Transformational coaching is about creating sustainable and significant change. It concerns how we can improve behaviours and outcomes to create a better impact, to open up new capabilities and to be able to tackle future opportunities. Examples of transformations are from chaos to structure, from Waterfall to Agile or from technology focus to product and customer focus.
Transformation is never a straight road, so here is how I usually go about navigating an effort to become something more.
I start by assessing the current state of the organisation, for instance by interviewing a good spread of the people involved in and affected by a potential change. Then, I will create awareness of the current state so that people both realise there is a need for change and what the opportunities might be. Throughout, I will enable people involved to take ownership and lead this transformation, with me acting as support. This, I can do by helping to remove barriers and catalyse the change by challenging assumptions and give structure amidst the chaos. But, my main work task throughout is to develop people and competencies, coaching individuals, teams and the organisation both horizontally (teaching new skills to be able to take advantage of opportunities) and vertically (opening up people’s minds to be able to tackle more complex situations). Continuously, I assess together with the stakeholders to know when we might be done with an effort.
The drive to change comes from basic human emotions such as fear of not being competitive enough. But, there are always contexts where there isn’t enough drive. I use a non-forcing approach to change, finding where change wants to happen and nurture the people and contexts needed for that want to grow.
Yesterday, I joined my friend Marty Cagan’s great training TRANSFORMED to add another ace up my sleeve. He provides a considerably clear target in the Product Operating Model for a transformation to create a very competent and competitive product company, moving from for instance sales-led to customer-focused, which is more important than ever. Combining the skills I have in Agile Delivery, Product Discovery and Product Strategy, the three main areas for successful product companies to be mature in according to Marty, makes me a suitable transformation coach for the Product Operating Model.