Business is a series of processes implemented by people to achieve specific strategic objectives. Without people the systems cannot be put into effect, and without the processes the people will have no direction or beat practice.
This delicate balance of equal value is one of the cornerstones of a business coach’s toolkit. ‘Business knowledge’ is a broad and never ending subject with endless challenges, opportunities and curveballs.
The professional business coach not only knows this; he or she works with this to achieve outcomes.
Human Resources (or HR) as a department, is a critical component within the business structure. It is this department that ensures the right people are in the right positions in order to achieve the business strategy. Human Resources is a proactive function that deliberately strives to optimise processes by placing, motivating and developing effective people.
This is not a business coaching function. Although admittedly many HR people are great listeners and seem to have an insight into people, their focus, training and purpose differs significantly from that of a business coach.
HR specialises in one aspect of business, and although it is a vital aspect, it is highly specialised.
Business coaches specialise in coaching people in their businesses. From systems to processes; from recruitment to talent management; from strategy to objectives.
This competency embodies a range of business oriented specialisations and allows the client to focus on the one that matters most at that time.
HR is incredibly valuable, and so is business coaching.
The important point to realise is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Business coaches can work with and add value to the HR department and visa versa. However, they are not substitutes for each other.
Each plays its own meaningful role and achieves its meaningful outcomes in its own way. And each has its own value to add.