Home Concepts Best Practices Coaching in Organizations: A Status Report (Past, Present and Future)

Coaching in Organizations: A Status Report (Past, Present and Future)

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For the organizational coach—confronted with the demand for accountability and hearing the whispers about or overt demands for “return-on-investment”—these findings about the fickle nature of measurement must come as a painful, cosmic joke and paradox: we are being asked to measure what we do precisely at a point in our history when the very foundations of measurement theory and practice are being torn apart.  Furthermore, it is not just the professional coach who is under this paradoxical gun—it is also the manager she is coaching. Leaders such as Sam must demonstrate their own effectiveness during an era of economic downturn. Yet, how is effectiveness (or efficiency) to be measured? And what is the justification (ROI) for Sam using corporate money to pay for Rachel’s coaching services? New systemically-sensitive tools must be developed for the measurement of impact and comparison between expectations and outcomes. These tools will be critical to the success of not only the coaching profession but also the clients being served by these coaches.

Cultural Anthropological/Linguistic Revolution

Rachel and Sam might consider themselves fortunate, given that they both come from the same social-economic background and from the same (Midwest American) culture. Yet, both of these people will be confronted increasingly with diversity in the workplace—not only because many people are moving to the United States from other countries, but also because they will both be networking with people from locations throughout the world. With Skype and related computer-based communication tools at their disposal, Rachel can build an international network of clients and co-workers, while Sam can begin to manage operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Cross-cultural understanding becomes critical for Rachel and Sam – and this understanding moves well beyond learning a few words in another tongue or picking up a few of the rituals in another society, As Philippe Rosinski has so convincingly proposed, effective cross-cultural leadership (and coaching) involves a full appreciation of the underlying assumptions, values and perspectives in another culture and clear insight into the various differences and subcultures that exist within the major culture of a specific country.

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