White Paper on Coaching Leaders in a Recession-- Improving Financial Impact And Business Acumen

Coaching Leaders In A Recession - Improving Financial Impact And Business Acumen [Jan 2009]

Executive Summary
Traditional coaching programs have focused on interpersonal skills. In a recession the focus must shift decisively to improving business acumen and financial performance. Only by doing this can HR gain the proverbial seat at the table and gain business credibility.

New advances in the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral finance have opened up new techniques for coaching managers and executives in how to improve their business acumen and their financial and valuation impact. HR and companies need to open up this new type of coaching to their executives as a way of contributing to the financial health of their firms and contributing to the overall business recovery.

Business acumen coaching is very different to traditional coaching although there are some areas of similarity too. It focuses squarely on financial outcomes and performance and on measurement of outcomes using financial metrics. In order to be credible to executives, it needs to use coaches with strong business backgrounds rather than with backgrounds solely in psychology.

Business acumen coaching tends to be used with more senior managers although it is also appropriate for high potential and less senior mangers with potential for taking over P&L roles. It is used not just for improving financial performance but also for organizational transformation because of its tight link with innovation behaviors.

Companies should look to this new type of coaching as another means to improve their financial performance in difficult economic times and as a complement to traditional coaching which satisfies financial needs as well as the traditional emphasis on social and cultural needs.

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