Never before has there been so much interest in the development of High Growth Companies, the so-called Gazelles, but why?
The answer lies in the desperate need for governments across Europe and beyond to create new jobs. The belief is that High Growth Companies generate a disproportionate number of jobs compared to other small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
In the UK, business waits with baited breath as the final stages of a long tendering process takes place for the new Business Coaching for Growth programme. Expected to be launched in January 2012, the new programme aims to help up to 10,000 high growth businesses a year to address barriers to growth and grow more rapidly.
The programme will target a select group of:
- Established SMEs with the potential to increase employment or turnover by 20 per cent or more each year for three years
- New start-ups with the potential to become “gazelles” meaning those with the potential to achieve turnover of £1m within three years of starting trading, or to have at least 10 employees within three years
The programme will be delivered by specialist private sector providers, but where will the High Growth Coaches to deliver this unprecedented volume of government sponsored assistance come from? The Frank Bresser Coaching Report for 2009 estimates that there are around 7,500 business coaches operating in the UK. Add to this an estimated 300,000+ consultants operating in the UK and surely there will be sufficient capacity to meet the need for 1,500 to 2,000 High Growth Coaches to deliver the programme. “Maybe not”, says John Moore, Managing Director of Exponential Training.
“By definition, High Growth Companies are different from the average SME. Whilst there are lots of coaches and consultants out there, my concern is how the specialist providers will go about selecting them and ensuring that they can undertake the full range of activities performed by High Growth Coaches.”
Exponential Training along with four European partners, CIDaf (Romania), Enterprise Lithuania (Lithuania), CPU (Slovenia) and Trebag (Hungary) have researched the competences required by High Growth Coaches. Published in July this year, the High Growth Coach Competence Framework sets out a comprehensive framework of the skills and behaviours of the High Growth Coach. The Framework covers 13 separate Fundamental Skills, 6 different Professional Behaviours, the five stages of the High Growth Coaching Process, the 7 different roles undertaken by High Growth Coaches and the core Business Acumen required by High Growth Coaches.
Currently, Exponential and its partners are launching a set of learning modules covering the High Growth Coach Competence Framework. The High Growth Coach Development Programme starts in January and is unique. The new programme builds on the work that Exponential undertook on behalf of the East Midlands Development Agency in 2008-10 when the company trained and accredited 100 High Growth Coaches. Since then, Exponential Training has delivered similar training to over 300 other business coaches seeking to become High Growth specialists in the South West and the East of England.
Before being accepted onto the High Growth Coach Development Programme, coaches are required to complete a detailed self assessment which helps to pinpoint which of the learning modules should be prioritised. Anyone interested in joining one of the January cohorts should contact us before 7th November 2011.