Friday, May 29, 2009


When I have a coaching client, they usually come to me because they have a problem. Let’s say that the coachee is out of work. He wants a new job, but he also would like support in defining which job/career is an excellent fit to his needs and passion.


One of the coaching tools we use is called the GROW-model. This is quite straightforward and powerful.

G = what are your Goals? What is it that you really want?

R = what is the current Reality? Where do we start from today?

O = what are your Options to achieve that Goal? What are the alternatives?

W = what Will you do? What is your next step?


As a goal the coachee might have two goals, to reduce his current expenses (as he has no income now) as well as to find a new job.

The current reality is that he has high fixed spending on his mortgage and the tuition of his children in the university. He also didn’t like his previous job, so he really wants to make a switch to a different career.

He has many options. His financial needs might force him to reduce spending on dining out, subscriptions to magazines and he might have to sell his SUV and buy a small, energy efficient car. He can start applying to jobs immediately or he can first do some thorough soul-searching.

What will he do? He will start looking for a smaller house. He also will clearly define his passion, his strengths and his life purpose.


From this example it is clear that he has to take two fundamental steps at the same time. He has to lower his expenses and -AT THE SAME TIME- work on defining and targeting his new career.


Due to the current market conditions, most companies are ONLY focusing on reducing their costs. Either through lay-offs or hiring freezes or travel stops etc. They are not focusing their attention on the new, desired, state. What is the real vision they have for their company, which makes them feel excited? How are they going to beat the competition, how are they delighting their customers with their new products and services?

In short, there is no innovation.


The consequence is that there is a negative mindset and fear in the organization. Most employees will have fear that they loose their job. They will not propose new ideas, as that might be risky. They will not grow, as trainings are cancelled. They will not fully use their potential and waste a lot of time with worrying. Clearly this is not an environment, which creates great results.


And when the market conditions are improving, they are NOT in a situation to benefit from it, as their people are disengaged and demotivated. Also they have no new services ready to attract new customers. Their competitors, which have innovated, will win market share quite easily.

So, it would be suggested to apply the GROW-model to your business as well. And to work on your innovation at the same time that you are working on reducing your costs!


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