Coaching Report # 9

Best Practice -as it applies to Coaching in the Workplace:
Some Definitions
– is a contextual term. It means “best for you” – in the context of your business, your organization, your culture, your use of technology, and your competitive strategies. The purpose of Best Practice is to stimulate you with new ideas and insights in a positive way.

Best Practice:
Best practice coaching is based on a foundation of extensive real-world experience conducted by the industry leaders. The focus is on the process that converts organizational coaching objectives into the best available results. This experience or knowledge is best sourced from an independent educator/knowledge provider who advises/trains extensively at this top level. Text books and industry reports can provide theoretical and statistical information, however an organization needs to be shown first-hand how to; select, apply and master the appropriate best practices applicable to their specific workplace environment.
By sourcing a wealth of world best standard practices and information as developed and successfully used by some of the world’s leading practitioners of coaching (from several Fortune 100 coaching departments to the top independent international coaching groups) who work with Dr Skiffington -you can ensure you are on the proven path to success.

Best Practice Coaching is comprised of protocols, principles, standards, guidelines, and procedures that contribute to the highest, most resource-effective performance of the discipline. Best Practices are based upon a broad range of experience, knowledge, and extensive work with the industry leaders.

Best practices have been shown through research and evaluation to be most effective. When an organization already has a coaching program, the guiding best practices can be used to gauge the program’s effectiveness. They can also be used to best design a new program/strategy.

There may be no single best practice for any given coaching process. A process design that works well for experienced, well-trained coaches may be inappropriate for less experienced users. Coaching processes may assume a prerequisite technology architecture infrastructure or costs that may not be feasible under a different set of circumstances. Globalism, regional cultural differences etc may also make it unsafe to assume any best practice can be successfully implemented. Therefore, a series of best practices may be defined for each set of circumstances. The management of best practices is an ongoing “Knowledge Management” challenge.

Best Practice Cycle:
1. Client Review and following Request to a Specialist Knowledge Provider with relevant Industry experience and a track record of developing and tabulating best practices around the globe.
2. Education of Client on Coaching Best Practices.
3. Locate and Identify relevant Best Practices
4. Select area/s of improvement
5. Select measures to assess performance levels.
6. Benchmark performance gaps.
7. Select relevant strategy, tool/s, technique/s, processes etc that will reduce gap.
8. Learn about implementation steps.
9. Implement a best strategy approach.
10. Review and Calibrate strategy/approach.

Promising Practices:
– are programs and strategies that have some quantitative data showing positive outcomes over a period of time, but do not have enough research or replication to support generalizable outcomes.

Best Practices Assessment:
To assess in this case is to determine the applicability, importance, size, or value of something. Before you select a best practice or apply the guiding principles, you must conduct an assessment (risk assessment) to identify the risk and protective factors that need to be addressed in your organization.

Therefore, a Best Practices Assessment involves first judging the environment of the coaching program’s processes under study to select the appropriate Best Practices Principles and then secondly; determining how your program is doing relative to those Best Practice benchmarks/guidelines.

Some experts calculate the top 20% of a population and average the results to calculate the best-in-class measure. Coaching program managers should best focus on points of competitive leverage and then relegate other processes to reasonable but not necessarily superior performance levels. Frequently, the same companies are best-in-class for a series of metrics; however, a company never dominates all performance categories. No organization is best-in-class in every area. But due to the nature of competition and the drive for excellence, some organization’s have extensively profiled and honed certain practices that have placed their practitioners as the most successful (best-in-class) in their industry.

Denotes a practice or skill that is in the highest class in the world ie: ranking above all others.

One ultimate definition of organizational coaching best practices is: “discovering the timeless laws of behavioral science as they apply to management and leadership and then, over time, creating practices that match with those to bring them [the laws] to life.”

Is the on-going search for best practices that produce superior performance when adapted and implemented in one’s own organization. Emphasis should be placed on benchmarking as an on-going outreach activity; the goal of the outreach is identification of best operating practices that, when implemented, produce superior performance. Benchmarking then is the actual process of investigation and discovery of best practices.

In contrast to benchmarking, benchmarks are measurements to gauge the performance of say; a professional task/function, personal skill or a coaching program relative to others. The root causes of performance differences usually cannot be discerned from the “benchmarks” alone. Benchmarks are more like divining rods that lead the organization to hidden opportunities to improve.

Best Practice Benchmarking:
Is the process of seeking out and studying the best internal and external practices that produce superior performance. One measures this performance through various financial and non-financial performance indicators.

Case Study: Many organizations are now demonstrating the value of Coaching Best Practice Benchmarking. Bell Laboratories developed a behavioral change program focused on AT&T engineers. Bell Labs demonstrated that they could effectively manage individual behavioral change, which lead directly to performance improvement, through an individual best practices strategy.

Using the best practices in fundamental personal skills as set by the leading practitioners/engineers, over a six-year period, Bell Labs trained and coached 248 engineers to make them more effective and efficient. The behavioral coaching program called for the engineers to learn important business practices and skills. The results were impressive: engineers who went through the Bell Labs program boosted their productivity by 10% in eight months! This productivity boost saved Bell Labs the money spent on the program after one year, and returned more than six times the investment after two years.

The Dr Skiffington and the Behavioral Coaching Institute are recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on assessing and documenting ‘best practice’ coaching technology (tools, techniques, models etc).

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