive committee to walk the talk. In my opinion, the best way of achieving this is through individual and team coaching. They will build a leadership culture and cascade it progressively to the next levels, the executive team leading by example. This has been proven to be the most concrete and effective way to transform a company’s culture quickly.
However, leaders’ (of all levels) mindsets and behaviors are not the only drivers of culture. In parallel, the company will need to align the company, business, and people systems/policies/processes and symbols to the desired culture.
Moving from a Command & Control to an Advanced Coaching Leadership style is part of a business strategy that focuses on the decentralization of decision, control, and accountability by engaging and empowering employees.
Doing this will lead to the transformation of your organizational culture.
In a VUCA world, you can’t afford to wait half a decade to achieve such a culture shift.