The Terrain of Organizational and Executive Coaching

William Bergquist January 27, 2017 0

In the eighth issue of this digital magazine we focused on Personal and Life Coaching – the one-on-one coaching that so clearly defined the field during its earliest years (in the 1970s and 1980s) and that still is the major player in the arena of professional coaching. In this issue, we turn to a parallel initiative: the provision of professional coaching in organizational settings.

Despite the many attempts to differentiate between their two areas of professional coaching (and often an attempt to define one as somehow superior to the other), there are clearly many overlaps between personal and organizational coaching and many successful practitioners work in both areas. We have chosen to devote two separate issues to these two areas in large part because there is too much to say about both personal and organizational coaching to place in one issue. If you have not already done so, we invite you to review or download issue eight and certainly encourage you to review and download the insightful and provocative essays contained in this issue.

We begin with a retrospective piece: the panel presentation on coaching in organizations that was convened at the 2003 ICF annual conference in Denver, Colorado. We have not only provided you with an edited version of this panel presentation (featuring some of the major players in the field), but also invited the panelists to offer their own insights in 2016 (13 years after their initial presentation). You will see that some things have changed and others remain the same.

Executive Coaches Share Openly and Unselfishly

Our second essay parallels (and helped to inspire) an essay contained in Issue 8 (Ten Trends in Personal and Life Coaching). Written by Carl Goldsmith, this essay is entitled “Ten Trends Driving Organizational Coaching.” As suggested in the title, Goldsmith provides a summary of surveys conducted by several international organizations and a panel presentation made at the 2015 Capital Coaches Conference in Washington D.C. We invite you to compare the presentations made by the 2003 panelists with those offered in 2015. Goldsmith’s report is also based on confidential interviews with dozens of North American leaders.

Ten Trends Driving Organizational Coaching

Our third essay is a case study provided by one of our esteemed colleagues, Suzi Pomerantz – with brief comments on this case offered by one of us [WC] who participated in this multi-coach project. Pomerantz offers us an example of a systemic, carefully conceived coaching project engaged inside a specific organization. Excerpts from this case study were published in Forbes. We suggest that this more detailed analysis yields even greater insights regarding the provision of coaching services inside organizations, though we certainly are impressed with the honoring of Ms. Pomerantz’s work by a notable business magazine such as Forbes.

Coordinated Coaching Increases Trust with Organizations

Fourth, is an essay written by one of us [WB}, which was previously published in the Library of Professional Coaching. Titled, “Premortem and the Change Curve,” this essay has receiving some attention as an initial application of behavioral economics to professional coaching. It focuses on several important dynamics operating in any organization that is engaged in innovation (as virtually all organizations must do in our current fast-changing global environment).

Premortem and the Change Curve

Finally, we offer a coaching tool—as we often do in the Future of Coaching. This specific tool yields an organization-wide assessment of organizational effectiveness. Specifically, it is a survey instrument that is based on concepts identified by Cathy Jameson—a major player in the area of coaching and consulting to health care practices.

The Organizational Effectiveness Inventory

We hope that you find that these diverse offerings yield useful insights for you as you deliver your own professional coaching practices or are deciding how best to use coaching services in your own organization.

William Bergquist

William Carrier

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