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Abstract

Orientation: Coaching is sometimes used in organisations to assist and support people when they are promoted into senior leadership positions. These coaching interventions are not optimally designed. Research purpose: The objective of this research was to investigate how a transition coaching intervention should be designed to cater specifically for people promoted into senior leadership positions. Motivation for the study: Leaders face daunting challenges when promoted into a senior position. Coaching could offer powerful support, but very little research exists on how to design a transition coaching intervention specifically aimed at supporting recently promoted senior leaders. Research design, approach and method: A constructivist, grounded theory approach using purposeful, theoretical sampling was used to identify 16 participants (recently promoted senior leaders, coaches, Human Resource [HR] partners and a line manager) from various organisations with whom open-ended interviews were conducted on their experiences of coaching during a transition. Main findings: Transition coaching is used reactively, started too late and was not continued for long enough. Transition coaching design should take cognisance of coach–coachee matching; goal setting that includes the organisation’s goals; location of coaching session (away from the office); should include reflection and active experimentation; and use assessments and involving the line manager, mentors and the new leader’s team in the process. Practical and managerial implications: The findings of this research provide practical recommendations for applying coaching during transitions into senior leadership positions and may be useful to human resource practitioners when designing leadership support and succession planning interventions. Contribution and value added: To address the serious and real possibility of failure once leaders are promoted, and to optimise the time and money spent on coaching during career transitions, this research provides insight into the design and execution of tailor-made transition coaching interventions to help recently promoted senior leaders succeed in their new role.
hp://www.sajhrm.co.za Open Access
SA Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN: (Online) 2071-078X, (Print) 1683-7584
Page 1 of 10 Original Research
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Authors:
N. (Nicky) H.D. Terblanche1
Ruth M. Albertyn1
Salome van Coller-Peter1
Aliaons:
1University of Stellenbosch
Business School, Stellenbosch
University, South Africa
Corresponding author:
Nicky Terblanche,
nicky@ipside.co.za
Dates:
Received: 22 July 2016
Accepted: 25 Mar. 2017
Published: 24 May 2017
How to cite this arcle:
Terblanche, N.H.D., Albertyn,
R.M., & Van Coller-Peter, S.
(2017). Designing a coaching
intervenon to support
leaders promoted into senior
posions. SA Journal of
Human Resource
Management/SA Tydskrif vir
Menslikehulpbronbestuur,
15(0), a842. hps://doi.org/
10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.842
Copyright:
© 2017. The Authors.
Licensee: AOSIS. This work
is licensed under the
Creave Commons
Aribuon License.
Introducon
Problem statement
Key focus
When leaders are promoted into senior positions1 they face serious challenges. Many fail to meet
their objectives (Martin, 2015) or underperform (Sutton, 2008). Coaching is a strategy that is
sometimes used to support recently promoted leaders, but there is a lack of empirical research
around how a coaching intervention should be designed specifically to support career transitions.
This research presents findings relating to when and how coaching should be used during senior
career transitions and makes recommendations regarding tailoring a transition coaching
intervention for senior career transitions.
Background
Building sustainable businesses is a challenge faced by many organisations today. A key element
of organisational sustainability is effective leadership on all levels in the organisation and
1.The term ‘senior leaders’ in the context of this research refers to C-level execuves and heads of business units up to two levels below
the C level.
Orientation: Coaching is sometimes used in organisations to assist and support people when
they are promoted into senior leadership positions. These coaching interventions are not
optimally designed.
Research purpose: The objective of this research was to investigate how a transition coaching
intervention should be designed to cater specifically for people promoted into senior leadership
positions.
Motivation for the study: Leaders face daunting challenges when promoted into a senior
position. Coaching could offer powerful support, but very little research exists on how to
design a transition coaching intervention specifically aimed at supporting recently promoted
senior leaders.
Research design, approach and method: A constructivist, grounded theory approach using
purposeful, theoretical sampling was used to identify 16 participants (recently promoted
senior leaders, coaches, Human Resource [HR] partners and a line manager) from various
organisations with whom open-ended interviews were conducted on their experiences of
coaching during a transition.
Main findings: Transition coaching is used reactively, started too late and was not continued
for long enough. Transition coaching design should take cognisance of coach–coachee
matching; goal setting that includes the organisation’s goals; location of coaching session
(away from the office); should include reflection and active experimentation; and use
assessments and involving the line manager, mentors and the new leader’s team in the process.
Practical and managerial implications: The findings of this research provide practical
recommendations for applying coaching during transitions into senior leadership positions
and may be useful to human resource practitioners when designing leadership support and
succession planning interventions.
Contribution and value added: To address the serious and real possibility of failure once
leaders are promoted, and to optimise the time and money spent on coaching during career
transitions, this research provides insight into the design and execution of tailor-made transition
coaching interventions to help recently promoted senior leaders succeed in their new role.
Designing a coaching intervenon to support
leaders promoted into senior posions
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especially at senior levels (Charan, Drotter & Noel, 2011), and
yet there is a serious shortage of effective organisational
leaders in the world (Freedman, 2011; Oliver & Page, 2017).
The fast pace of corporate expansion requires leaders in
organisations to move to new leadership levels at increasing
speeds (Charan et al., 2011) and while many attempt the
transition, fewer than a third fulfil their objectives (Martin,
2015) and up to 46% underperform (Sutton, 2008). A study
conducted by Watkins (2009) showed that 87% of Human
Resource (HR) professionals consider career transitions to be
the most challenging event in a manager’s career.
A career transition occurs when a leader is promoted to a
more senior level in the organisation with more and different
responsibilities. This occurs as a result of personal growth
and ambition or structural changes in the workplace
(Chinyamurindi, 2012). A senior career transition poses
numerous challenges to the individual and the organisation.
The incumbent is expected to ‘hit the ground running’ and
complete the transition quickly (Sutton, 2008; Watkins, 2003);
deal with higher levels of complexity and uncertainty
(Dotlich, Noel & Walker, 2004); work with longer time
horizons (Jaques, 1996); and step out of the comfort zone of
a specialist to take on strategic challenges (Peltier, 2010).
There is also pressure on organisations to develop attractive
employee value propositions to retain talented leaders,
especially in the South African context (Nzukuma &
Bussin, 2011).
In order to support recently promoted senior leaders,
organisations employ a number of support strategies
including leadership development programmes, mentoring
and coaching (Kombarakaran, Yang, Baker & Fernandes,
2008). Coaching has been shown to be an effective
leadership development tool (Peltier, 2010; Theeboom,
Beersma & Van Vianen, 2013), but the explicit use of
transition coaching during promotion to a senior position
has received little attention with only one empirical study
found (Reynolds, 2011).
Research objecves
The question this study asks is: ‘How should a coaching
intervention be designed to explicitly support leaders who
are promoted into senior positions?’ To answer this question,
there were two research objectives: firstly, to understand how
and when coaching should be initiated during a career
transition and secondly, to understand what aspects must be
present during the coaching processes to optimally support
recently promoted senior leaders.
