16 Apr 2018 Logistics Coaching
In a general way coaching is to support a person in his management skills, decision-making process to allow him to progress, learn and put into practice new approaches. Coaching is not technical, it focuses on personal skills and abilities to face challenges. Technical knowledge is the result of classroom learning or specific training, the know-how develops with time and according to operational experience.
Operational coaching is given in the workplace environment (production, logistics, purchasing, etc.) and focuses on real-life situations daily. It aims to develop autonomy in the face of critical situations, improvements or operational issues. It will not aim at building standard and preconceived decision models, it will try to get managers to think using other references and improve their ability to make decisions on different bases.
The fundamental element will be the ability to make decisions outside of the existing framework or processes, where current approach or methodologies will not have been sufficient, exceed or even nonexistent. Coaching will help manager facing a new situation, unusual behavior, a combination of factors that up to that point had not been considered. It is generally considered to complement the methods, procedures and methodologies learned in classroom.
The coach is a person with experience in a global business environment or having accumulated experience in the specific context of the coaching context. Generally, he will have several years of experience in a similar operation helping manager make the best possible decision or action. He will be careful not to make the decisions for him, but rather to guide him to different considerations, aspects, perceptions.
The tandem formed by the coach and the person receiving the advice, is very powerful. On one hand we find ourselves in an active situation where a decision must be made (production performance, ongoing logistics process, purchase decisions to be made) and on the other side a coach who will use this action to make manager think on different bases, which will result in seeing and grasping in almost real time the result of a better decision. The ultimate goal is to generate reflexes using these new bases with in mind continuous improvement.
The main challenge is to find the combination of a good coach with someone who wants to receive this external support. Often the coach lacks pedagogy and given his great experience will want to impose or minimize the importance of some decision. On the other hand, the person receiving this support will feel oppressed by the presence of his coach, will not want to make a decision lightly and may suffer from immobility. So, the whole relationship, will be one of trust, mutual respect, understanding and journey.
In summary, coaching when it finds its balance will lock in tremendous growth potential, allow individuals to grow and ensure sustainability by replicating this relationship over time.