Coaching at Work e-newsletter – November 2011

Welcome to the November 2011 issue of the newsletter We are riding on a high after our conference earlier this month. It was fun, friendly, stimulating, interesting and well-organised, many of you told us, which made all the hard work worthwhile. Read the tweets from the conference in Twitter under #cawfrontiers. Geoff Bird, who has carried out no less than 10,000 brain scans to date, sparked lots of interest with his keynote on neuroscience- gems included the possibility in the future of popping pills/sniffing oxytocin to enhance our coaching. Sounds surreal but who knows? You read it here first! Alex […]

Time to consider merging?

Liz Hall The time has come to consider the benefits and challenges of professional coaching and mentoring bodies merging, Lise Lewis, the new president of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), has suggested. Lewis, who stepped into her new role at the EMCC annual conference in Paris on 17-19 November, may be setting the cat amongst the pigeons with her proposal that “leaders in the coaching and mentoring world propose a strategy for considering the benefits and challenges of merger opportunities between professional and associated bodies” but she is not alone. Behind the scenes, others including coaching buyers have […]

Business coaching to help unlock talent for Chubb

Liz Hall Chubb, a provider of security and fire protection services, has created its own university to unlock the potential of its future leaders.   Business coaches from leadership and organisational development organisation Acua will help roll out a leadership development programme over the next 12 months for the first 100 managers from all over the UK. The managers will then have the chance to study towards an internationally-recognised two-year foundation degree in Leadership. Acua will deliver one-to-one coaching at Chubb’s five regional centres within the UK. Accreditation will be awarded by Acua’s partner, Coventry University. The university set up […]

In the interim

Interim management and coaching have much to link them, argues Raj Tulsiani

Interim management and executive coaching are not worlds apart. In fact, there is some crossover in what both groups do, so it is no surprise that many coaches undertake interim assignments from time to time or that many interims have coaching engagements within their portfolios. Both roles require the ability to swiftly assess organisations, teams and individuals, understanding commercial challenges and assimilate themselves into the culture. But perhaps the most meaningful alignment is the need to make an impact almost immediately: coaches and interim managers are expected to hit the ground running – whatever the assignment and whoever they’re working with.

For interims in assignment, there is also typically a coaching element to their remit. As a guide, interims would generally work one or two organisational levels below their ‘natural’ organisational level if they were permanently employed. That places them in an ideal position to help coach and mentor incumbent staff, thereby building a legacy of value, rather than building dependency. By way of example, an interim HR director we recently placed on a nine-month assignment was tasked with coaching the head of HR up into the HR director position. Interim management advocates would always argue that it’s this coaching / knowledge transfer element that sets interim management apart from management consultancy, which has earned a reputation for building a culture of dependency.

But do interims themselves need coaching? It’s an interesting point since interims (rightly or wrongly) sit outside organisational learning and development programmes. With the focus on interims getting up to speed and making an impact quickly, it would seem to make sense to fit them into coaching or leadership & development (L&D) programmes – but there needs to be an element of realism in investing such resources in a ‘transient’ member of the workforce. One answer might be a ‘first three days’ induction programme for an hour a day at the beginning of an assignment. . The other time coaches might have a very real chance to help interims is in situations where an assignment is facing a roadblock or stakeholder management challenge – where a coach might be able to provide an objective view and help map a path forward.

There are also things that coaches can learn from interims. As outsiders, interims have a unique perspective because they have experienced the organisation’s culture from the inside, but still have a largely objective view of what goes on and what does or doesn’t gets done. Interims are unencumbered by politics or ‘sacred cows’, and so are ideally placed to identify challenges and issues.

A simple exit interview or discussion with the coaching function would help capture this precious information, which could then be fed into wider coaching or L&D programmes. For example, if a number of interims highlighted reluctance for people to challenge decisions in an organisation that valued challenge, coaches could help break down that cultural barrier over time.

Put simply, not enough is being made of the relationship between interims and coaches (if there is one!) – and that’s a missed opportunity on both sides.

Raj Tulsiani is co-founder and CEO of Green Park

Coaching at Work e-newsletter – October 2011

Welcome to the October 2011 issue of the newsletter Should coaches challenge clients when they think they’re doing something unethical? This is a burning issue given the financial crisis, environmental pressures and the continuing lack of confidence in the current business model. And according to the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and Management Today’s Index of Leadership Trust, released earlier this month (October), leaders are widely perceived to be prioritising profits over principles. Less than two-fifths of CEOs place ethics at the heart of business decisions, says the report. Should we stop playing god and remember we are engaged […]