Bringing coaching into the 21st Century
We're just about to start a big project in the higher education sector, so just time to get out a quick update from Vogel Wakefield before it consumes us.
We sometimes think coaching is stuck in a 20th Century view of organisations. We want to bring it into the 21st, freed of some of the constraints of managerial thinking and mechanistic views of how organisations work. Thinking about what coaching looks like from a counter-consultancy point of view, we hold a more nuanced view of our role than simply helping leaders fulfil the objectives of their organisation. With the HSBC scandal in the news, we need little reminder that businesses are not very clear themselves about what they should be doing. We think its critically important to step back from the corporate agenda and bring some connection to how organisations are perceived in the world beyond. Organisations which stray realise too late how much their reputation is worth to them. They have an interest in enabling leaders to ground themselves in an ethical perspective. This draws on skills beyond those normally associated with coaching – including sociological, political and economic analysis – and a perspective on leaders as operating in a network rather than simply being part of a hierarchy. It also means helping leaders to know their own mind, not simply be subject to behavioural development. You can see how our thoughts are developing at our webpage on our coaching work. We'd appreciate your feedback.
Another thing we've been noticing is how people, particularly in smaller businesses, are busy not just being leaders but trying to keep up with the latest thinking. There's a great temptation in this position to cram one's head with information and seek to learn from experts. We've been encouraging people to see what happens if they try to restrain this impulse and recognise the huge amount of insight and expertise they already have. They are responding to this suggestion with some relief. We've developed a workshop which provides a taster of what this might mean in practice. Let us know if you'd like us to bring it to your workplace or if you'd like to attend an open version.