The world we face in 2017 will deliver greater complexity, heightened volatility and increasing ambiguity and uncertainty, and leaders are seeking wise counsel as they face these new challenges. Wise counsel takes the form of those who can offer insights and strategies that are disruptive, or that can manage the disruption we are facing. They must have experience and edge in thinking, and intellectual, robust rigour.
In a recent Blackswan analysis of our coaching population we provide an insight into the market challenges we see in 2017. We draw upon a number of sources to provide ‘outside-in’ research to this paper: our large bench of coaches, our clients and our internal research team.
Many coaches say that they can deliver on the knowledge and skill set required, however many of such coaches offer ‘box solutions’ to new problems using the same level of thinking that created the problem in the first place.
Blackswan have therefore carried out extensive analysis to scan the environment so that we can enable a clear way for the challenges ahead.
The coaching marketplace challenges that we face are a result of the interaction between multiple factors, for example increased demand, increase in the number of executive coaching firms and demographic changes.
Key themes from our survey are:
1. Centres of economic activity will shift profoundly over the next number of years, not just globally, but also regionally and coaching supply is lagging.
2. As organisations strive to become more agile and customer-focused, organisations are shifting their structures from traditional, functional models towards interconnected, flexible teams and a new type of coaching is required.
3. Organisations are looking to raise the ‘leadership-bar’ in terms of how they rigorously assess, based on robust evidence, within a more structured and scientific approach to identify, assess, and develop their leaders.
4. Ubiquitous access to information is changing the economics of knowledge, and coaching is slow to respond in providing multi-faceted solutions.
5. Some organisations are rethinking what constitutes employee performance to them in light of increasing complexity and ambiguity. They are looking for the 90th percentile performers who are a step function away from average.
6. An increasing number of organisations are moving away from the “stack and rank” approach and are instead testing new ideas that give them continual feedback and coaching with on job activities being monitored and addressed in a more dynamic manner.
7. An increasing number of organisations are attempting to build “coaching cultures”, with programmes such as “leader as a coach” becoming more common. Organisations want to link personal development, leadership development, and business outcomes with the coaching model of inquiry and peak performance.
8. Organisations increasingly purchase coaching in the context of a specific business need or market challenge.
9. The need for virtual coaching is increasing where coaches are not only multicultural and multilingual, but also skilled in ‘virtual coaching’, providing coaching through digital technology.
10. Strategically outsourced management of coaching is increasing as companies look for consistency, alignment and reporting on trends, insights and gaps in their Talent Programmes.
11. A greater need is identified to create a new form of ‘Action Learning’ which provides an ideal setting for practicing new skills and where the participants can ‘stress test’ their approaches, draft visions from a customer perspective, and attempt to inspire and engage ‘customers’ of the vision in a role-play or skill-practice scenario.
12. An increase in strategic-based Executive Coaching of corporate CEOs and C-Suite Executives, who are facing increasingly complex roles and priorities.
13. Organisations are seeking coaches who now have a greater understanding of the implications of the network society, globalisation, and the digital age on leadership and organisational dynamics.
14. Competition in the coaching industry has increased with a multitude of transactions on “boxed coaching” being offered, often with little real input.
15. Buyers of coaching services look beyond such things as ‘executive development’, ‘organisational development’, ‘team-building’ and other specialties. They are a given. The key question is: where will your coaching make a difference to our business?
16. Organisations seek positive psychological approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) but there is a growing demand for psychoanalytic perspectives where coaches help clients in understanding the unconscious dynamics that have strong influences on an individual’s internal experience, relationships between people, and the culture of an organisation.
If you are interested in finding out more about Blackswan coaching please contact me at @CEOblackswan or www.globalblackswan.com
MAURICE DUFFY - Maurice is the founder and CEO of Blackswan, a business transformation and coaching consultancy that operates globally in over 30 countries. He is a pioneer of executive coaching and is cited as one of the top global coaches.
Prior to Blackswan, Maurice was SVP, EVP and Head of Function for many organisations such as Nortel and Manpower. He is respected for his work and thought leadership on ‘Strategy’, ‘Mindset’ and ‘Change’ in which he practises and consults around the world.
Maurice personally coaches and mentors many CEO’s and board level Directors of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, whilst sitting as Chair and Non-Executive on a number of advisory boards.
He is an author and poet, and is passionate about the positive role that changes can bring to people’s lives. His last critically acclaimed book ‘New Mindsets for New Times’ sets the scene for much of his work. He is Irish, married to Karen with a home base in North East England and he has four children.
He is a keen half-marathon runner and Liverpool fan, and is regularly involved in a number of charitable events and challenges, including being co-founder and CEO of the renowned ‘Green Carnival at the Coast’, a major fun-filled community weekend at the spectacular headland location of Tynemouth Priory and Castle.