• Kevin Nourse, PhD

Research Brief: Talent Management Insights for Executive Coaches in Healthcare

Those of us who are executive coaches are typically so focused on individual leaders we coach that we may lack awareness of the larger organizational leadership context within which we work. Yet, the larger talent

management framework within which coaching is embedded can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of our coaching efforts.

Researcher Kevin Groves with Pepperdine University conducted at study that included 30 executives from 15 best-in-class healthcare organizations. He identified six key phases that these organizations used including: (1) building the business case, (2) defining the attributes of high performing leaders, (3) identifying high potential leaders, (4) communicating who these high potentials are, (5) developing high potentials, and (6) evaluating and reinforcing talent management processes. Of particular note for those of us who coach and develop leaders, Groves discovered several common core competencies that exemplify what constitutes effective leadership: systems thinking, team-building skills, change leadership and a results orientation. He also cites the importance of experiential experiential learning and leadership projects to apply skills.

Surprisingly, there are no references to executive coaching as a strategy for developing high-potential leaders. Its unclear whether any of the 15 best-in-class actually use executive coaching or whether so few use coaching that it did not meet a threshold for designated themes the researcher reported. Perhaps it represents a critical way healthcare organizations could step up their efforts to developing future leaders. Despite this limitation, the study provides a useful framework for executive coaches to understand the broader context of their work within a talent management framework.


Groves, K. S. (2011). Talent manaement best practices: How exemplary health care organizations create value in a down economy. Health Care Management Review, 36(3), 227-240.

(c) 2014 Kevin Nourse, PhD

#talentmanagement #executivecoaching #healthcare


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