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Small Can Be Big: The Impact of Small Coaching Projects in Health Care Systems

S Drinnan, B Olinek, C Lecorre, T Maslyk, C MacKinnon, E Sedgwick, M Roddis International Journal of Coaching in Organizations 2011

Whether you use the term “coach” as a noun or a verb, even a small coaching initiative providing a positive impact on a professional health care system is a good thing. Coaching projects come in all sizes, each making a unique contribution and leaving its own fingerprint on the organizational culture. This article is not about the big million-dollar projects, but rather on the phenomena and impact that those myriad small- to medium-sized are have. In addition to the ripple effect that comes with powerful coaching, surely we must look at a significant cumulative contribution to health care. A second phenomenon is a common set of challenges that can get in the way of excellent smaller-sized projects growing into more widespread, credible, sustainable, or fully-funded programs. Each coaching project involves unique sponsors, risks, opportunities, and organizational acceptance. How does one leverage the features of your particular health care working culture and what is valued? What are the prized behaviors and beliefs, so that whatever is measured in the coaching evaluation captures their imagination? This article presents a compilation of health care coaching project models, and closes with some pointers to keep in mind when planning for future health care coaching projects.

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