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Organizational Changes Survey: Summary of Findings

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As the third initiative in the ongoing research being engaged on behalf of the New Executive Coaching Summit (NECS), the Institute for Research on Professional Coaching has conducted an online survey regarding Organizational Changes and the implications of these changes for executive coaching practices. Following is a brief report being made by Dr. William Bergquist that summaries some of the results from this survey:



Summary of the report

Basic Demographic Information

• Digital survey completed by 36 respondents
• Not a large percent of those invited to complete survey
• However, sufficient to gain preliminary sense of perceptions
• Most respondents are active mature executive coaches
• They are at least 50 years old
• They typically have been working in the field for many years

Nature of Survey Responses

• Following response pattern might lead to concern about validity of results
• Did not take long to complete the survey (average 7 minutes)
• As in the case of many on-line surveys, might have been very rapid (and superficial) review of each item
• Resulting in minimal differentiation between items
• Potential for response set (pattern of behavior is established and replicated)

General Findings I

• Despite these cautionary notes about response patterns—there were several impressive general messages being delivered by the respondents
• General Finding One: mid-21st Century leaders and their teams are confronting major organizational changes and must adjust their own pattern and style of individual and team leadership to these changes.
• General Finding Two: there is a definite impact of organizational changes on the perspectives and practices of executive coaching

General Findings II

• General Finding Three: the major organizational changes that were identified in this survey seem to be closely tied together. Each change impacts all the other changes. The challenges are “complex” and not just “complicated.”
• General Finding Four: executive coaches must themselves change their own perspectives and practices given the challenges facing their leadership and team clients.

Changes in Organizational Structures

Structure: all of those organizationally defined parameters and connections within and through which people in an organization carry out the purpose of the organization. It is the formal and dynamic architecture defined by the organization within which the mission of the organization is carried out. Structures are readily identified and measured.

Permeable Boundaries
• The boundaries of organizations have become more permeable (we are not sure what is inside and what is outside an organization).
• Leader must shift: 63%
• Team must shift: 51%
• Executive coaches must shift: 42%

Flatter Organizations
• Organizations have become flatter, with fewer levels of authority and supervision (the distance from the top of the organization to its bottom is now shorter).
• Leader must shift: 60%
• Team must shift: 49%
• Executive coaches must shift: 54%

Temporary Units
• Organizations are now likely to create and engage many more temporary units that are assigned specific projects and are to accomplish specific outcomes—and are then dissolved.
• Leader must shift: 63%
• Team must shift: 60%
• Executive coaches must shift: 43%

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