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Driving Your Strategic Agenda: Coaching for Transformation Within Your Organisation

Hosted by: Center for Creative Leadership
Transformational Leadership

Building coaching capability within organisations is taking greater prominence as a transformation tool used to make a deep impact on business and culture. Prioritising and integrating strategic coaching in everyday operations, with all levels of leadership, has a tremendous benefit to the growth of organisations.

Over the past three months, in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (Over the past three months, in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL); ChapmanCG has co-hosted two virtual People and Culture Lab sessions for our Asia Pacific HR community. The sessions were led by our panel of experts to discuss roadmaps for coaching in any organisation with a strategic intent: Anuradha Rai, Founder of People Worth Ltd; Fiona Wong, VP Head of HR – Emerging Markets at Manulife; Steven Filby, Head of Talent & Learning at Hong Kong Jockey Club; Vandana Vishnu, Director of Coaching, APAC at CCL; and our moderator, Diana Khaitova, Regional Head of Client Development at CCL. Their collective insights and expertise provided a deep understanding of the current industry practices and the critical success factors for coaching as an impactful tool.

First a Look at the Research

Research shows that 70% of strategic organisational change programs fail to meet their objectives. While each failure is unique, one common factor unites most change initiatives: leaders often anchor their transformation success on the hard tangibles of change (like products, processes, and technology) while underestimating the softer human intangibles of change (like personal behaviour and organisational culture). This represents the classic change leadership challenge of focusing on the full change equation. 

For a strategic change to be successful, leaders and employees must shift their perceptions and behaviours. Otherwise, an organisation’s strategic agenda can be undermined by fear, distrust, and resistance to change.

Coaching for Transformation: A Matter of Mindset

Broad methodologies like communication strategies, employee engagement programs, and training are important elements of the change management process. But they rarely influence the mindset shift needed to overcome distrust and resistance to change.

Shifting mindsets requires a deeper and more personalised intervention. This is where coaching for transformation comes in.

Coaching has long been regarded as the gold standard for individual development. However, in recent years, leaders have started using coaching for transformation at the organisational level — expanding it from a development tool for individuals to one that enables key strategies at the enterprise level, including in support of change leadership.

How Do Companies Use Coaching for Transformation to Achieve Lasting Organisational Change?

The CCL team of researchers in APAC examined how five organisations have successfully used coaching for transformation and analysed commonalities from this approach.

While the transformation journey and coaching strategy for each of these case studies is unique, they identified common principles which can be applied by any organisation seeking to use coaching for transformation at the enterprise level:

  1. Start the coaching process at the very top.
  2. Allow sufficient time for behavioural change to stick.
  3. Invest in your middle managers.
  4. Weave coaching with other change strategies and approaches.
  5. Enlist internal change coaches.

The executive teams in the presented case studies understood the complexities
of leading change. While each of them had different transformation goals, they were united in their recognition of the human side of change and in the value of coaching in enabling the necessary mindset and behavioural shifts. As a result, they avoided becoming a part of the 70% of failed change programs and instead led their organizations through successful and sustained transformation.

To download your copy of the research visit the Center of Creative Leadership website.

The Conclusions from Our Panel

Coaching with a strategic intent benefits the organisation on a wider leadership vision and results than focusing only on individual development plans. Here are three key aspects that we can take away from our discussion:

  1. Start small, by piloting in smaller business units and defining what good looks like and working with the group to define it in tangible ways
  2. Assess the level of mindset or culture shift to define the approach for coaching to be taken.
  3. Measure behavioural change during the process until the desired strategic intent is achieved. Combining some of the assessments like the personality assessment tool with 360 assessments will give a more effective output.

Thanks again to CCL and our panellists for a very insightful session.


About Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)® is a top-ranked, global, nonprofit provider of leadership development. Over the past 50 years, we’ve worked with organizations of all sizes from around the world, including more than 2/3 of the Fortune 1000. Our cutting-edge solutions are steeped in extensive research and our work with hundreds of thousands of leaders at all levels. For more information on CCL and the impact we made, visit www.ccl.org/apac

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