Quick Take: Coaches, Catalysts, and Change

It seems like every year we have to do more with less (or more with the same as before). The expectations of our customers, stakeholders, and managers go up, while we don’t necessarily get more time, budget, or people to meet those expectations.

So we have to figure out how to work more effectively and efficiently to ensure our outputs and outcomes increase, even if our inputs don’t.

We need help doing more each year, and help doing it with the same or less than we had last year. We need to get more effective, and we need to do it as fast as we can. We need to speed up our rate of improvement and to do that we must speed up our rate of change.

If you need a change to occur and you need it to happen quickly, take a lesson from chemistry and use a catalyst.

A catalyst helps a change (chemical reaction) occur faster, using less energy.

In this excerpted explainer video, the visual analogy they use is a road. If you need to go from A to B, there is a winding road that will get you there on your own. It is slow and inefficient.

If you use a catalyst, the catalyst opens up a shorter, more direct, and more efficient path to get you where you need to go. Put another way, the presence of a catalyst creates a shortcut.

In the same way catalysts help chemical reactions occur more quickly and use less energy, coaches do the same thing for executives, leaders, individuals, teams, and organizations.

Coaches help you move from A to B by opening up pathways you may not be able to access by yourself. As catalysts, coaches enable you to get farther faster.

The next time you want to work faster or more effectively, consider taking a lesson from chemistry…invite a coach to support you as your catalyst for change.