William Carrier and William Bergquist
[Guest Editor: John Lazar]
“What’s the point of all this, anyway?”
If you’ve ever heard the question—and we’re pretty sure that we have all heard that at least once—you already knew that you were in trouble. Your questioner couldn’t see the brilliance of the project you’d produced; or he’d missed the exquisite reasoning in your eloquent remarks; or she’d not taken in the enormous impact of the outstanding coaching you’d provided her organization.
In the case of these examples and this question, ROI was, at least, temporarily AWOL–and when return on investment is absent without leave, you can be sure that others’ investments in your ways will leave, too.
This issue of The Future of Coaching is dedicated to the proposition that we leave that pointed question behind instead. We will explore various perspectives on what people and organizations get out of coaching in comparison to what they put in—and we hope you gain much for your reading!
For important foundations and historical background on the ideas of ROI, we’ve included two articles from the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations (IJCO). First, we have the article on ROI written by Mary Beth O’Neill, one of the leading figures in professional coaching today. Her article was selected as one of the best in the first five years history of IJCO and was featured (with Mary Beth’s updated 2007 commentary) in the journal’s five-year anniversary issue.
The second of the historic IJCO issues was written by two of the primary thought leaders and ROI practitioners in the field: Patricia Pulliam Phillips and Jack Phillips.