Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vision Without Action is a Hallucination: Group Coaching and Strategy Implementation

KETS DE VRIES Manfred F. R.
Access the publisher's website Organizational Dynamics (forthcoming)

Many executives struggle with the problem of getting things done. They know that they need to get everyone on board—from top to bottom—to make the organization work, but they don’t really know how to go about it. Without the presence of a team culture they tend to do things their own way, often resulting in uncoordinated decisions and actions. Executives who behave like ships passing in the night, act in ways that are neither in the interests of the organization or themselves. The implementation of strategy will suffer. This article discusses how to get things done by applying the group coaching methodology, in particular how it can make a difference by insuring that everyone in the organization sees the direction for the business and how their job fits into the “big picture.” In the process, executives become mutually invested in encouraging behaviors that insure that everyone works together toward common goals. I present a specific case example to show how group coaching positively affects strategy execution, highlighting the conscious and unconscious psychological processes that induce tipping points for change. Group coaching can be an effective way to create a truly networked organization and to minimize the paranoid thinking that often emerges in matrix-like companies with virtual, highly diverse teams. As part of a group coaching intervention, executives assume constructively challenging follow-up roles, supporting one another to stay on the agreed-upon track. By fostering a greater sense of accountability and trust, ‘management by fear’ is overcome, lateral communication breaks down the silo mentality, and the path is opened to a boundary-less company and real information exchange.