Is free Web technology the ‘Holy Grail’ of evaluation?

Academy of Executive Coaching annual conference, 24 September, London

A coach and a coaching software expert rocked the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC) annual conference with their proposal that Facebook could be a fun, cheap and effective way of gathering and measuring coaching data.

A lively discussion followed Executive 21 founder Ted Campbell and Coachmatch operations director Ben Thomas’ suggestion that free Web 2.0 technology, which supports social networking sites, including Facebook with more than 300 million users, could be the Holy Grail in coaching evaluation.

Thomas and Campbell suggested a Facebook account could be set up for each individual represented by a cartoon character. The account could include blogs where work colleagues and other stakeholders – also cartoon characters – could share comments about the account holder. “The ratings would build over time and give a picture of the changes the individual has achieved,” said Thomas.

Some delegates expressed concern. “How would you protect confidentiality and what about the shaming element?” Others felt the approach could be fun: “The social networking train is on the move – resistance is futile.”

Thomas said: “For me, social networking is a new form of expression and represents a fundamental shift in how we connect to people. These are skills we can expect to see in the workplace.”
Coaching at Work, Volume 5, Issue 6