Members of the Institute of Executive Development conducted an
online survey in 2005 on executive coaching. More than 200
individuals participated including practitioners, service
providers, and academics from a variety of organizations from 12
distinct industries. Some companies that participated include ADP,
Allstate Insurance, Capital One, and Motorola.
The survey results indicate that the popularity of coaching in the
last few years represents the beginning of continued growth for the
field, and many organizations expect to spend more on coaching in
the next few years. In fact, while coaching is offered in a small
percentage of organizations, those who have programs use coaching
for multiple layers of management, and plan to allocate even more
resources in the future.
Because a majority of organizations already using coaching spend a
great deal of resources and manage the process somewhat informally,
they will need to think through how to optimize coaching and
integrate it with other development activities.
Additional highlights from the survey revealed that:
- Few organizations have formal coaching. Sixty-one
percent of respondents said they have either limited coaching or
none in their organization.
- Coaching "deep" in the organization. Of those
organizations with significant coaching activity, 48 percent allow
for coaching at the director and manager level.
- Spending expected to increase. Spending on
coaching has remained stable or grown for the vast majority of
respondents over the past three years. Amazingly, almost half of
all respondents forecast growth of more than 10 percent per year
over the next three year.
This information suggests that executive coaching will assume a
different shape in the near future. According to Marshall
Goldsmith, Founder of Marshall Goldsmith Partners and one of the
survey producers, "I believe that coaching will experience a
dramatic evolution over the next few years, from an activity-based
exercise to a results-focused experience."
Another important topic explored in the survey is how organizations
locate and validate coaches, internal or external. Currently, 63
percent of organizations use external coaches while only 16 percent
use internal coaches. Given the cost of external coaches (more than
$10,000 per individual, and 30 percent report more than $20,000 per
individual), we might see more companies experiment with internal
Aside from cost pressures, there are quality issues to consider
when evaluating internal vs. external coaches. "Internal coaches
can be a powerful way to change the culture and enable colleagues
to work with each other to improve a skill or behavior. Since
internal coaches understand the culture, they can provide real-time
feedback which is a powerful tool in helping an organization
develop its talent," said Linda Sharkey, vice president of
organizational development and staffing at General Electric
The majority of survey respondents find coaching candidates by word
of mouth or other informal methods. Interestingly, many
organizations do not fully integrate coaching into other
developmental programs, a potential lost opportunity to reinforce