Contribuon to eld
South Africa faces a shortage of skilled senior leaders in the
corporate world (Nzukuma & Bussin, 2011). The emerging
field of coaching potentially offers a way to support recently
promoted leaders, but very little empirical research has been
conducted to understand how transition coaching can be
employed during senior career transitions. This study may
benefit designers of leadership development and support
programmes, recently promoted senior leaders and coaches
and coach trainers by providing specific guidelines for
designing and conducting transition coaching for senior
leaders.
Literature review
Leadership development theory with a focus on career
transitions and coaching theory with a focus on transition
coaching form the theoretical underpinnings of this research.
This section reviews recent relevant publications in these
fields and shows the significance of the challenges faced by
recently promoted leaders, as well as the lack of empirical
research on transition coaching.
Leadership development and transions
Several theories of leadership career transitions, leadership
levels and leadership developmental stages exist. The well-
known ‘Leadership Pipeline’ model brought attention to the
fact that there are different levels of leadership within an
organisation with each level requiring different skills. Leaders
transition through six levels: managing self, managing
other, managing managers, functional managers, business
managers, group manager and enterprise manager (Charan
et al., 2011). Each stage requires leaders to let go of certain
thinking and behavioural patterns and learn new ones. The
focus of this research is career transitions at the higher end of
this pipeline, including business, group and enterprise
managers. At these levels, leaders have to learn to deal with
higher levels of complexity and take a more strategic
organisational view. The chances of failure at these senior
levels are high and the impact of failure is significantly
damaging to both the individual and the organisation
(Manderscheid & Ardichvili, 2008; Martin & Gentry, 2011).
Ensuring a successful transition therefore becomes an
imperative and further highlights the need for support in the
form of interventions such as transition coaching.
A different perspective on leadership levels is Jaques’
Stratified Systems Theory that defines work in organisations
in seven strata on a basis of decision-making complexity
where each level of work is related to the time span required
by the executor of the task to complete the task (Jaques, 1996).
This theory supports the view of Charan et al. that different
skills and abilities are required by leaders operating at
different levels and reinforces the view that change and
transformation are required to successfully execute at a new
level. By implication then, if a leader is promoted to the
next level, the leader needs to adapt to the new level and will
face challenges.
Some of the challenges faced by newly promoted senior
leaders include their need to develop new patterns of
thinking and behaving (Charan et al., 2011); their need to
develop advanced interpersonal and social skills (Kets de
Vries, 2006; Lombardo & Eichinger, 1995); moving from
operational to strategic mode (Bebb, 2009); fear, anxiety and
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self-doubt (Argyris, 1991); lack of emotional intelligence
(Goleman, 1996); lack of follow-through and overdependence
(Denton & Van Lill, 2006); loss of identity, balancing people
and tasks (Hawkins & Smith, 2013); misjudging the new
situation and the leader’s strengths and vulnerabilities
(Watkins, 2003); and getting buy-in from their new team
(Martin, 2015).
Leaders’ abilities to cope at higher levels are linked to their
abilities to perceive and manage complexity. Rooke and
Torbert provide a framework that outlines seven levels of
developmental action logics: Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert,
Achiever, Individualist, Strategist and Alchemist. Each level
represents a higher level of development (Rooke & Torbert,
2005). Kegan distinguishes between orders of complexity
and people’s ability to cope with the increased complexity
with his object–subject principle. He asserts that people are
capable of managing only a certain level of complexity at a
given time and that they require assistance to master the next
level. Lack of support during transitions to the next level of
complexity may result in suffering (Kegan, 1994) as well as
low morale and financial loss (Martin & Gentry, 2011). The
potentially traumatic nature of transitions clearly opens the
space for considered support such as transition coaching.
In summary, significant theory exists regarding leadership
and job levels and the challenges faced during the transition
to a higher level.
Coaching
To support leaders-in-transition, organisations are increasingly
implementing leadership development programmes (Kates &
Downey, 2005). Coaching is one form of support offered
(Weinstock, 2011); however, although development of leaders
is often stated by organisations as one of their primary
concerns, there is debate as to whether enough is done to put
words into action (Avolio & Hannah, 2008).
Executive coaching is a short-term interactive process
between a coach and a leader aimed at improving leadership
effectiveness by enhancing self-awareness and the practice of
new behaviours (Kombarakaran et al., 2008). Transition
coaching is a relatively new field of coaching. It is a
specialisation of executive coaching that aims to facilitate
career transitions by helping leaders identify critical issues
they face as a result of the transition; define the expectations
of their stakeholders; gain an outside perspective on their
new role; and communicate more effectively within the
organisation (Witherspoon & Cannon, 2004).
Transition coaching can play an important role in accelerating
job transition (Sutton, 2008). Important considerations for
transition coaching include the timing of coaching, the
specific role of the coach, taking into account the business
realities during the personal journey, understanding what
skills and behaviours are required, increasing self-
awareness, establishing goals and creating an action plan
(Sutton, 2008).
Research investigating the role of transition coaching is
limited with only one empirical study found thus far
(Reynolds, 2011) and to our knowledge no such research has
been published in the South African context. Reynolds used
an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach with
a sample of six recently promoted senior leaders, to explore
the meaning that coaching had for them during their
transition. The findings include evidence that coaching
assists transitioning leaders in overcoming a sense of
vulnerability, developing new personal, social and cognitive
skills and finding new meaning and purpose in their lives.
The research was limited to senior leaders and did not
include the view of coaches, HR practitioners and line
managers as is the case in this study. Reynold’s study also
did not report on the coaching process but concentrated on
the outcomes of the coaching only.
It is evident from literature that transition coaching could
potentially play an important role during career transitions,
but limited empirical research has been conducted on how
the transition coaching process should be designed.
Research design
Research approach
This interpretevist qualitative study employed a constructivist
grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2014). The interpretevist
paradigm is purported by numerous scholars in the field of
social research as an appropriate paradigm to uncover social
truths as is the case in this study and therefore an appropriate
research approach (Babbie & Mouton, 2001; Creswell, 2003;
Dreher, 1994; Willis, 2007). Grounded theory was selected
as specfic methodology because of the lack of existing theory
on transition coaching (Goulding, 2002). The research followed
the process suggested in grounded theory whereby a theory
is developed that is grounded in data that are systematically
gathered and analysed according to a specific process. The
theory evolves during the research process itself and is a
product of continuous interplay between analysis and data
collection (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990).
Research method
Research seng
Participants were interviewed face-to-face as well as via
telephone, given the remote location of some participants
relative to the researcher and given the paucity of senior
leaders who received coaching during their transition.
