Executive Coaching Leads to Better Organizational Decision Making

Leland Sandler Coach

Executive Coaching Leads to Better Organizational Decision Making

How You Can Change Decision Making in Your Company Based on Your Process (and Help From a Good Executive Coach)

There is no doubt in my mind that the right executive coach can help transform your business. I have seen it time and time again. Having an executive coach helps create better leaders, more forward thinking employees and less stressed executives. Watch this interview I did with Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, to learn a bit about how I believe executive coaching leads to better organizational decision making.

Patrick:      There’s also a real effort, at least on a qualitative basis to say, “This is also helping us as a company or as a decision making engine to make better decisions.” Are people buying into that when you have those conversations?

Leland:      They are. Part of the experience that you would have as a client is having those SMART goals. The SMART goal was that I’m going to be more open to input and to people’s feedback. Then we do mini experiments and tests to try it out. We assess the results.

We actually have them identify someone who’s actually at the decision making meetings,  there with them to help them assess the results, learn from that data and then do the next exercise. Then we do the next exercise.

At the end of the day they’ve got six, seven or eight exercises where they’re in a real meeting dealing with a real issue, a real decision. They’re doing personal feedback and getting someone else’s feedback on how they showed up at that meeting.

Patrick:     You mentioned that you were going to give me two examples, an individual example and an organizational example. What about the organizational example?

Leland:      I’d say it’s a question of decision-making. I always want to know what that means to you. People say, “We’re taking too long to make decisions.” This is a recent example again.

You want to quantify what “too long” means. A topic is brought up. Then it’s deferred to the next week then the next week and the next week. All of a sudden, six weeks later we still haven’t made a decision about it.

What I do is two things. One is understanding what’s been getting in the way. More importantly there’s also probably a technique or procedural piece that’s missing. A classic thing in companies is that people, organizations or teams don’t do a very good job of what I call decision framing.

They don’t identify clearly what it is that we’re actually deciding. When does it need to be decided by? What’s the process that we’re going to use to make that decision? Who’s going to be involved and not involved? What is the criteria that we’re going to be using?

I now know that a decision has to be made, but not in six weeks. We’re going to make it in three. Six people are going to be involved in making the decision, but one of them is the actual decision maker. You call that out.

You turn around and say, “Wait. With the other six people, we are going to have you involved in making the decision.” We’re going to call out what the criteria is, whatever it is. It may be cost, quality or speed. It’s predefined.

What we find is that we look later and ask how they are making decisions now. It’s the same kind of a thing. They can actually say, “Here’s what we’re doing differently.” They can point to very specific things.

Patrick:     Does it go smoothly like that or do you run into sabotages and people undermining the process? Do you get mixed results there?

Leland:      People sabotaging in an organization? Yes, it’s hard sometimes. Does it go smoothly? Sometimes it does, but sometimes not so smoothly. At the end of the day you need to make sure that the group as a whole is committed to being better. If someone isn’t, then where are we going to go with this?

Patrick:     Then you can at least pinpoint here’s the potential problem of why we’re not able to do this.

Leland:      Exactly. That’s what you want to do.

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