Best practices in the application of consulting and coaching

Case 1:  A phased application of coaching and consulting

A corporation has solid financial results, but its growth is stagnant.  The executives want to explore new ways to expand the company.

Phase 1:  Coaching for discovery and planning

The company uses coaching with its group leaders to discuss and discover what are the most interesting alternatives.  In these sessions, they discuss what the company is already good at, what are good adjacent markets, where their challenges are, what changes need to happen.

After this team coaching process, they decide to enter a new technology field, and they feel that the best way to do that would be through an acquisition.  The team has a clearly formed outcome and metrics of success.  They decide that they can afford up to $100 M on the acquisition, that they want to complete it before the end of the fiscal year, and they expect to generate a 30% corporate growth over the next 5 years through this investment.

Phase 2:  Consulting for a specific deliverable

With this decision in mind and the parameters of the project, they hire a consulting team to conduct research on attractive acquisition options.  The consultants propose 5 options, they analyze and present a couple of financial options.  The consulting firm saves time for the organization because they have vast experience in accomplishing this type of tasks.  Then, the company conducts the acquisition.  The consultants will deliver the best result because the organization defined clear goals (through coaching) before the consulting engagement.

Phase 3:  Coaching for results

Now that the acquisition is complete, the leaders of the organization and the acquired company engage in a new coaching process to define a successful integration process.  They discuss the cost structures, the best way to position the product leveraging from both companies' resources, and the unification of the sales teams.  The group goes in detail to define the roles needed to make the unified organization a success.  They discuss who is responsible for diverse reorganization actions, training plans, resources needed, and target dates.  Because the group defined all the details of their plan, instead of receiving a recommendation from the outside, these participants feel a close ownership of the project and they are fully committed to act.

This case highlights the benefits of using a consultative coaching process.