Sampling
Purposeful, theoretical sampling, consistent with the
requirements of grounded theory research, was used to
identify 16 participants from various organisations (Strauss &
Corbin, 1990). Practically, this implied starting with the most
likely source of data (a recently transitioned senior leader
known to the researcher), leading on to coaches who practised
transition coaching, followed by the custodians of coaching
in organisations and concluding with line managers of
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recently promoted senior leaders. The sampling strategy
was informed by the outcome of the constant analysis
and comparison process prescribed by grounded theory
(Charmaz, 2014). In total eight senior leaders, five coaches,
two HR practitioners and one line manager were interviewed
in that order. The sequencing of interviews was deliberate
and led to insights starting from the most direct (transitioning
leader) to the least directly impacted (line manager). This
sampling strategy collected data in accordance with
grounded theory principles of constant data collection,
analysis and comparison, giving preference to the richest
source of data needed next to address the research question
at hand (Charmaz, 2014). Although gender and race were not
specific inclusion criteria in this study, all four SA racial
groups (white, coloured, Indian and black) and equal gender
grouping were represented in the sample.
Entrée and establishing researcher roles
Access to the recently promoted senior leaders was gained
either through direct connection with the researcher or via
the companies’ HR departments. In the case of the latter,
official permission was obtained from the head of HR of the
organisation. Coaches, HR practitioners and the line manager
were sourced from the researcher’s personal network. In all
cases the participants signed informed consent forms.
Data collecon methods
Open-ended interviews, lasting approximately 1 h were
conducted with each participant individually. Interview
questions included high-level questions, followed by prompts
around how participants experienced the coaching process
and what aspects of the coaching worked or did not work for
them. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and
analysed. Analysis and memo writing occurred after each
interview to inform the interview strategy and questions for
the next participant in accordance with grounded theory
principles of constant comparison and theoretical sampling
(Charmaz, 2014; Goulding, 2002). As an example, in the first
interview the recently promoted senior leader made a
distinction between being promoted internally versus
externally. While this concept was not part of the original
interview prompts, the coding and memo writing process
following this interview revealed the potential importance of
this phenomenon. This led the researcher to consciously
enquire about this in subsequent interviews.
Data analyses
Grounded theory allows for a number of different data
analysis options (Goulding, 2002). In this study line-by-line
coding, focussed coding and category identification through
extensive memo writing were followed (Charmaz, 2014).
Throughout the research the core principles of grounded
theory were employed, namely, theoretically sensitive coding,
constant comparison and theoretical sampling (Glaser &
Strauss, 1967). This implied going back into the field to re-
interview certain participants as new themes emerged
(Strauss & Corbin, 1990). As an example, during the fifth
interview a senior leader remarked how important the use of
theoretical frameworks was in his coaching. During the
coding of this interview (carried out straight after the
interview) and the subsequent update of the memo, a new
theme emerged that led the researcher to re-interview some of
the participants in order to obtain their view on this aspect.
The qualitative analysis software application Atlas.TI was
used for the analysis process. To ensure data quality, the
transcribed interviews were sent back to the participants for
member checking (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). A researcher’s
diary was also kept to help keep track of the research process
and to apply reflexivity.
Findings
The findings from the analysis of the 16 interviews with
recently promoted senior leaders (P1 to P8), coaches (C1 to C5),
HR practitioners (HR1 and HR2) and a line manager (M1)
were grouped into two themes in line with the research
objectives: initiating coaching and the coaching process itself.
Iniang coaching
The phenomenon of initiating transition coaching contains
five sub-themes as summarised in Table 1.
Timing
Irrespective of whether the idea of coaching was initiated by
the recently promoted senior leader (P1, P5) or their line
managers (P2, P3, P4, P6, P7, P8), in all instances it was
undertaken when the incumbent had already shown signs of
distress in the new role. This points to the fact that transition
coaching is not something that organisations take seriously
and apply in a pre-emptive manner. It seems to be used for
remedial effect. C1 notes that the transition coaching she has
done has been almost accidental as part of a ‘brushstroke’
approach by organisations to coaching their leaders, not
specifically aimed at transitioning leaders. This is especially
true for internally promoted senior leaders. In one instance,
C2 only became involved 6 years after a promotion when
issues of the person not adjusting to the new role reached
crisis levels: ‘It is not front of mind for a company to say we
are promoting you therefore we think you should get the
support’ (C2, female, Coach). HR1’s company has no specific
TABLE 1: Theme 1: Iniang coaching.
Sub-theme Key insights
1. Timing of coaching Coaching starts too late; no explicit transion coaching;
coaching used for remedial eect; coaching should start
before the transion.
2. Duraon of coaching Intervenons are too short (< 6 months); coaching is
expensive; more frequent coaching immediately aer
transion; less frequent sessions for up to
18 months to 3 years later on.
3. Selecng a coach Coachee should be given opons; personal connecon
between coach and coachee is important.
4. Logiscs O-site (away from oce) coaching is preferable; coach
and coachee must be pragmac and exible.
5. Contracng Three-way contract between coachee, coach and
organisaon needed; Coach–coachee condenality is
important to the exclusion of the organisaon.
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process for assigning a coach to a newly promoted senior
leader. Instead the business can request a coach at any time,
so it is up to the line manager to decide whether the incumbent
needs a coach. Alternatively, if a person is nominated for a
leadership development programme they may encounter
coaching as part of design, but this is not necessarily linked
to a promotion.
The question of whether to initiate the coaching before or
after the promotion drew varied responses. On the one hand,
P4, P6, C3 and M1 felt that coaching should start before the
promotion. These participants agreed that there should be
between one and five sessions before the promotion, a
number of sessions in short succession shortly afterwards
and then fewer and more spread out sessions for ongoing
support for up to 2 years (M1, P1, P5, P6). C3 warned that
transition coaching must be pre-emptive: ‘we tend to only
look for help when there’s a burning platform’ (C3, male,
Coach). This is echoed by M1:
if you are going to put your feet wrong – you are going to do it
right there in the early stages where you want to set the agenda.
You want to set the scene. You do not want to make mistakes
before you have even started. (M1, female, Manager of
transitioning leaders)
Those who think that coaching should only start after the
candidate enters the role (P7, C1, HR2) have different reasons
for stating this. P7 feels that the candidate needs to spend a
few months in the new position to understand what they are
struggling with in order to optimise the coaching. C1 was
concerned that transition coaching before a promotion could
be confused with career coaching while HR2 was worried
that transition coaching before a promotion could have legal
implications should the promotion not materialise. C3
provides a pragmatic solution to this: ‘coaching should start
as soon as the news is broken’ (C3, male, Coach).
Duraon
While all the participants interviewed were unanimous that
transition coaching should continue for an extended period
of time of up to 3 years (HR2), only one participant experienced
such an extended intervention of 18 months which he
considered to be very beneficial to his learning process.
Most of the participants reported interventions ranging
between 6 and 10 sessions over a period of less than a year. It
was felt that this is inadequate:
Typically we sort of put a 12 week intervention or maybe put a 6
month intervention in but we never talk about the 2 year and 3
year period. Unfortunately, I think coaching is great and it has its
place, but I think we still think too tactically about the learning
journey. (HR2, female, HR practitioner)
Behaviour doesn’t change in 12 months. (M1, female, Manager of
transitioning leaders)
The reasons for these limited interventions were cited as cost
and a misunderstanding of the transition and transformation
process. In HR2’s experience there is a perception from line
managers that if the incumbent has not ‘made it after six
months on the job as a leader then we shouldn’t have
promoted him’ (HR2, female, HR practitioner).
