“As long as there are human beings doing the work, businesses can profit
by creating more fruitful relationships with them.” Stratford Sherman and
Alyssa Freas, Harvard Business Review, Dec. 2004
Many attempts have been made over the past decade to quantify return on
investment of coaching programs for executives in organizations.
Some spectacular results have been recorded.
Yet even with the application of ROI standards commonly used for measuring
training and development programs, there remain too many variables to establish reliable data. It is difficult to quantify data of a qualitative nature.
In 2003 Anthony M. Grant of the University of Sydney surveyed coaching research and found only 56 studies that met standards of reliable methodology. There were only 131 peer-reviewed studies since 1937. While the outcomes of coaching programs appear to be positive, the quality of research on coaching is extremely poor. There are new studies being conducted currently by academics, but it may be years before there are authoritative guides and best practices for coaching.
The market place is perhaps the most vocal proponent of the use of coaching for executives for leadership development. Top corporations such as GE, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs are among those that invest heavily in hiring coaches for their executives. Overall, annual spending on coaching in the US is roughly estimated at $1 billion.
Executive coaching may not be for everyone, and organizations and clients should consider their purposes and goals before engaging coaches. While the results may not be directly measurable in dollars, there is no company that can’t benefit from more candor, better communications, and being more consciously aware of how their leaders interact with people in order to maximize talents and resources.
This is a synopsis of the full 2,000 word article available for purchase and use
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The full version contains the following concepts:
The Business Case for Executive Coaching
Finding Good Coaches
Three Key Elements in the Coaching Relationship
Are You Ready to Hire a Coach?
Resources on Executive Coaching
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