A couple of weeks ago, I pulled my bike off the garage wall, checked the tires, and started for a leisurely ride without a chartered destination. My goal was to spin and explore. My neighborhood is relatively flat, so shifting gears was not necessary. The ride was perfect, the weather clear, and the wind on my face exhilarating. Everything was going great, so why not keep going further, longer!
As I ventured out of my neighborhood, the trail gradually increased its incline. Within a few feet of navigating around a bend, a long hill caught me by surprise. My shift into lower gears in the lower-middle part of the steep hill was way too late, and the ride became a struggle. Making my way to the top of the hill took much more energy and stamina than it would have if I had shifted earlier.
Vision matters. Looking further ahead, planning, and shifting in advance would have made an enormous difference. You can guess what happened next. Keeping my eye on the road ahead, anticipating inclines and declines, engaging the chainring effectively, using my momentum on the incline’s approach, and dropping through the gears quickly and smoothly was the plan of action to ensure an enjoyable ride through the hills. Each hill was more easily navigable with a mindset of looking ahead, strategizing, and improving my shifting.
Looking forward, envisioning, and navigating obstacles is part of leadership. These days, we need to challenge and question whether the approaches we used before and during 2020 will serve us well in unknown future situations. Systematic, systemic, and rigorously creative and dynamic coaching and development programs add enormous value to organizations. The past few months had heightened opportunities to interact with leaders who seek to enhance awareness and commitment. Their aim is for skilled workforces to envision possibilities, navigate uncertainty and challenges, effectively shift through change, appropriately pivot, and lead others to maximize their potential and continuously learn.
Coaching with a continuous improvement mindset results in engaged and empowered employees, enhanced critical and strategic thinking, and the ability to solve the problem of how to improve their work effectively. Process improvement tools and techniques are incomplete without continuous improvement coaching that harnesses our workforce’s untapped and unused potential. I believe leaders need masterful coaching skills. Coaching competencies that enable one to ask powerful questions in a logical sequence and the pragmatism to create a safe space for one’s team to uncover, explore, and evolve new options and solutions are learnable skills. Developing these coaching skills takes commitment, volition, and a willingness to learn from a highly certified coach who has walked this path before and possesses mastery and skill.
Many organizations strive to be more efficient, do more with less, and fully leverage their workforce’s competencies and skills. A Lean Coaching program using a continuous improvement mindset nurtures, empowers, and harnesses your workforce in innovative ways, encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset. As a result, workers’ initiatives have longer sustainability, individuals and teams are more creative, and higher quality conversations result in new insights, actions, and outcomes.