Give a New Leader a Strong Start with Integration Coaching

Helping a new leader to get the best startThere’s a catch when you hire a new leader.

If you spend $300,000 on an exceptional car you expect, and get, a very comprehensive warranty.

Invest that or more in a new CEO?  No warranty.  Just hope you made the right decision.

There may not be a absolute guarantee in recruiting top talent but there is a critical ancillary process that will hugely tilt the table in favor of a successful hire. It’s called Executive Integration Coaching.

Integration Coaching is not as well-known a term as onboarding and should not be confused with it. Onboarding has no acceptable definition other than a vague “getting an executive off to a fast start”. It has become commoditized and, in many instances, does not last longer than a few weeks and does not consist of much more than “the computer is here and the coffee maker down the hall.”

Onboarding is a short-term, agenda-driven orientation that tends to be a one-size-fits-all approach.

Executive Integration Coaching, on the other hand, views the transition as the second part of a comprehensive leadership succession which in many ways is more difficult than the recruitment and assessment stages.

The process is carefully designed, with a long-term view, to maximise the success of the new Executive. It involves emotions, beliefs, egos and understanding of what the organization is and should become, with a particular emphasis on company culture and political landscape.

Research indicates new leaders fail not because their operational abilities are inadequate but because they come in unprepared to lead in a new and different organizational culture. A recent survey reported 65% of respondents believed the failure of a new leader was due to poor culture fit.

It’s a two-edged sword. The organization may have felt they have the right person and moved on to other matters, assuming the new leader will “settle in” and figure things out on her own.  She, on the other hand, may not have sought the clarity needed to maneuver in a new environment at an accelerated pace and in a successful manner due to unspoken norms and expectations.

An Executive Integration Coach sees bigger issues

Companies increasingly are turning to Executive Integration Coaching for the solution. It’s a logical progression. The executive coach, most often an external partner, is experienced in a broad range of leadership attributes that extend beyond the parameters of the job.  The coach is looking to the bigger issues of how the leader’s experience and expectations align with his or her new environment.

At Cornerstone International Group, we are dedicating resources to focus specifically on Executive Integration Coaching as an essential component of the leadership integration process.

Our firm, The Human Capital Group, which is the Cornerstone Member in Nashville, Tenn., is leading this movement as an integrated talent solution provider. We believe that our clients want a focused partner that will provide solutions that are:

  • Built around attracting, developing and retaining talent
  • Tied to the organizational strategy and show an ROI
  • Personalized and ongoing
  • Addressing integration misalignment right away

The return on the Executive Integration Coaching process is both long as well as short term and provides a seamless transition that is beneficial to the organization as well as the new leader.  Executive Integration Coaching is based on the premise that learning and development are ongoing and that a learner mindset is critical during any time of transition.

So, the next time you plonk down Ferrari money to attract a new Executive, look into the extended warranty. It’s called Executive Integration Coaching.

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