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Building a Coaching Culture for Change Management


By: Nancy Zentis, Ph.D

What is the value of coaching or impact on organization success?  New research from International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) confirms that coaches are among the most valuable investments for organizations navigating change. Coaching can be incredibly valuable when leaders are facing change.

Seventy-seven percent of human resource practitioners and leaders report that their organization is in a state of constant change, with priorities and strategies continuously shifting. Building a Coaching Culture for Change Management explores how coaching strategies can be used to build change management capabilities.

Coaching is a valuable tool to develop potential, change behaviors, and learn new skills that drive business success.  Coaching can help individuals explore resistance to change, the importance of communication during change, and how to promote resilience during change.

When coaching leaders through change, coaches should focus on how to help leaders at every step of the change process and introduce coaching techniques based on the needs of the organization.  Coaching can be focused on the change goals, organizational strategies, skills, and knowledge needed, overcoming resistance, gaining buy-in and support, influence skills, and overcoming resistance.

Here are some thoughts on how to build a coaching culture:


  • Build a coaching culture to support and grow talent and model the behavior.
  • Organization leaders must be involved in leading the change with vision, purpose, clarity, and consistency. They own the change.  They need to lead others to embrace the change. Make a case for coaching to support individuals and teams through the change.
  • Define how coaching is a part of change management at every phase and provide coaching opportunities based on the unique needs of the organization and the strategy and change management goals.
  • Coach leaders with critical change competencies that can be developed through coaching.
  • Make coaching a key component of your talent and leadership development strategy.
  • Identify a coaching strategy, define the purpose, roles, goals, outcomes; identify stakeholders, create a plan, implement the plan, communicate the process, evaluate the outcomes, make necessary changes, launch a pilot, implement system-wide.
  • Leaders need to develop a coaching mindset to realize the value of coaching and to model effective coaching to others.
  • Coaching should be integrated into every step of the change management process and managed through feedback and measurement.
  • Coach leaders and managers on how to develop coaching skills.

Some of the benefits of a coaching culture for change:

  • Coaching can help people navigate through the change. Coaches help leaders recognize what skills and behaviors are needed to lead successful change.
  • Coaching helps leaders learn how to lead change and increase change readiness.
  • Coaching can help build greater confidence to plan and execute the change, encourage effective communication, and guide the change.
  • Coaching increases high organization performance and employee engagement.
  • Coaching Increases success at planning and implementing large-scale change.
  • Coaching increases the ability to execute and sustain change.

Developing a coaching culture for change can have a direct impact on organization change management initiatives that positively impact the overall organizational success.  In addition, leaders gain greater confidence in leading change when they are working with a coach.  Organizations that have a strong coaching culture are more likely to have high performing, talented employees, and a greater capability in planning and executing change to achieve better outcomes.


Nancy L. Zentis, Ph.D., CEO of Institute of Organization Development

Nancy is a certified coach specializing in 360 feedback and coaching and developing a strategic approach to coaching.  IOD offers an online Executive Coaching Certification Program, ECCP.

For more information, please contact us at info@instituteod.com, www.instituteod.com.


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