Suggested solutions include initial frequent coaching sessions
(every 2 weeks) for the first 3 months to assist with immediate
issues and then less frequent sessions of once a month or
even 2 months for up to at least 18 months, but preferably up
to 3 years.
Coach selecon
The process of selecting a coach varied between organisations.
In most cases the coachee was given a choice of coaches
either through an interview process or a so-called chemistry
session (P3, P5), or by reviewing coaches’ CVs (P8). HR2’s
organisation uses a panel of coaches and assigns a coach
based on a specific skills-set needed in the intervention. The
importance of coach selection was highlighted by P7 (an
actuary) who stated that it was very important to him
that his coach had the ability to think analytically and
conceptually. The coach he selected was an engineer.
Logiscs
The issue of where and what time coaching should take place
elicited varied responses. P1 preferred a location far away
from work in a relaxed environment such as a restaurant or
hotel and at a time of day that was convenient. The neutral
location energised him sufficiently to allow him to engage in
the coaching. P2 on the other hand was coached at her office,
but she does feel that it would have been better to be coached
away from the office as she would have felt more free to talk
about ‘what is bothering her’. P4 concurred that even though
he was coached at the office he would have preferred to be
out of the ‘buzz’ of the office. P5 and P7 experienced both in
and out of the office scenarios and both preferred the off-site
location.
It would appear from the responses that off-site coaching is
preferable, but C1 sums it up well when she states that: ‘… it
is up to the coachee to make the call on what suits them and
for the coach to be flexible and accommodating’ (C1, female,
Coach).
Contracng
All the coaches reported going through a contracting phase.
In all cases there was at least one session at the start where an
organisational representative provided input into the
coaching process. There were some variations. C1 has two
sessions with the organisation, one at the start to set goals
and one at the end to provide feedback, although she has
observed that for executive-level coachees the organisations
seem to be less involved in the coaching process.
The importance of confidentiality during the contracting
phase and throughout the intervention is stressed:
The client might think you are in cahoots with the organisation
and they might want to use you to do performance management.
(C2, female, Coach)
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I never meet – except for the first conversation that they ask me
they want me to coach so and so. After that I never meet alone
with any of the organisational representatives. Never. That
creates suspicion. The minute you talk it creates suspicion. (C4,
female, Coach)
The coaching process
The coaching process theme yielded four sub-themes
(Table 2).
Managing the coaching process
Goal setting emerged as an important part of the transition
coaching process. Coaching goals provided structure (P1, P4)
and helped coachees stay accountable:
… once you kind of put it down on a piece of paper, even if it was
only your piece of paper, it suddenly becomes much more
tangible … Just writing it down is incredibly powerful. (P5, male,
Transitioning leader)
C3 uses goal setting as a standard practice to involve line
managers indirectly in the coaching process:
They (line managers) are the ones who see you dropping the ball
in the areas you want to develop. So if you’re lacking assertiveness
and in the next Exco meeting you’re not speaking up then they
can hold you accountable. (C3, male, Coach)
Two coachees felt strongly about the benefits of their coaches
summarising the coaching sessions and sharing this with
them. P5’s coach created a two- to three-page, typed summary
after each coaching session. This was useful to him in that it
allowed him to reflect on the coaching session between
sessions, as well as serving as a reminder of coaching goals.
Even after the coaching ended, P5 was using the coaching
summaries (comprising some 40 pages) to remind himself of
his journey and his progress to date. For P7 the summaries
acted as reference to books and resources he could consult.
Active experimentation emerged as a strong sub-theme (P1,
P2, P3, P6, P7, P8). P8 experimented with body and verbal
language. P6 practised in a mirror to overcome her public
shyness. P7 provided another example:
Go into a meeting and try and come out of it with the other party
feeling: I love this guy. Or go into a meeting and try and get the
guy at the end going you really struck me as someone with very
high EQ. (P7, male, Transitioning leader)
Reflection was used in various ways including obtaining
clarity of thinking (P3), identifying alternative solutions (P4),
feeling unjudged (P5) and creating awareness of positive
thoughts (P6). C1 distinguishes between assisted reflection,
led by the coach and self-reflection, performed by the coachee
outside of the coaching sessions. C4 uses reflection to close
the active experimentation learning loop.
In general, there seems to be a pattern of the coaching,
creating awareness in the client, of the need to change,
encouraging the client to practise and experiment with
different behaviours to see what works and finally to reflect
back in the coaching session on what worked or did not work
and the reasons for it (C1, C2, C3, C4).
Using theory
A number of participants valued the inclusion of theoretical
models and frameworks in the coaching process by their
coaches. Coaches shared cognitive behavioural theory (P1),
leadership theory (P4), video clips (P5) and the Leadership
Pipeline model (C1). For P7 as a technically minded
individual it was crucial that his coach provided him with
theoretical frameworks to allow him to understand what
process he was undergoing. Socratic questioning helped him
to listen to people instead of telling them what to do.
A number of participants reported using psychometric
assessments as input into the coaching process. This include
360-degree review, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Insights,
Organic scorecard and repertoire grid to name a few. The
benefits of these assessments range from comfort that my
coach knows me (P7), increased self-awareness (P8, C3, C5)
and getting the coaching ‘unstuck’ (C4).
Consulng external pares
The classical three-way meeting between the coach, coachee
and line manager at the start of the coaching process to align
on goals and at the end to provide feedback were present in a
number of instances (P1, P3, P5, C1, C3). For C3: ‘If the line
manager does not enforce the shift to the desired behaviour it
probably won’t happen’ (C3, male, Coach). HR1 feels it is
sufficient to receive occasional feedback from the coach while
HR2 feels that the organisation should take a backseat as the
results of the coaching should be visible. If not she will
intervene:
I am not seeing the behaviour. I am not seeing the values
demonstration. I am not seeing the strategic thinking. I am not
seeing the connectedness with people, whatever the case may be.
Those tell-tale signs should then say – okay coach I need to check
in. (HR2, female, HR practitioner)
While being coached, some coachees found it useful to have
a mentor. For some this was a formal process (P2) where their
line manager appointed an internal mentor to support their
transition, while for others it was an informal process. It
TABLE 2: Theme 2: The coaching process.
Sub-theme Key insights
1. Managing the
coaching process
Seng goals are important to keep coachees accountable;
goal seng focusses the intervenon; coaches should
summarise coaching sessions to allow reecon and
referencing; coaches should encourage coachees to
reect and experiment with dierent thinking and
behaving in between sessions; coachee must
reect on experiments in sessions.
2. Using theory Frameworks, theory and models shared by coaches helped
coachees understand their new roles and themselves;
psychometric assessments help create self-awareness.
