Businesses are currently experiencing disruption within supply chains, a rush to implement exponential technologies, diminishing trust in our globalized world and the risk of crisis escalation.
Companies are reaching out to experts, strategists, coaches, and consultants to restructure many parts of their core businesses and strategies. However, it can be tough to determine which kind to hire. Getting it right is vital to your budgets, staff morale, and future profitability.
Coaching vs. Consulting
Let’s first clarify the difference between coaching and consulting in the world of business.
Coaches help you and your team develop internal leadership and innovation skills, enhance your company’s approach to problem-solving, often improve diversity and inclusion, and guide you to formulate new kinds of questions to better solve problems that you might not have even known you were facing.
Additionally, projects are designed iteratively along the way as new information comes to light. Coaches help you access experts and strategists when needed for idea validation without formally instructing your people what to do.
Conversely, consultants usually only provide answers to the questions you and they are already thinking about. They help you face common problems head-on through sharing previous expertise and often design the project prior to starting the work.
Coaches and consultants both prove great benefits in different circumstances, but how do you know if you should hire a coach instead of a consultant?
Seven Indications to Hire a Business Coach
Most companies are very familiar with hiring consultants. If you’re struggling with deciding whether that works in the current environment, here are the seven indications of when you should hire a coach:
- You are grappling between keeping core values and avoiding disruption. You are juggling the paradox of performing in your core operations while transforming for future profits and sidestepping disruption. You are teetering between the two, but you may not have realized you could have both. A coach may be the essential strategic tool to uncovering your own groundbreaking strategies that align with your core values.
- You are struggling to keep up with consistent transformation. Just more than half (51%) of surveyed executives reported high-level risk to their revenue and market share over the next five years due to technology-driven disruption by their competitors or startups achieving 10X innovation.*
With COVID-19, that technology-driven disruption has only escalated and is littering economies with failing companies. Now more than ever, organizations that are unable to adapt and evolve will become obsolete. This can be overwhelming, but with the right coaching partnership, you’ll be able to alleviate some of this pressure.
- You are asking questions that suit your current business model. Are you asking copy-cat questions based on key past experiences (of your business or similar companies)? Or are you asking cutting-edge questions that can set you apart? Coaches help you find and answer your own questions, which in return will become your superpower. You’ll stay a step ahead of your competitors that are only using consultants.
Remember, “an initiative is only as good as the question it’s trying to solve. Focus on the beauty of the questions, rather than the answers you’re providing.” –Diego Soroa, Certified ExO Head Coach
- You are only searching for answers outside of your company. You are outsourcing strategy and innovation, rather than properly engaging the fountain of untapped talent within your organization. Who knows your company better than you? The hundreds or thousands of all-star employees and leaders within your organization. With the proper mentoring, tools, and mindset, you can turn your employees into your most essential assets. They can then access external resources to strengthen their initiatives.
- You are battling internal resistance. You have the resources and knowledge to innovate, yet you are still at war against your own corporate immune system to implement breakthrough initiatives. Change, new business models, and technologies can feel threatening to staff throughout organizations, leaving your initiatives to gather dust. A third party coach can facilitate the creation of initiatives while brokering alignment between all that are involved.
- You need to show results, and fast. It’s time to show results, yet you are stuck trying to prioritize problems to solve and which kind of initiatives to create, rather than creating practical initiatives alongside actual customers. I could not have said it better than Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”
Results speak truth, and how quickly you can show results may be the turning point in gaining your leadership’s trust so that you can then achieve transformational growth. Teaming up with a coach can help you properly project growth and have a fast ROI.
- You are ready to activate a cultural mindset shift within your organization. Traditional companies have difficulties shifting to an innovation and purpose-driven mindset. You must be willing to adapt with technological advances and leverage the attributes shared by the world’s fastest-growing companies in order to remain as a successful organization. Otherwise, you’ll fall behind in this age of abundance and transformation; you won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the continuous worldly-changes. The right coaches have a deep understanding of how to shift mindsets, while teaching skillsets and building profitable initiatives. They embed culture, not themselves.
“Coaching is best when you want a long term, internal cultural shift at your organization, not just answers to a few problems."
–Giang Nguyen, Certified ExO Coach
Hire a Coach
If you’ve checked off any of the above seven indications, act now and hire a certified business coach. ExO Coaches are visionary mentors who use a systematic process that helps your staff excel and draw out your company’s true potential.
Take Advantage of Online Tools
As teams around the globe continue to adapt to the challenges of remote work, it has become clear that the keys to success and ongoing innovation can be found by looking beyond video conferencing to the larger world of tech platforms and solutions. Click here to read my top 11 recommendations.
Assess your Business with this Free Diagnostic
Still uncertain whether you should hire a business coach to withstand disruption? Take the Exponential Quotient, designed to provide organizations with a quantitative metric for understanding how flexible and adaptable they are when faced with disruptive innovation, emerging technologies, and exponential change.
This was originally posted on ExO Works on June 20, 2024.
ExO Insight Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.