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How to Develop your Organisation’s Coaching Maturity


The Art of Leadership Newsletter

The concept of ‘leader as coach’ has come of age – and it’s been a long time coming. When I co-founded the Stephenson Mansell Group more than twenty years ago, coaching was a remedial activity and a skill that was an add-on to the “real job” of leading through command and control. Those days are over. This month’s Harvard Business Review puts it like this: “No longer can managers simply command and control. Instead, with full institutional support, they need to reinvent themselves as coaches whose job it is to draw energy, creativity, and learning out of the people with whom they work.”

This emergence of coaching as a foundational leadership skill is born out of the need for organisations to navigate the emerging landscape of complexity, disruption and ambiguity. As the vanguards of this change, leaders are expected to lead the charge into this ‘new normal’ with agility and confidence.

There are a number of companies that have developed a world-class coaching culture precisely to address these challenges and lift performance. They include the likes of Google and Microsoft, who have seen enormous benefits in engagement, retention, and innovation.

These are organisations that are at the top of ‘The Coaching Maturity Curve’ as illustrated in the diagram below:

The Coaching Maturity Curve

It’s easy to embrace the idea of a World Class coaching culture, but incredibly difficult to do.

In response to this conundrum, we commissioned a research project to investigate what organisations can do to move towards ‘World Class’ on the curve.

Specifically, we looked at what the ‘Strategic’ and ‘World Class’ organisations did to get there. Our study highlighted a number of key differentiators that separated these top performing organisations with everyone else. These include:

  • Coaching is viewed at every level of the organisation as a powerful developmental activity, not a remedial one.
  • At the start of the effort of developing a world class coaching culture, the leadership had a vision for what that coaching culture would look like.
  • Leaders consider coaching to be a core capability rather than a complementary skill.
  • The organisation understands how to implement coaching to enable organisational strategy.
  • Coaching activity is visible across the organisation, and its results tracked and measured.

The study makes for essential reading for anyone interested in delivering a high performance culture quickly and sustainably. I invite you download an executive summary of the full report using the button below.

Personally, I’m very excited about the insights that this research highlights. In the new year, we will be hosting a number of masterclasses connecting the research to practice. So watch out for an invitation.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss any aspects of the Executive Summary in more detail.

Warm regards



Founding Partner

Download our Research Executive Summary now: “Coaching Maturity  in Organisations. What works and why”. 

Authored by Dr Be Pannell, our research sets out to determine how organisations can go from good to great in their approach to coaching maturity so that they can deliver on their performance goals.

    Complete the form below to receive your complementary copy of the Executive Summary of our research report "2019 Coaching Maturity in Organisations".

    So, where do you feel your organisation sits on the Coaching Maturity Curve? (Refer to the diagram above).

    IncidentalCentralisedMetrics-BasedStrategicWorld Class

    What’s On

    2020 Program Calendar coming soon

    Dates are being finalised for our 2020 public programs and workshops and will be available online in the coming weeks.

    Let us know if there is something that you would like to see us offer as a public workshop – we truly value your comments and feedback.

    Final Executive Presence Program

    A huge increase in demand for executive presence leadership coaching in recent months, sees our final Executive Presence and Impact program with Peter Kingston sold out in Sydney.

    Watch this space as dates for Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for 2020 will be announced shortly for this insightful and interactive one-day masterclass.

    “Peter’s ability to engage with his audience and personally encourage participants to step out of their comfort-zone is powerful to be part of.”

    SYDNEY: Executive Presence and Impact Workshop, 14 November 2019    SOLD OUT

    Have you seen our Advanced Leader as Coach Program?

    Designed for those who have already gained a grounding in coaching, this program offers participants the opportunity to gain higher levels of competence and confidence through exposure to the major psychological models which underpin the coaching framework and learn how to apply them in the workplace.

    Find out more

    Research Launch Event Coming in Early 2020

    Flag it in your diary! SMG will be sharing our full Research findings at a launch event in early 2020. Hear how to move your company along the maturity curve to be ‘World Class’.

    Please email events@smgrp.com.au if you would like to be the first to know more.

    What’s Trending In Leadership

    HBR recently shared their very pertinent article ‘The Leader as Coach’. Which sees that the role of the manager, in short, is becoming that of a coach.

    With the rapid, constant, and disruptive change that is now the norm for business, what succeeded in the past no longer a guarantees success in the future. Twenty-first-century leaders simply don’t (and can’t!) have all the right answers. To cope with this new reality, organisations are moving away from traditional command-and-control practices and toward something very different: a model in which managers give support and guidance rather than instructions, and employees learn how to adapt to constantly changing environments in ways that unleash fresh energy, innovation, and commitment.

    SMG Recommends

    In need of some reading inspiration…?

    Atomic Habits by James Clear – Hands-on guide with insight into your habits, how to create and embed goods ones, and break bad ones.



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