FOWLER: Creating a ‘Coaching Culture’


“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, operational excellence for lunch, and everything else for dinner. ”

“Coaching turns problems into challenges, challenges into opportunities and opportunities into gifts.” – Milton Erickson

In the same way habits make the man or woman, culture makes or breaks every organization.

An organization’s culture is defined by its core values but is realized in the habits those core values establish. A coaching culture must be a part of an organization’s DNA for coaching to make a lasting impact on the organization and be replicated in the habits of every new leader entering the organization.

Last week, we established that coaching produces results for high-performing organizations. This week, let’s look at how to make coaching a lasting part of the DNA of your organization.

Here are the 5 steps you need to follow to experience the amazing outcomes of a coaching culture.

1. Establish the reason for creating a coaching culture.

I love this quote from John Maxwell. For me, it is my reason to coach, train and work to lift up those I work with.

“Leaders are meant to help others become the people God created them to be.”

That statement is more like a purpose statement or vision for your people operations. Next, establish key metrics.

2. Create the measurables that define success.

We must define the win so we can know if our actions are creating the outcomes we desire. Metrics will vary by organization, but can include:

– Employee Promoter Score: EPS asks employees how likely they are to recommend the organization to their friends and family as a great place to work. If your “A” players are encouraging their “A” friends to join your team, your organization will be in a great spot.

– Retention: What percentage of your team are leaving you? Some turnover is needed, but all turnover is expensive in time, culture, customer experience and dollars. Great workplace cultures will attract the best so you have better candidates to choose from. As you select better team members, your culture will continue to improve and you will lose fewer and fewer people as you create more opportunities for team members to grow.

– Net Promoter Score: This is the customer side of the Employee Promoter Score mentioned earlier. This is a lagging indicator, but you will know your people efforts are working when they create better experiences for your customers.

3. Train

Coaching can be really difficult to grasp (and even harder to implement) in our advice-driven culture. Coaching involves asking more and better questions while rarely giving advice. My first coach training was “paradigm-altering” to say the least.

Once I learned how to coach I found out that the doing of coaching was way harder than learning the concepts! Giving advice comes way too naturally for me.

4. Follow Up

To ensure the outcomes you desire, you need to follow up with your leaders early and often. Ask them how often they are having coaching conversations and what they are hearing from their teams. If we will walk out the steps of being great coaches, the results will come.

5. Measure, Pivot (if necessary) and Stay After It

Change is hard but required to build great organizations that last. Know that coaching is the way and never stop working to get better at it. Bad efforts will still yield results. As you get better at it, the results will improve also.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into some coaching models.

We love helping leaders build great companies and better lives for themselves and the people they lead. We’ve got some great free resources for you in our resource library. You can check them out here – or give us a call at (229) 244-1559. We’d love to help you in any way we can.

Curt Fowler is president of Fowler & Company and director at Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey.

Curt and the team at FHRS help leaders build great companies through Virtual CFO, strategy, tax and accounting services.

Curt is a syndicated business writer, keynote speaker, and business advisor. He has an MBA in strategy and entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School, is a CPA and a pretty good guy as defined by his wife and five children. (Welcome Baby Owen – June 2021!)


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