Home Tools and Applications Meetings & Conferences The Intentional Design of Stewardship: A Case Study

The Intentional Design of Stewardship: A Case Study

33 min read

Bill Bergquist and Bill Carrier

Goodwin Watson once wrote about the ingredients needed for effective, lasting change. He identified three domains in which change can take place. One domain is structure, with the second domain being process and the third domain being attitude/culture. Eventually, all three domains need to be engaged if change is to be sustained.

We suggest that the same three domains apply when considering the stewardship of any professional or field of human service. The two of us are particularly interested in the emerging profession of coaching. With some of our colleagues we have sought to “steward” this profession in several ways over the past decade.

Many of these ways relate to what Watson would identify as Structure-based approaches to stewardship. Here is a summary of what Watson identifies as the structural domain:

Structure is all of those organizationally defined parameters and connections within and through which persons and processes 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.

This magazine (Future of Coaching) represents one of these structure-based endeavors, as does the Library of Professional Coaching in which the Future of Coaching is housed. We would identify these sources of digital publications as structural changes. During this past year, a structure-oriented mode of stewardship was introduced by a small group of coaches (including the two of us). This was the initiation of an in-person and virtual meeting to which seasoned executive coaches were invited. Called the New Executive Coaching Summit (NECS), this initiative exemplified what we identify as the four key ingredients of effective stewardship: convening, communicating, clarifying, and creating consensus. NECS also showed how a disciplined and sustained follow-up engagement can be designed and implemented—to ensure the ongoing personal investment of stewards in a vision that can be realized.

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