3. Consulng external
pares
Support from line manager helps support the coachee;
HR should keep an arms-length distance but may
intervene if coaching results not evident; involving a
mentor is benecial; involving the coachee’s team
helps the team understand the coachee change process.
4. Networking Map the coachee’s network; idenfy network
improvements; expand coachee’s network
via formal and informal ways.
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would appear that using a mentor at the same time as being
coached is not a standard practice, but for those who did
have a mentor the effect was positive.
An interesting phenomenon that emerged from this research
is where coaches C2 and C3 involved the newly promoted
leader’s team in the coaching process. For C2 this was almost
out of frustration because the transformation that her client
underwent was met with suspicion by her team. It was only
after three facilitated sessions with the leader and her team
that trust was restored to some extent. For C2 ‘there is no
other way of coaching people who are being groomed for
leadership’ (C2, female, Coach) than to involve their teams at
some point while for C3 involving the team was a way to
bring in the systemic aspect of a senior corporate position.
Networking
P1 and his coach spent some time analysing his network:
we spent quite a bit of time to draw a picture of the people in my
work life: who are the people that stress me out, who are the
players, the actors in this great play at work. (P1, male,
Transitioning leader)
C1 and C4 reported using a similar approach with their
clients to help them build new relationships.
P3 expanded her network on a senior level, P5 spent time on
his international network and P6 focussed on building
networks outside of her regional office. All three participants
found this exercise helpful in their new role. C1 advises her
clients to build networks by meeting face-to-face either
formally (using work as an excuse to introduce yourself)
or informally (dropping in and introducing yourself as the
new person).
Ethical consideraons
This research was approved by the ethics committee of the
University of Stellenbosch. All participants signed informed
consent forms where their confidentiality, anonymity and
rights were explained.
Discussion
The main aim of this research was to investigate how a
coaching intervention should be designed to explicitly
support leaders who are promoted into senior leadership
positions. Two main themes emerged from the empirical
data: aspects to take into account when initiating the coaching
process and considerations when facilitating the coaching
process itself. These findings provide practical suggestions
for designing transition coaching interventions aimed at
supporting leaders when they are appointed into senior
leadership positions.
Iniang the coaching process
The most prominent finding of this research is that transition
coaching is not yet seen as a distinct coaching sub-discipline
by organisations, despite the fact that the coaching fraternity
considers transition coaching to be a specialisation of executive
coaching (Witherspoon & Cannon, 2004). As a result coaching
is not used explicitly and pre-emptively to assist leaders
during their promotion into senior leadership positions. For
the participants in this research, transition coaching was not
part of the default leadership development tools used by their
organisations. Organisations use a number of methods to train
new leaders such as mentoring and coaching, 360-degree
feedback, leadership training, job assignments, self–other
agreement, use of self-narrative and life stories and action
learning among others (Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm &
McKee, 2014; Fleenor, Smither, Atwater, Braddy & Sturm,
2010; Ligon, Hunter & Mumford, 2008). Some of these coaching
is unique in that it is tailored to the individual and concentrates
on behavioural change. Coaching puts into action the
suggestion of change that other leadership development
programmes profess (Kombarakaran et al., 2008).
There is a clear need for a more systematic approach to
supporting new leaders that include both traditional
leadership development programmes and personal coaching
(Martin, 2015). This research confirms the notion that
coaching at key career transition points, such as a promotion
into a senior position, is a powerful mechanism to help
ensure the incumbent’s success (Simpson, 2010).
The findings of this research suggest that to avoid getting off
to a wrong start, coaching should commence before the
promotion (as soon as the announcement is official) to help
the new senior leader design an action plan. There should
then be regular (every 2–4 weeks) coaching sessions for the
first 6 months, after which less frequent (every 2–3 months)
sessions should occur for up to 3 years. These results differ
from the notion that coaching for senior leaders should only
start after the first 90 days (Sutton, 2008) and concurs that the
results of the first 90 days in a senior position often set the
tone for failure or success (Watkins, 2009).
The reason that transition coaching is not used more
pervasively can to some extent be attributed to the high cost
associated with the process. This was certainly the case for a
number of participants in this research and is in line with
other research findings that suggest that coaching is often
lumped together with expensive interventions such as
training programmes without considering the unique
individual benefits that coaching brings (Simpson, 2010). On
the other hand, if the high cost associated with an unsuccessful
promotion to both the individual and the organisation is
considered (Martin, 2015; Watkins, 2009), and the high
likelihood of failure (Witherspoon & Cannon, 2004) perhaps
the cost of a 3-year long coaching intervention as suggested
above, is not as significant as is currently perceived.
An important part of initiating the coaching process is
matching the coach and coachee. Both the new leader and the
organisation’s fit to the coach must be considered (Weinstock,
2011). The findings from this research suggest that the new
leader must be given a choice of coaches to consider. This is
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particularly important because not all coaches may be skilled
in the specialisation of transition coaching and transition
coaching is considered challenging for the coaching
profession. New senior leaders are typically ambitious,
intelligent, energetic and restless individuals, which implies
that the coach must be able to cope with a wide range of
issues and be able to move at a fast pace (Reynolds, 2011). A
strong case can therefore be made to include a specific focus
on transition coaching when training new coaches.
These research findings suggest that coaching sessions
should ideally be conducted away from the office environment
to create a space free from mental clutter. It is important
however that pragmatism and flexibility be applied to
customise the coaching progress to suit both coach and
coachee. This is echoed by other research (Kaufman, 2006;
Sammut, 2014).
Managing the coaching process
Once the coaching process is underway, a number of key
elements must be present to help guide the transition
coaching process to success. The first such element as
revealed by the findings, is the importance of managing
the coaching process by setting goals, encouraging active
experimentation in between coaching sessions and constant
reflection.
Because of the inherently complex and unstructured nature
of the new role and the challenges that senior leaders face
(Peltier, 2010), it is crucial that goals are set to enable the
incumbent to focus and to develop their current capacity
(Grant, Passmore, Cavanagh & Parker, 2010). These goals
enable the newly promoted leader, their team and line
manager to identify critical issues that need addressing and
to find alignment (Freeman, 2011, Witherspoon & Cannon,
2004). This research shows that goal setting during transition
coaching is a crucial step and that these coaching goals must
take into account the organisational needs (Gray, 2006; Kahn,
2014). This research also shows that setting transition
coaching goals and sharing this with a wider audience help
to keep coachees accountable not only to themselves, but to
their team and line managers.
Reflection during and between coaching sessions and active
experimentation between coaching sessions by the new
leader appear to be important elements of a successful
transition coaching intervention. New leaders often have
incomplete, biased and irrelevant mental models when they
take up the new position. They also often underestimate the
complexity of the new role they take on, and this causes
them to focus selectively on problems they feel comfortable
to tackle (Freeman, 2011; Hill, 1992). The role of the transition
coach is to help create awareness of these limiting
assumptions through reflection (Reynolds, 2011) and
encouraging active experimentation to refute strongly held
notions of what is possible (Schön, 1991). The importance of
reflection and active experimentation is echoed by the
findings of this research whereby all the coaches interviewed
profess to use reflection and active experimentation in their
transition coaching practice.
