Posts

MENTORING: A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Over-simplifying in mentoring programmes is a risky business, especially in evaluation, warns guest columnist, Bob Garvey. The ‘realist evaluation’ approach accesses mentoring’s many layers   Within organisations, there are many competing demands on managers – organisations are complex places. But, in complexity, managers, for understandable reasons, tend to try and simplify. It’s probably best summed up by the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ slogan we hear so often in organisations. When an organisation is developing a mentoring programme, it’s tempting to simplify, control, ignore or smooth over social factors. The risks of this approach to a mentoring scheme (an inherently complex […]

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VIEWPOINT: THE LIMITS OF COMPETENCE

Following on from other contributions on the topic of competence, Bob Garvey argues for a return to the values of humanism   Discourses are employed in order to shape social contexts. Coaching, located within a business context, is influenced by that context and the main discourse of business management is the ‘rational pragmatic’ (Garvey & Williamson, 2002). This means certain ways of thinking and behaving are valued and others are not. For example, the management discourse values a reductionist perspective and is concerned with simplification of the complex and celebration of the practical. Arguably, many professional bodies are populated by […]

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Opinion: Ethical frameworks

Ethical frameworks – if only life were that simple by Bob Garvey Many coaching bodies create sets of rules around confidentiality. But if ethics are socially defined, and contextually relevant, how can they be right or wrong? Many professional bodies claim their ethical frameworks reassure potential clients or sponsors, and ensure quality control, standards, accountability and protection. These are bold claims. Given the complex arguments surrounding ethical behaviour, is it possible to deliver on these promises? Are ethical frameworks ethical? Ethics is a moral philosophy in which complex issues of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice, are […]

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Learning providers must stop ‘patronising’ SMEs

We have been “barking up the wrong tree for years” with our business education models, according to Bob Garvey. At his inaugural lecture on 31 October for his chair in Business Education at York St John Business School, Professor Garvey was set to challenge current frameworks for learning delivered by most providers in the market. His lecture, ‘Learning Business’, shared an alternative model of business education based on conversational learning. He said, “There can be little doubt that those that learn the fastest in business are often the most successful. But SME business leaders are often patronised by public and […]

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TroubleShooter – Cutting your losses?

A company’s strong coaching offer may now be in jeopardy as the organisation looks to make significant reductions in its L&D budget. How can coaching boss James prove its impact? James is responsible for coaching in his organisation. The business has built up its coaching offer over the past eight years. At first, it ‘tested the water’, employing a couple of external coaches who worked with a few executives. Over time this grew to include the majority of the top 5 per cent in the company as well as individuals identified as top talent in the succession plan. About three […]

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