The two most important questions a company should answer, even before looking for solutions, are:
1. What do we, as a company, want to achieve?
Yes, what is the company’s goal? Is it to motivate the team? Is it to create a better relationship among teams? Is it to improve the leadership of its team? Improve communication? Reduce tension? Increase sales? Provide new sales tools?
2. What is the number one challenge, as a company, which our teams face?
Understanding the nature of the issue is the first step towards looking for the right solution. Now this question may lead to multiple answers, and again, the answers may only reflect part of the issue/problem. Yes!! The answer is not to resolve the issue, but rather to better understand the situation, and see how best to address it. When I ask that question, I may receive all kinds of answers such as “Our operations department does not function properly,” or “My sales reps are not getting the proper support,” and I could go on and on and on…
So, once the company has answered these 2 simple questions, my role is to ask more questions in order to understand why they are looking for external services; moreover, for certain issues, my role is to understand why this situation/issue/problem the company's having is happening in the first place. This is a very crucial point as I want to help them define the real issue(s) at stake. The effects are the reasons for the issue, not the issue itself. I compare this to a patient who has chronic pain in his leg; taking pain medication is like offering leadership training to a company without knowing the nature of its issues. The most effective way to treat the pain in his leg is to look for the cause FIRST, so we can address the source of the pain directly rather than prescribe a quick-fix that will only make it better for a few hours.
Most of the time, the executives of a company and I will find several causes for the problems which will necessitate different training and coaching for each employee. And, by doing this work BEFORE deciding on training and/or hiring, the company will be able to save even more money and time than it would have otherwise. So, it is not so much about which training or coaching program is best suited for your company; it is about finding that person that will help you understand what your company really needs and how to get it. This is the key!