The findings suggest that the use of assessments and other
theoretical frameworks were utilised frequently to provide a
baseline and scaffolding within which the transition coaching
was executed. Literature also suggests the use of assessments
in transition coaching to determine coaching needs (Grant
et al., 2010; Kaufman, 2006; Witherspoon & Cannon, 2004).
Involving third parties such as line managers and mentors
emerged as an important contributing factor to transition
coaching success. One use of this technique is for the coach
to obtain feedback from others to help the new leader
understand their limiting assumptions (Freeman, 2011).
Mentors and line managers can also support the coaching
agenda by being made aware of the coaching goals and to
provide support and guidance during the coaching
intervention. Findings from this research even suggest that
the new leader’s team should be involved in the process to
enable an understanding of the change process and to
provide a systemic angle to the coaching.
Finally, this research shows that the transition coach should
help the new leader identify and build a strong network of
people relevant to the new role. This finding is in line with
other research that shows the importance of building a strong
network (Clutterbuck & Megginson, 1999; Terblanche, 2014).
Praccal implicaons
A senior career transition is a uniquely challenging point in a
leader’s career with specific and well-known obstacles to
overcome. The findings of this research suggest that the
process of initiating and managing the transition coaching
intervention could be specifically designed to address these
known challenges. This gives impetus to the idea of
recognising ‘transition coaching’ as a distinct coaching sub-
discipline and for HR practitioners to take note of the
potential benefit of such a tailor-made intervention.
HR practitioners should take note of the timing of initiating
coaching (as soon as possible after the appointment is
official), the frequency of coaching (one or two sessions
before the role take-up, 6–10 during the first 6 months and
thereafter one session every 2–3 months for up to 3 years).
HR practitioners must also ensure that coach–coachee
matching provides a number of options to the coachee, that
clear coaching goals are set that consider the organisational
goals and that transition coaches employ reflection and active
experimentation in their coaching model. Line managers,
peers and team members of the new leaders must also be
involved in the coaching process through input (e.g. 360
assessments), mentoring and goal sharing.
Limitaons of the study
Although the participant selection included a diversity of
perspectives which included new leaders who were coached,
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transition coaches, HR practitioners and a line manager,
diversity could have been increased by including the
perspectives of the new leader’s peers and subordinates.
Conclusion
Literature indicates that there are significant challenges faced
by newly promoted senior leaders. The cost of failure is high
to both the individual and the organisation. Transition
coaching has been shown to be a valuable support for leaders-
in-transition. This research provides empirical evidence of
the need for transition coaching and the lack of its use at
present. Practical suggestions are made to assist HR
practitioners and coaches to design coaching interventions
specifically aimed at assisting transitioning leaders. These
include:
• starting transition coaching as soon as the appointment is
official
• continuing for at least 3 years with a session every 2–3
weeks for the first 6 months and a session every 2–3
months thereafter
• providing the coachee with a number of coach options
• allowing coaching to happen outside the office
environment.
As part of the coaching process, the following aspects must
be present:
• Clear coaching goals must be set which take into account
the organisational needs.
• The coach’s model must include reflection and active
experimentation.
• Assessments and theoretical frameworks must be used
during the coaching intervention to help create self-
awareness.
• Mentors, line managers and the new leader’s team must
be involved in the coaching process.
• Building a new network must be an explicit part of the
coaching process.
Coaching can provide effective support for leaders. If
customised for career transition as suggested in this research,
transition coaching may be able to provide a humane way to
support ambitious, talented individuals with the significant
challenges they face during promotions into senior leadership
positions.
Acknowledgements
Compeng interests
The authors declare that they have no financial or personal
relationships which may have inappropriately influenced
them in writing this article.
Authors’ contribuons
N.H.D.T. conducted the research and wrote the article as part
of his PhD project. R.M.A. and S.v.C-P. supervised his
research and reviewed the article.
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... The focus of this article is to share the results of the first author applying the TTC framework in supporting transitioning leaders. The rationale for this investigation was to address the apparent lack of the application of transition coaching in corporate South Africa (Terblanche et al., 2017) and to empower corporates to act in a more ethical manner by supporting transitioning leaders through a very challenging phase of their careers. ...
... Recent research into transition coaching has shown that it is not used pro-actively in supporting transitioning leaders (Terblanche et al., 2017). Terblanche et al. (2017) provide a set of recommendations for transition coaching including starting transition coaching as soon as the appointment is official; continuing for at least three years with a coaching session every two to three weeks for the first six months and a session every two to three months thereafter; providing the coachee with a number of coaching options; and allowing coaching to happen outside the office environment. ...
... Recent research into transition coaching has shown that it is not used pro-actively in supporting transitioning leaders (Terblanche et al., 2017). Terblanche et al. (2017) provide a set of recommendations for transition coaching including starting transition coaching as soon as the appointment is official; continuing for at least three years with a coaching session every two to three weeks for the first six months and a session every two to three months thereafter; providing the coachee with a number of coaching options; and allowing coaching to happen outside the office environment. ...
Article
Full-text available
Senior leadership transitions present daunting challenges. To promote inclusive development and comply with equal opportunity legislation, South African companies often fasttrack careers of high-potential previously disadvantaged individuals. Organisations typically do not sufficiently support transitioning leaders, possibly acting unethically. The rate of failure is high with devastating effects for the individual and their organisation. The novel, empirically researched Transformative Transition Coaching (TTC) framework helps facilitate deep and lasting changes in meaning perspectives of transitioning leaders through coaching. The ability of the TTC framework to support transitioning leaders is presented in this article.
... Organisations are promoting leaders into new leadership roles at increasing speeds due to the fast pace of enterprise expansions (Charan, Drotter & Noel 2011;Watkins 2004), increasingly competitive markets and a fast-changing business environment (Manderscheid & Freeman 2012), and cost-management and efficiency priorities (Neff & Citrin 2005). Leadership transitions are one of the most challenging processes that leaders face in their careers (Terblanche, Albertyn & Van Coller-Peter 2017), if not the most challenging, according to the vast majority (87 per cent) of HR professionals (Watkins 2009). Leadership transitions are rated second in stress and anxiety to a divorce (Sparrow 2007) and are rated only marginally higher than the onset of health issues (Paese & Mitchell 2007). ...
... Transition coaching, a relatively new specialisation of executive coaching, is being increasingly used to support leaders in transition (Sutton 2008). Transition coaching assists leaders to identify and understand key issues that they will encounter during the transition (Terblanche, Albertyn & Van Coller-Peter 2017); it also improves leadership effectiveness through enhanced self-awareness and the practicing of new behaviours (Kombarakaran et al. 2008) and it enables leaders to act appropriately at different stages of transition to facilitate success (Korte & DiVittis 2010). Bossert (2005) claimed that transition coaching engages leaders in culture and strategy with the intention to accelerate productivity. ...
