There is chaos in the executive coaching and leadership consulting industry.
The top 6 reasons for that chaos include 1) low barrier to entry by anyone who chooses to call himself an “executive coach,” 2) low accountability for the coaching process, 3) unclear business agreements and ROI, 4) proliferation of “certification programs” (often by self-congratulating organizations and/or universities that respond to perceived market opportunities), 5) digital overwhelm of choices at low cost and variable quality, and 6) clients or buying agents in organizations who fear taking action. My opinion is that the chaos in the coaching industry can be reduced.
So here is my effort to reduce the chaos, by providing fee ranges and best practices. Please forward this page to your colleagues.
1. Individual Coaching or Consulting Services. Fees range from $3,000- $50,000 for 6 months. Individual coaching may be defined as a customized leadership development process that enables leaders to practice new skills or behavioral outcomes. Individual consulting may be a more directive style, where we provide expertise based on world-class examples or evidence-based recommendations to accelerate your leadership development. The average executive coaching engagement is $25,000 for 6 months, about 40 hours. The average small business coaching engagement is $6,000 for 6 months, about 18 hours. Typically, an individual coaching process includes an intake, meeting with key stakeholders, written action plan with behavioral outcomes, clear measures of success/ KPIs, quantitative and qualitative assessments, satisfaction survey, and demonstrated behavioral outcomes at completion. Be wary of anyone who offers a term of engagement shorter than 6 months, because behavioral change takes time. Be wary of anyone who provides an hourly rate, because that is a transactional approach and it may be unethical (Do I really need to extend this coaching engagement if we have not met the desired outcomes within 6 months?) Be wary of additional fees for assessments, a sample intake, books, materials, or excessive travel… Only select coaches who provide tremendous value and exceed that promise. Only select coaches who guarantee results for their services. Only select coaches with many testimonials demonstrating clear behavioral outcomes. Still confused? Then call us for details or schedule a complimentary, confidential session here.
2. Team Coaching or Group Coaching. Fees range from $1,000 per person to $4,000 per person for 6 months. There is a trend toward providing coaching services that bundle clients together by team (e.g. the IT department in Houston) or by group (e.g. all district managers or all newly promoted supervisors.) Many coaches bundle these services for one reason– because the coaches then make more money. We all need to make money. However, that is not a compelling reason to bundle valuable services into a commoditized market such as “online team-coaching modules…” We do not recommend these online modules because there is no evidence that the results are significant. There is conflicting data on the significance of team coaching engagements. These programs must be customized for specific organizational needs, they must have executive sponsorship, and they must have milestones for phases of success. Yes, we can provide team coaching programs for any organization. Contact us for details or referrals.
3. Organizational Coaching or Consulting Services. Fees range from $15,000- $100,000 per person for 6 months. Fees vary by role of the leader (c-suite or a HiPo), geography (Asia or North America), and client expectations. There is massive value to any organization if you can be guaranteed access to pre-qualified coaches in New York as well as Mexico City or Paris. We are affiliated with CoachSource, the largest global provider of executive coaches, in over 1,000 in 45+ countries. These service providers can provide breadth for any initiative in any geography, thereby increasing the likelihood of your organizational alignment or new program implementation. If you are interested in a scaled solution for a specific industry or business need, then you need to select an organizational coaching service provider. We have selected and managed hundreds of executive coaches at multiple F500 global organizations since 2005. Contact us for details.
4. Organizational Assessment Services. Fees range from $500- $28,000 per person. Assessments range from an individual validated tool such as the Hogan Suite or DISC (there are over 15,000 validated assessments) to multi-rater, multi modal assessments with high predictive validity. We can provide virtually any individual or organizational assessment. Assessments are essential to leadership development. Just as you would never go to a physician until the nurse provides your vitals, we recommend using validated assessment tools to measure behavioral changes over time. We often provide assessments by themselves for your new hires or a newly promoted leaders. We always include assessments in coaching solutions, as part of the process. Contact me for details or referrals.
Since 1997, we have seen tremendous changes in the business and leadership coaching services industry. As a timely example, minutes ago I received a cold call from a “leader” in the sales coaching software industry. I quickly learned that he knew less about the industry than he should, and I excused myself from the call. You can avoid the chaos.
If you are interested in seeing trend survey reports from the coaching industry, or from our research on the relationship of positive psychology on business leaders and executive coaching, please contact us.
Now you have some pricing numbers and best practices. So what is your next step?
- You have to vet coaches. Call 3-4 of the best. Read their testimonials. Make sure that they are working on their own professional development. I have hired sales coaches at times. And business coaches at other times. The terms were clean. Their value was tremendous. I currently work with 2 of the best coaches in North America. (Perhaps I need more help than most people.) Make sure the consultants that you select focus on value, and guarantee their work.
- Take a small step: Contact us. Or call 704.995.6647. Or schedule your initial consultation here.
There is no reason to be fearful amid the chaos.