Have You Taken Your Eye Off The Ball On Coaching Of Category Management?

Posted 15th May

There’s many disciplines where coaches are seen as a necessity – sports being a popular one.

I’d suggest that any gold medal, championship or grand final winner will add a personal thank you to their coach(s) as they speak of their pride and excitement in their achievement. There will be stories of breakthroughs in performance made as a result of the work they did with their coach. Stories also of failure as they tested the boundaries of what was possible, and what could be possible if only this tweak or that tweak was made in mindset or actions.

Andy Murray is a great example of the positive impact coaching can have on performance. Changing coach again took him all the way to grand slam winner and No 1 in the men’s world tennis ranking. It’s unlikely he would have achieved the success he has without the coaches he’s worked with. 

Similarly, when preparing to run a marathon, or even climb a mountain most people would look for support from others who understand what good looks like, and what it takes to succeed.

The puzzle is why we so often throw the belief in the positive impact of coaching out of the window when we walk into the office? Perhaps we believe that mental activity develops differently than physical activity? Or simply it’s easier to keep an eye on the ball when there’s a real ball involved, or when we can observe and measure the performance improvements being made as a result of a specific and tangible change.

Is that a good enough excuse reason for not undertaking coaching? Just because it’s difficult to measure doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it at all.

In our 2017 CatMan report coaching category managers is number 9 in our top 19 practices that drive category management and business performance. The ‘leaders’ for category management showed 67% of them supported their teams with expert coaching, compared with just 40% amongst the ‘followers’. So, even for leaders 1/3 of them don’t. It’s impossible to imagine a football team without a coach, but assuming they didn’t have one  - how do you think they’d fare against those that do?

What coaching are you and your team receiving, and will it get you to number one, or will it have you falling at the first hurdle.

Coaching one to one and one to three can be provided to category managers by our expert consultants. For more information please contact myself, or Anna Del Mar.


Tagged by topic: Category Management , Learning and Development

  by Alison Smith

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