Thesis
A widely cited statistic on leadership transitions claims that 40 per cent of executives fail within the first 18 months in a new role (Watkins 2003). Leadership transitions—a significant change in a leader’s role commonly associated with being promoted or changing organisations—are occurring more frequently in leaders’ careers and across organisations due to an increased pace of business change influenced by technology, globalisation and merger and acquisition activity. As many as 25 per cent of leaders change roles each year (Watkins 2013) and the resulting leadership transition often ranks as one of the most stressful and challenging experiences that executives have in their careers and lives. When a leadership transition is unsuccessful, the costs to the organisation and leader are significant. The estimated costs for replacing a leader who has failed the transition can range from as low as 30 per cent (Van Vark 2006) to 2400 per cent (Levin 2010) of the leaders’ annual salary. Additionally, the people surrounding the failed leader also suffer and the leader can experience considerable damage to their career and confidence. Organisations struggle to support their leaders in transition; this is truer for leaders who are new to the organisation and who have a more difficult transition than for leaders who are promoted from within, although both are risky situations for leaders. The programs utilised to integrate new staff into an organisation include orientation, induction, socialisation and onboarding. Many of these programs are effective for general staff, but they fail to meet the needs and expectations of leaders in transition. Externally recruited leaders are often left to ‘sink or swim’ in their new role within a new organisational culture and are without the support of a relational network. Internally promoted leaders also criticise the lack of support provided during their transition into different and more senior roles. The existing literature on leadership transitions is dominated by practitioner commentaries and opinions, with very few empirical studies. Of the research that has been published, many researchers have favoured deductive, quantitative survey–based studies that examine the subject across large samples and that are based on researcher-constructed concepts. In addition, there has been almost no research into leadership transitions conducted within the Australian business community. The quantitative nature of the existing research has largely been testing what is already known and assumed regarding the challenges of leadership transitions. As such, there is a research opportunity for exploring the area through the lens of an inductive, qualitative research approach in which the leader identifies and articulates the factors, not the researcher. The goal of this research was to explore leadership transitions in the Australian business community and to identify aspects that promoted or inhibited transition success for leaders. A conceptual framework was developed from the literature and a qualitative research approach inspired by Grounded Theory principles were used to identify the promoters and inhibitors of success during a leadership role transition. Utilising purposive sampling, in-depth semi-structured interviews were completed with 15 leaders, 2 senior managers and 5 members of human resources (HR) across a variety of `roles and organisations in Australia, in which they discussed the experience of their most recent leadership transition. The data were coded under a constant comparison method and were grouped into themes, which produced a list of factors promoting and inhibiting transition success. These were then aggregated into four categories to summarise the factors influencing leadership transitions: (1) the situation that the leader encounters when they undertake a new role, (2) the people surrounding the leader in their new role, (3) the attributes and experiences that the leader brings to the new role and (4) what the leader does during the transition. The findings of this research suggest that leadership transitions are a stressful and dangerous period for leaders and that organisations do a poor job of supporting both external and internal leaders in transition. The research also discovered that factors promoting transition success are increasingly associated with the leader and factors that inhibit with the organisation. Other findings include that the use of transition plans significantly benefit a leader’s transition, that a lack of clarity is a common and significant inhibitor, that most organisations have no formal onboarding process and that there are few structured transition success measurement frameworks. The identified promoters and inhibitors led to the creation of a transition model that depicts an effective leadership transition. A transition action framework was also created, identifying the areas that would most assist organisations in improving the success of their leaders in transition.
... It assists institutions in achieving overall institutional sustainability [160,169,170]. Effective and developed leadership is a key element of institutional sustainability [171]. Institutional sustainability through leadership assists institutions to strategically generate intrinsic values and wellbeing for all stakeholders [171]. ...
... Effective and developed leadership is a key element of institutional sustainability [171]. Institutional sustainability through leadership assists institutions to strategically generate intrinsic values and wellbeing for all stakeholders [171]. The leadership development process includes 'coaching, multi-source feedback, stretch assignments, mentoring, international job assignments and formal development programmes' [169], as well as succession planning [164,172,173]. ...
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In the new millennium, talent management (TM) has become more important and has received attention from institutions that seek a foundation on the map institutions of excellence. Higher education institutions are represented by their possession of highly qualified employees who are able to show initiative, creativity and excellence in performance. Those individuals are the core resources of innovation and social development. It is apparent that there is a great competition among institutions in this modern technology era, driving an increase in knowledgeable employees along with vast market changes. Consequently, academic institutions have started to rethink their procedures and policies to achieve better attraction, development and retention of those employees. Therefore, this chapter aims to improve the theoretical and pragmatic comprehension of TM as an essential source of innovative and educational development. Through pragmatic use of elements of previous research approaches combined with a comprehensive qualitative study, this study concludes that higher education institutions are aware of innovation sources that are currently used in managing talent in their divisions and faculties. These were talent attraction, talent development, and talent retention. Both empirical research represented by the case study in the higher education sector and previous research confirm that the best practices of TM are considered as attraction, development and retention of talent.
... It assists organisations in achieving overall organisational sustainability (Chami-Malaeb and Garavan, 2013;Dalakoura, 2010;Prinsloo, 2017). Effective and developed leadership is a key element of organisational sustainability (Terblanche et al., 2017). Organisational sustainability through leadership assists organisations to strategically generate intrinsic values and well-being for all stakeholders (Terblanche et al., 2017). ...
... Effective and developed leadership is a key element of organisational sustainability (Terblanche et al., 2017). Organisational sustainability through leadership assists organisations to strategically generate intrinsic values and well-being for all stakeholders (Terblanche et al., 2017). The leadership development process includes "coaching, multi-source feedback, stretch assignments, mentoring, international job assignments and formal development programmes" (Chami-Malaeb and Garavan, 2013, p. 4047), as well as succession planning (Hejase et al., 2016;Mathew, 2015;Rothwell, 2005). ...
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Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate generated themes associated with talent development in the Australian higher education sector. This is because there are pragmatic advantages for universities that are focused on developing talents. For example, talent is a primary source of competitive advantage for educational institutions. Design/methodology/approach This study depends on the individual interview method as the main tool for data collection. The sample consisted of six participants who are talented. High-level individual interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed using NVivo 11. Findings Individual interviews have identified four key themes of talent development: performance management, coaching talent, leadership development and talent acquisition. Research limitations This study only targeted one country (Australia), and one sector (higher education). Hence, the generalisability …
... It assists organisations in achieving overall organisational sustainability (Chami-Malaeb and Garavan, 2013;Dalakoura, 2010;Prinsloo, 2017). Effective and developed leadership is a key element of organisational sustainability (Terblanche et al., 2017). Organisational sustainability through leadership assists organisations to strategically generate intrinsic values and well-being for all stakeholders (Terblanche et al., 2017). ...
