How can businesses adapt to the 'new normal'?
According to expert commentators, there is little point in waiting for things to return to normal. The business world today is now operating at a new normal level. The environment we operate in is no longer stable.
The new normal is characterised by even greater complexity, running at a higher intensity and speed, with a higher likelihood of volatile events occurring and affecting our business operations on a regular basis.
The danger for leaders today is that they become overwhelmed by the speed and complexity of this new normal. To the extent that they can be paralysed in their decision making as they discuss and debate the right thing to do.
At first glance it appears daunting, but coaching can offer a way through
Coaching can help you get new perspective
When people have tough decisions to make and face pressure to get it right, they can get caught up in the mass of data and delay decisions for fear of getting it wrong. Coaching conversations can create the space to reflect and lift the fog suppressing clear thinking. A more balanced view can be drawn out to help coachees make better decisions.
In CHPDs leadership research, some core thinking behaviours are consistently under-developed in leaders today. Co-incidentally, these are also the very behaviours that are needed to operate in todays new normal.
For example, conceptual flexibility is the ability to be open to different perspectives and able to hold conflicting options simultaneously. Leaders who are strong in conceptual flexibility have mental agility. This is especially important today, when having to weigh up various options and decide on the best course of action. Coaching can help develop this and other behaviours key to success in the new normal.
Research has also shown that coaching produces its greatest financial benefit when used to clarify strategic thinking.
Coaching can help to focus activity
Now more than ever, organisations are focused on delivering Results. When the environment continually changes, it can be difficult to see how to get a solid footing. Talking this through with a coach can stimulate a sense of purpose to overcome seemingly impossible Challenges.
Coaching creates a feeling of control so that coachees can extend their sphere of influence and spot quick wins. A renewed awareness of priorities can keep activity responsive to customers and enhance productivity.
For coaching sessions to deliver increased focus for the coachee, they also need to be focused on the Results that need to be achieved. During your initial conversations between coach and coachee its important to spend some time clarifying the coaching goal. This ensures that the personal and business Benefits are clearly defined, then progress can be tracked and outcomes evaluated.
Promote learning, enhance capability with coachingDuring rapid change, people need to feel supported and they need help to learn new skills and behaviours. Coaching is a highly effective way to transfer learning into the workplace.
Combining training with follow up coaching speeds up your productivity gains as people more easily apply their learning. Investing in coaching is also likely to ensure you keep your key talent and it is a highly effective development method for future leaders.
Coaching can help to promote well-being
Even during more prosperous times, stress is often reported as the most significant reason for workplace absence. Now that we have to achieve more with less, we run the risk of experiencing more stress. Longer working hours can lead to a worsening of stress levels and work-life can become unbalanced.
Coaching can help to ease the pressure cooker and rebalance our working lives. If well targeted, it can act as an early warning system and link up with employee assistance programmes when necessary.
Good diagnostics can work well alongside coaching in this situation, helping coachees to understand their responses to stress and how to spot the early warning signs.
Engage your people through coachingMaintaining motivation is a huge Challenge when the focus seems to be more on Results than people. One of the most frequently cited intangible Benefits of coaching is improved relationships and teamwork.
By identifying and building on strengths, people can increase their impact and realign with the shifting networks of stakeholders. Coaching leaders can improve their engagement and spread it throughout their team and peers.
Coaching - a valuable & worthwhile resourceThe return on coaching is repeatedly, and conservatively, estimated as around five times the investment made.
The value of coaching in the new normal is that it can sustain leaders, teams and organisations through times of unpredictable change.