Home Marketing Trends The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

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2.  Create specific credentials for executive coaches

Consumers, including human resources personnel and clients, have become quite sophisticated in identifying quality executive coaches from their backgrounds and experiences, and increasingly with interviews. Rarely do they inquire about coaching credentials and hardly ever do they understand the different levels of coaching credentials. In February 2005, Fast Company reported that “trust” is more important than certification in seeking a coach (pp. 83-85). Thus, we now feel that the answer is not to create another coaching credential. Coaches must be up to date on the pressing issues and coaching innovations necessary to keep pace with our global executive clients. To do this, we see the need for institutions or organizations that can foster meaningful innovation and facilitate ongoing training and dissemination of innovation to highly dispersed coaches throughout their careers. The challenges associated with reaching an increasingly decentralized profession of executive coaches receiving training from over 400 different training programs are daunting. Nevertheless, we believe that ICCO, in collaboration with other rising stars like The Foundation of Coaching (www.thefoundationofcoaching.org) and ACTO (www.acto1.com) is one organization that could fill this role because of its mission and the dialogue it has initiated among key stakeholder groups. Another entity that does a great job of coalescing coaches is Peer Resource Network (www.peer.ca).

3. Demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) and business impact

Research on the effectiveness of coaching and the ROI has been steadily increasing. In addition to greater research about ROI in academic arenas, there has also been a fabulous book that came out in 2005 by Dianna and Merrill Anderson called Coaching That Counts: Harnessing the Power of Leadership Coaching to Deliver Strategic Value as well as an audio product created by ICCO called The ROI of Coaching: Voices of Leaders with interviews of the leading experts: Jack Phillips, Merrill Anderson and Mary Beth O’Neill. Though it is certainly important to document the impact of coaching on the effectiveness of executives and the bottom lines of organizations, stakeholders have become convinced of the merits of coaching by observing its effects on those who have used it. Nevertheless, we applaud the efforts to formally document the results of coaching interventions by business schools and other interested researchers. Besides ROI and other global measures of impact, research should increasingly seek to identify comparative effects of interventions and programs.

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