Help for business management: consultant or coach?

Many businesses, from sole traders to medium and large organizations, are taking measures against the recession facing us. Some of them will thrive, others will carry on business as usual and others, perhaps a percentage larger than average, will eventually close down.

Those directors and business owners who are analysing their businesses to formulate a strategic plan are often encountering some recurring, well known problems:

  • Inadequate organization that sometimes duplicates tasks, costs and generates inefficiency
  • Malfunctioning communication that causes information overflow for certain people and lack of information for others
  • Inefficient management that often lacks on focus and correct prioritization of tasks
  • Personal conflicts that cause friction and further lowers the already strained morale.

In many cases hiring an external professional (EP) to help with current management issues has its advantages:

  • The EP can offer a detached view to problems and the daily routine that most employees and managers usually have
  • The EP will be unaffected by the “we always did this way” kind of mentality
  • The EP will be willing to solve problems and sort out the causes involved in them irrespectively of historical events within the organization

For many years the a business consultant was synonymous with the above indicated EP. More recently a growing number of professionals moved toward a different way of helping companies and their business: becoming a business coach.  A business coach can help identifying, addressing and solving company problems. This is done by supporting the business owner or the management team to implement a solution that suits their company, management style and available resources in terms of people and capital.

A consultant, whether an independent freelance or part of a consultancy firm, tends to be highly specialized and specific in the tasks to be carried out. Nonetheless many people that used a consultant for their organization have complained about one main aspect of consultancy practice: consultants are in fact analyzing problems very well, with tools and methodologies that are not necessarily obvious or well known, but then they deliver a report that states what wrong and eventually how to address it. Another aspect of consultancy that can be often overlooked is the quality of people found in the organization they are consulting. Not every manager or entrepreneur has the same business school preparation that most consultants have. The suggested solutions might be difficult if not impossible to implement with the available resources and so the whole plan falls apart.

In a coaching approach problems are truly solved by the manager or the executive being coached. The coach will not simply suggest a solution expecting an automatic implementation. In fact suggesting is definitely the last thing that coaching offers: it supports the client to reach the solution with a structured and properly organized conversation, guiding the client to take action and ensuring these actions deliver the expected results.

While consultants are an excellent way of addressing business issues and problems providing specialized help in very specific sectors the business coach will help focussing on existing, perhaps under utilized skills and talent pulling the solution from the inside, in a very cost effective way.

Posted under Articles

This post was written by massimo on 27 November 2008

Tags: , ,

New web site for MaGa Coaching

MaGa Coaching announces the launch of its new web site in November 2008.  Four essential requirements dictated the significant restyling. The new website now:

  • offers an easier, more intuitive user interface improving navigation
  • reflects the latest change of company logo and corporate colours
  • enhances SEO (search engine optimization)
  • sets the basis for further growth in terms of pages and content

This new site, based on WordPress that is the best CMS (content management system) for blog development, carries a number of important advatages for both visitors and publishers.  The Blog section contains all news, article and other PR published by the company and, in perfect blog fashion, it is possible for viewers to actually leave comments and establish a true, two ways, conversation with the company and its people.

Massimo Gaetani, managing director of MaGa Coaching, stated:

“I am very pleased with the overall result: I hope our customers and viewers will appreciate the new look and let us know by leaving comments on the site itself”.

Posted under News

This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 22 November 2008

Tags: , ,

Coaching For Redundancy

Cambridge is one of the strongest business centres in the country: nonetheless many companies are and will be affected by recession more than others. While some of the best known names in the high tech scene have firmly locked their head count others realized they need to reduce costs, often by laying off part of their staff.

It is a fact that only about 20% of people, 1 in 5 individuals, actually enjoy their job. It happened that many of us, at some point in our lives, fell into jobs almost by accident or (lack of) opportunity and then get stuck with them for a long time. On the other hand most of the clients I have worked with in my career, once they have been made redundant have moved on to something better. For some people redundancy can have detrimental effects on their self confidence and hinder their future employability.

Redundancy can push individuals out of their comfort zone but many of them, with a little help, can transform an unpleasant experience into a positive change. Going through a challenge makes you even more resourceful: coaching is great to capitalize on the positive and thrive.

Coaching is an excellent tool to help staff being made redundant and the results are all positive and measurable. A coach can help the employee to set goals within their working and private life and explore those possibilities that were perhaps hidden or latent. The coach can also be:

  • Inspiring them to think out of the box and explore what he/she really wants to do
  • Supporting them in the low moments that can be caused by uncertainty and discomfort
  • Encouraging them to go the extra mile, to be bold and challenge their own pre-set limits

To date our company helped people on both sides of employment: organizations that wanted to help their personnel and also individuals that once made redundant felt they needed a boost in their confidence and possibilities in order to move on and look for new challenges.

Posted under Articles

This post was written by massimo on 4 November 2008