Exploration Goals (CAP 2)


DRAFT        DRAFT        DRAFT     DRAFT        DRAFT        DRAFT

Discovery, 1st iteration (fn.): the coach as co-explorer: contemplating and conceptualizing
An exploratory meeting initiates the discovery process.  The discovery process is made up of Primary Coaching Questions, or PCQs.   These are posed in three stages.  First, one swats (fn.) the client (!); second one identifies key factors: third, one spins the factors. To elaborate:

a)    SWAT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Actions, Threats

The common acronym is SWOT: as above, except that O stands for Opportunities.  Here O has been changed to an A for Action because an executive is constantly taking action.  These actions are to a) solve problems (put out fires) and b) seize opportunities.  The kinds of actions he takes represent his opportunities to bring about change in his organization.

What does the client perceive as strengths and weaknesses?  What actions is he taking to solve problems and seize opportunities?  What are the major threats to reaching his goals?  

2) Identify Key Factors for: Situations, Problems, their Impact, and the resultant Needs
(Footnote: The acronym SPIN refers to an excellent method for solution selling, need to identify the book.)
One asks searching (fn.) questions about specific Situations.  Then one considers the Problems associated with them.  That is followed by assessing (fn.) the Impact of those problems, both in terms of immediate performance and long-term objectives.  Finally, one determines what Needs to be done to address these situations.

The common denominator (fn.) to the process is that in each instance one is asking questions about key factors.  In the case of Problems, one considers key factors for failure.  In the case of Needs, the key factors for success. (Fn. Kenichi Ohmae, Mind of the Corporate Strategist, who came up with the term "key factor for success analysis" in that book.)  

3) Spin the factors.  

In the preceding (fn.) step you identified the key factors of your Situation, of your Problems, of their Impact for your operations, and then considered your Needs.  Now you consider what the key factors are for each of these categories in other departments in your company, other companies in your industry.  That constitutes the first (endogenous) (fn.) "spin".  The second (exogenous) (fn.) "spin" is to consider the key factors outside the industry.

In terms of Needs, this procedure is commonly known as benchmarking, or the search for best practices.  (Fn. One of the first major books on benchmarking remains one of the best: Boxwell, Robert J. Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage, McGraw-Hill, 1994).

Discovery, 2nd iteration: the coach as co-explorer, con. 
Almost invariably (fn.) the first iteration focuses on "hard" information, on what can be quantified (fn.), estimated.  Hence it tends to downplay (fn.) the role of intangible (fn.) factors: human and organizational dynamics.  The distinction between perceived (fn.) problems versus actual problems is not adequately considered. The importance of unlocking latent (fn.) organizational energy is either underestimated, or overlooked entirely.  Therefor a second iteration is made.  The three steps above are repeated, with a focus on the human element: the workforce, the management and the organization.


Make a reference here to the Corporate Strategy white paper with the revised Porter model and the flywheel.