Coaching Culture

“In the future, people who are not coaches will not be promoted. Managers who are coaches will be the norm.”
- Jack Welch

Building a Coaching Culture: how’s your organisational culture?

Your culture is a living entity, a resource, an organic element which can either drive or hamper your success. Your organisation has strategic objectives. Your ability to deliver on these is informed by your culture – “the way we do things round here.”

“Boss-led” cultures include a lot of hierarchy and not much innovative capacity at the ‘lower’ levels. Thinking may include “that’s not my job” and “what can I do?” – with a shrug of the shoulders. There’s a feeling of “there’s a right way and a whole set of wrong ways, according to the boss. There’s a fear of failing, and a culture of blame. Leaders tell.

“Learning-led” cultures have flatter structures, more independent thinking, more effective thinking and acting Thinking may include “what can I do?”, “who else can help”, “what could change this?” There’s a feeling of continuous solution focus, of respect for the thoughts of others, and of each person having knowledge which is useful. Failure informs better decisions next time. Leaders listen.

Wherever your organisation is on this Boss-led/learning-led continuum we know you are committed to getting better results, and to moving with the times. We know how Coaching can effect positive change. We know how to support you in understanding how people think, how people learn and how to build their capacity. There’s no “wrong” with culture; just “what works”.


  • What does a coaching culture or learning culture look like?

    Leaders who listen, engaged employees whose views are valued, a set of policies, strategies and structures which build those two capabilities – your leaders ability to listen and encourage and your employees capability to be engaged and motivated.

  • What is the 70/20/10 approach?

    Many organisations now work with the 70/20/10 approach to Leadership Development. 70%= on-the-job learning, 20%= coaching and mentoring, and 10%= classroom training. The optimum year of development (for each of your leaders) will include 10% effective training (in-house or external) which carries their new thinking/new skills into 70% on the job experience to build their new skills and 20% being coached and mentored towards specific leadership, organisational or individual goals/objectives. The model calls for this training to be specific and effective. The model also calls for coaching and/or mentoring support – in a way which continues to grow skills, confidence and knowledge of your leaders throughout the year. And the 70% on the job? We recommend you find training options which allow your leaders to use their own real life examples and to bring their newly acquired skills back into the workplace; and that your training programme design always includes ongoing support over time as these skills are embedded into everyday workplace situations.

  • What will stop us getting this right?

    Change one part and the rest of the system will resist! Culture change must engage the whole team if the change is to stick. If you only train your line managers (for example) it’s like asking a team to keep delivering results when only one of them has the new tools. All teams create habits together, and they will need to look at those habits together and/or learn new habits together if they are to effect successful change. Coaching is a mindset and a skillset – and the impact of coaching conversations happens between coaching conversations when the learner reflects on the insights, intentions and ideas which have emerged. We learn best when there is sufficient time to absorb and practice what we are learning. For more clear ideas on the elements of a coaching culture download this document.

How can we at Coaching Pacific help with your developing culture initiatives? We can coach your leaders, or the teams within your organisation as they adopt new skills and build their knowledge. We can train your leaders , and their teams so that each one can coach and be coached effectively. We can support your internal coaches with mentoring and supervision support. We can facilitate workshops which process and move through emerging un-surfaced conflict, for example – psychological safety is paramount for the wellbeing and success of your team. Just be in touch for an obligation free twenty minute discussion of how we can serve you. We have a dedicated culture-change session in our EOCC.