From the Potential of New Technologies to the Potential of People: The Decisive Role of a Coaching Culture
A coaching culture—conducive to the expression of employees’ unique potentialities, creativity and resources—seems essential in the face of the ever-growing diffusion of digital technologies in the workplace. A coaching culture is a fundamental ground upon which businesses can build innovation, ensuring that employees’ satisfaction goes hand in hand with profitable results.
A coaching culture is not created by itself. It is based on certain characteristics and is inspired by a strategic approach of using technology.
New Technologies in the Workplace: A Long-Lasting Change
New digital technologies are widespread among companies across industries and geographies. They include digital ways of connecting and communicating like Big Data and algorithms for decision making.
These technologies bode to facilitate, automate and accelerate several tasks and activities. They allow employees to go beyond the boundaries of space and time, providing unprecedented ways to communicate, collaborate and make decisions.
Companies can swiftly navigate the ocean of markets, responding promptly to changes. New technologies generate opposing views: they are sometimes considered a useless (but necessary) investment—a threatening, unavoidable fate, or an essential part of a successful business.
Coaching Culture and New Technologies: Task Execution to Work Experience
In order for companies to reap the benefits of these technologies and have a positive impact, bringing them in is not enough, nor is it enough to train employees on how to use them.
New technologies are a useful precondition for work to evolve from a series of tasks to a full-fledged experience where individual potential can thrive, provided that a concurrent evolution in employees’ ways and approach to work occur.
New technologies open up new choices, speed up effective responses to unpredictable situations, and generate new data as well as new ways of sharing and contributing to reaching a company’s objectives. A specific company culture, seamlessly “integrated” with technologies, needs to be created, pushing employees to actively rethink their contributions and prompt them to fully tap into personal creativity. This evolution cannot be taken for granted and can be spawned by an intangible, yet perceivable, context of a company culture that makes it easier for people to get in touch with and leverage their own distinctive resources, allowing individual potential to blossom. A coaching culture facilitates the expansion of employees’ awareness, which can grow at the same pace as the potentialities of new technologies.
Coaching Culture in Technology-Based Workplaces
A coaching culture in technology-based workplaces will most likely have a widespread business vision, clear but not too restrictive. This vision acts like an invisible glue for behaviors and becomes the substance that inspires people’s decisions and actions.
Another aspect is the extensive presence of authentic empowerment and trust. Leaders embody behaviors that enable trust generation and diffusion. A trust-based context, for example, favors authentic collaboration, the raising of new questions rather than pre-defined answers, as well as new alternatives and perspectives, rather than fixed and predictable views of markets, competitors and business decisions. This is crucially important in the growing uncertainty of today’s businesses.
A coaching culture in this context also tends to recognize the importance of experiment-based actions. It conveys the value of decisions rooted in the distinctive, unique traits of employees and, at the same time, allows the uniqueness to take shape through experimenting actions.
Finally, the company environment is learning based. The ability to learn is imperative and can lead to higher flexibility, adaptability and openness.
Actions and decisions will have an experimental “touch” and will bring learnings, both at individual and group levels. New technologies allow more opportunities to learn in shortened times, spurring experimentation and learning behaviors. More powerful decision making at different levels of the company becomes easier. It promotes enjoyment and satisfaction, a greater sense of ownership of the work done, and a concrete sense of self-improvement.
A Strategic Approach to Technology Adoption
Creating synergies between new technologies and a company’s coaching culture requires a strategic approach to technology adoption, centered on people and trust in their potential. The latter becomes the building blocks of technology design and implementation. It allows for managers to be enthusiastic about managing living and nimble companies, to lead a journey in which people push the boundaries of crystallized knowledge, and to risk entering a space of not-knowing, which allows innovation to take shape.
A Future of Improved and Rewarding Professional Performance
The described coaching culture generates an environment full of possibilities, collaboration and creativity, filled with passion, sense of ownership of actions and results, fulfillment and satisfaction. It is an environment that invites us to leverage hidden potential. Companies may thus become a fertile and natural ground for the expression of individual potential for performances beyond expectations.