The Living Organisation :

May 2013

My First Newsletter for Two Years

Since my last newsletter I’ve been busy with on-going client work, predominantly Team Coaching, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development and facilitation (large meetings, contract dispute resolution etc).

And as usual, I have continued with my own training and development, in 2011/12 completing:

  • Cape Cod Model training (Gestalt International Study Centre, US)
  • Systemic Team Coaching Diploma (Academy of Executive Coaching, London)
  • Supervision training (Jenny Biancardi, Newcastle)

In the meantime, business development activity has been on the back burner, but on the bright side, at least I’ve not been clogging up your inbox – – -.

Professional Coaching

In the crowded coaching marketplace, I do sometimes wonder about my own approach. I was shocked some years ago when a coach said to me: “There are far too many coaches because the cost of entry to the profession is so low”.

My own stance and practice is that working as a professional coach involves on-going, specialist development, training and supervision. I see coaching as an on-going educational process, not a one-off training event and I invest significant amounts of time, money and energy accordingly.

For example, the three trainings above involved 43 contact days plus working live with a client system for an entire year plus my normal, on-going development and supervision activity.

I do understand when clients say that it is hard to navigate the complexity of the coaching market but I believe it is possible to be an informed buyer of coaching services. To help I am preparing a short paper on this topic and I’ll include this in my next (summer) newsletter.

Systemic Team Coaching

Although I’ve been working with teams for 14 years, the Systemic Team Coaching 15 month training I recently completed has significantly extended my knowledge and experience of how to intervene with teams to improve business performance.

But what is Systemic Team Coaching? Great question! Rather than giving you the blow-by-blow analytical account, I have prepared a Case Study and a short paper which I hope will give you more of a flavour of the experience.

The Case Study is of Rocela, a UK based £20 million turnover tech company. We worked with their executive team throughout 2012. Martin Mutch, their CEO (who has signed off the Case Study) describes it as: “A fair reflection of a successful engagement”. Download the Rocela Case Study – PDF document.

Systemic Team Coaching in its full form is intensive, requires significant investment and is therefore typically seen as appropriate at Executive and Board level. I am also interested in how the methodology can be made accessible for other teams, SME’s etc. The short paper, Brief Systemic Team Coaching Interventions – PDF document, outlines how this can be done.

A full paper on Systemic Team Coaching will be in my summer newsletter.

Advanced Coach Training

Since late 2012 I have been leading and facilitating the Academy of Executive Coaching, Advanced Diploma programme. It’s an advanced training with 15 core programme days over 15 months plus additional work between modules, ending in 2 full days of examinations.

Practice and observation are key design elements: Participants coach live on each programme day, get feedback from peers and faculty and continue coaching with a number of clients between modules.

The training sets a strong standard for PCC (Professional Certified Coach) level training in the UK and is a great stretch for coaches who already have significant experience in the role of executive coach.
Supporting Internal Coaches

Many organisations are working on building their own coaching capability to enhance internal capacity and to reduce costs.

This is a great approach, but we know from experience that there can be pitfalls. We have spoken to many internal coaches who feel over-exposed and under supported in the role.

We think the way forward is an integration of the best of both approaches, through external and expert support for in-house coaches.

We offer a number of cost-effective supervision and up-skilling options:

  • One-to-one and group supervision
  • 1-day coaching refreshers
  • 1-day introduction to systemic team coaching

Try, Try and Try Again

Finally, some news from outside work. I have taken part in the Caledonia Etape 81 mile cycle event, since it started in 2007. Some of you are familiar with my annual exhortations re sponsorship, and with my repeat attempts to break the 5 hour mark.

Well, this year, I did it. On Sunday 12th May at the sixth time of trying, I managed a time of 4hrs 47 minutes, some 25 minutes under my pb.

As with coaching, there was no miracle cure, just sustained attention and effort, lots of incremental gains and some great experiences along the way. And yes, I did use a Coach!