... Effective and developed leadership is a key element of organisational sustainability (Terblanche et al., 2017). Organisational sustainability through leadership assists organisations to strategically generate intrinsic values and well-being for all stakeholders (Terblanche et al., 2017). The leadership development process includes "coaching, multi-source feedback, stretch assignments, mentoring, international job assignments and formal development programmes" (Chami-Malaeb and Garavan, 2013, p. 4047), as well as succession planning (Hejase et al., 2016;Mathew, 2015;Rothwell, 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate generated themes associated with talent development in the Australian higher education sector. This is because there are pragmatic advantages for universities that are focused on developing talents. For example, talent is a primary source of competitive advantage for educational institutions. Design/methodology/approach This study depends on the individual interview method as the main tool for data collection. The sample consisted of six participants who are talented. High-level individual interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed using NVivo 11. Findings Individual interviews have identified four key themes of talent development: performance management, coaching talent, leadership development and talent acquisition. Research limitations This study only targeted one country (Australia), and one sector (higher education). Hence, the generalisability of these results is limited to the Australian university sector in Queensland. Practical implications This study collects rich and original qualitative data regarding talent development in the higher education domain. Therefore, for instance, the research findings validate what was already found but are significant because practical data rather than theoretical were gathered through a discussion with experts in talent management. This study has a high quality because of strengthening the effect of an in-depth case study. Originality/value The study offers a value added to talent management theory through investigating themes of talent development for the higher education sector. This would assist researchers in this field to provide a deeper understanding and develop a theoretical foundation for their further studies. This implication is unique to the advancement of talent management theory.
... Current approaches to transition coaching focus on aspects such as improved stakeholder management, more effective communication and developing new cognitive and social skills (Reynolds, 2011;Sutton, 2008;Witherspoon & Cannon, 2004) but appear to stop short of creating sustained change on a more fundamental level (Bebb, 2009;Freedman, 2011). Transition coaching is typically started too late and used as a rescue mechanism rather than a pre-emptive support (Terblanche et al., 2017). This suggests that there could be scope for designing a transition coaching intervention with a more enduring effect. ...
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With the enormous number of deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19, the need for public health government leaders that are responsive and effective has never been more important. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of 20 government supervisors who experienced executive coaching to illuminate patterns of effective and agile coaching practices by drawing from theories of experimental and interdisciplinary learning and transformational leadership models. This study proposes executive coaching as a potentially effective and functional methodology to solve this problem, and supports the government in understanding the practical and theoretical dimensions of executive coaching as a developmental method in U.S. government healthcare organizations. This research shows that coaching can be a useful tool to help in the development of more effective healthcare managers, many of which have only been extensively trained in clinical areas.
Article
Corporate leaders are frequently promoted into senior positions without the requisite capabilities to be successful in such career transitions. A significant proportion fails with substantial negative personal and organisational implications. Incumbents need to adapt through a flexible learning process that transcends superficial change. Transformative learning alters deeply held perspectives and world views and has long-term efficacy, while transition coaching, used sporadically at present, is a personalised learning process. This research created a novel synergy between transformative learning theory and transition coaching using a combination of grounded theory principles (16 participants) and canonical action research (6 participants). The findings yielded two results: the transformative transition coaching framework that appears to facilitates deep, lasting changes in an individual’s perspectives and world views during senior career transitions; and a novel coaching state transition notation that could help coaches to graphically track coachees’ transition progress. By undergoing transformative learning through coaching, transitioning leaders may increase their chances of success in their current and future roles. https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/9RF5ISWVMAHKW73C9W3S/full?target=10.1080/09585192.2019.1688376
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Knowledge sharing between employees is a critical success factor in knowledge intensive organisations and depends on the quality of an employee’s relationships with co-workers. Relatively little research has been done on how to incorporate relationship aspects into a coaching intervention. This paper describes an organisational coaching intervention that used Social Network Analysis to analyse relationship patterns between individuals in a team following an action research approach. Social Network Analysis artefacts were used to help identify coachees, set coaching goals, create selfawareness, identify behavioural changes, and to provide some measure of the coaching efficacy in improving knowledge sharing in a team.
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Understanding CoachingSkills, Performance and developmental CoachingExecutive and Workplace CoachingThe Professional Status of Coaching: Accreditations and Industry OrganizationsCoaching Professionalization Parallels development in Other FieldsCoaching Psychology as an Emerging Psychological SubdisciplineCoaching ResearchOutcome StudiesRandomized Controlled StudiesLongitudinal StudiesMeasuring Outcomes of CoachingCompetencies of Effective Coaches and CoacheesResearch DirectionsA Positive Future?A Well-Being and Engagement Framework for Organizational CoachingCoaching and Coaching Psychology: A Shared Path Forward?References
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Whereas coaching is very popular as a management tool, research on coaching effectiveness is lagging behind. Moreover, the studies on coaching that are currently available have focused on a large variety of processes and outcome measures and generally lack a firm theoretical foundation. With the meta-analysis presented in this article, we aim to shed light on the effectiveness of coaching within an organizational context. We address the question whether coaching has an effect on five both theoretically and practically relevant individual-level outcome categories: performance/skills, well-being, coping, work attitudes, and goal-directed self-regulation. The results show that coaching has significant positive effects on all outcomes with effect sizes ranging from g = 0.43 (coping) to g = 0.74 (goal-directed self-regulation). These findings indicate that coaching is, overall, an effective intervention in organizations.
Book
This book offers an approach to business and executive coaching that properly aligns the practice in the culture of business through the use of a relational "coaching axis" that helps to manage the complexity of the organisation and the individual as dual clients. Business and executive coaching occurs within an organisational context with the goal of promoting success at all levels of the organisation by affecting the actions of those being coached. This form of coaching is distinct from other types in two ways, firstly it is focused on achieving business outcomes, and secondly, both the individual being coached and the sponsoring organization are simultaneously the client. This book explains how a coach manages the complexity of helping these two clients by acting as a narrative bridge between their stories. It offers a relational approach which resists remedial or curative notions born from coaching’s human science roots and instead aligns to workplace realities. Chapters 1 -3 explore three interlocking paradigms for coaching that culturally align to the context of business. Firstly, in working with the complexity of client, systems theory is explored. Secondly, in working with the complexity of organisational culture, the notion of culture is unpacked. Thirdly, in exploring the complexity of theory, an eclectic and integrative theoretical approach is unpacked and the notion of the scientist-practitioner is explored. The remainder of the book explains the "Coaching on the Axis" approach. This approach captures the way coaching interfaces with business across three systemic dimensions situated on a hypothetical "axis." It further outlines a method to track themes, elicit insights and test actions systemically along this axis using a narrative methodology. Finally, a case study is provided. Ultimately, the book aims to assist coaches in properly aligning their practice with business, honouring the culture from which this work derives its legitimacy and sanction, and significantly increasing its likelihood of success.