Do you know what is the fastest car from 0-60 mph in mass production? According to Motortrend, the answer is Tesla’s Model S Plaid. How can we know that? It has been tested and the numbers prove it, black and white. It is a claim that can be verified.
Which is the best watch in the world? That is a bit more complicated to answer, as different experts will have very different, personally biased and professionally justified takes on the topic.
Who has the best coaching and training program? If you check out LinkedIn or you land on the websites of thousands of coaches and trainers, most of them claim it is theirs. They can back it up with impressive testimonials and logos of big companies, but it is confusing. If you set up a meeting with them, you might even hear about their survey results at the end of their program, which might seem rather objective as you can see numbers—and as we have heard so many times, numbers do not lie. But actually, they can, or at least they can hide the truth.
Most surveys are sent out straight after the workshop or coaching session, which makes it nearly impossible for them to measure how valuable the program was (as that is not known until three to six months later); therefore, they are often based on how entertaining, eye-opening or pleasant it was.
If you look at employee engagement trends in the U.S. for the last 22 years, it becomes crystal clear that even though companies have spent an enormous amount of money and time on people solutions, not only are the numbers not improving, but they’re steadily decreasing each year.
That is pretty shocking. That is the reason why we need to raise the standards in the coaching and consulting industry while building awareness about the topic, so clients won’t settle for less than they have paid and hoped for.
There are three reasons why it is necessary and profitable to raise the bar.
1. There is a big gap in the market.
Packaging sells; content makes the sale sustainable. It is difficult to cut through the noise when competitors promise the moon for a sale, yet they cannot prove they can deliver it. What if you could? What if you could clearly demonstrate the impact of your work by presenting how the levels of psychological safety and motivation changed during your intervention? That is the first benefit of using a data-driven approach using up-to-date solutions rooted in science.
The second one is that it is extremely hard to optimize something without measuring it. It is proven beyond doubt that teams that score high on those invisible forces thrive; the ones that score low barely survive. Understanding the concept of psychological safety and motivational drivers is hard as they seem to be subjective feelings, but once you can quantify them and you can create meaningful conversations based on actual and relevant information, you create a common vocabulary and framework that enable efficient communication. Nothing can replace it.
2. You create a scalable business.
Research shows that the highest level of growth happens in a psychologically safe, motivating and cognitively diverse environment, so the ability to measure and optimize those forces can help you future-proof your clients’ businesses and your own business. Not only do you stand out from the crowd, but you create a business model where your diagnostic services are needed on a regular basis to see if they are growing or declining, because as we already know, plateauing is a myth. The more employees complete the assessments, the more accurate results your clients get, which allows you to create even more efficient solutions. That is a real win-win.
3. It is the right thing to do.
What would you do if you went to an accountant who does not use a computer, is not up to date in their field and, while they can make clients feel better by guessing about their taxes, there is no hard evidence that they do a good job? Most people would not trust a surgeon without the proper surgical equipment, but some are willing to risk their businesses because of coaches and consultants without the right tools and training.
It is our moral obligation to provide our clients with cutting-edge solutions in this rapidly changing world where tools designed for the challenges of the last century cannot deliver results by fixing problems they were not meant to solve. If our programs are really good, we can make them even more powerful by offering a new level of transparency, and if they are not as good, we can make them even better based on the results by adjusting our approach.
So far, coaching has been primarily focused on the individual, but individuals do not exist in isolation. Understanding the power of environment and team dynamics is as essential as figuring out where to plant a flower, as the environmental conditions will greatly determine what is going to happen to it. Data-driven team coaching and organizational development is about raising the standards in our industry, establishing credibility and creating outcomes we can be proud of. It is for the world-class coaches who are not scared of being measured by their achievements but are committed to growth personally and professionally.
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