Coaching was brought from the world of sports to the business world in the 1980s. The late Sir John Whitmore, who was a Formula One driver’s coach, believed that coaching could work in the business world as it worked in sports. Coaching world champions should not be so different from coaching potential business leaders. Since then, coaching has evolved a great deal. As in all fields that evolve, different specializations emerged. There is now life coaching, business coaching, health coaching, organizational coaching, and more. Each specialization is distinct from all the rest in terms of the scope, arena and methodologies.
Organizational coaching stands out as the field of coaching with the most potential currently. The Covid-19 global crisis has an enormous effect on almost everything in our life.
It heavily impacted the way we work, socialize, meet, educate, travel and even dine. Organizations were impacted as well. In a very short time, organizations had to adapt to a crisis mode in their operations. This was not easy, and changes that otherwise would have taken years had to take place in a matter of weeks.
Remote work has become the new normal. Teams are scattered. People had to change completely how they work and what work actually means. Most people work in unprecedent conditions. Many work from home with no office facilities, and with their children all around them. The rolling crisis takes its toll on leaders, managers, and employees alike. There is a growing Zoom fatigue. Research shows growing levels of disengagement. After few months of increased productivity for many companies, we see now productivity going down. There is a low morale in many organizations. People are worried and worn out from the continuous crisis routine.
Managers and leaders struggle even more. They have their own personal process that they need to go through. They need to lift themselves up, reboot and reset themselves. They need to overcome their own worries and concerns. On top of that, they need to look after the business and after their people.
The business side is very challenging as the economy has slowed down significantly. Sales processes are much more difficult to conduct. There are less resources out there and therefore the competition has become fiercer. In many cases it is a struggle for the survival of the business.
On the human side it is also very challenging. Leaders and managers now have to give their people some direction in a context of almost total uncertainty and lack of visibility. They need to give them short–term focus to be able to operate.
They need to engage them and support them. They need to lead by example. They need to help them overcome their fears and concerns and stay functional. They need to direct them, coach them, develop them, while working remotely.
This is all unprecedented, and most leaders are not ready for it at all. Many lack the resilience that the current situation requires. Many leaders and managers find it difficult to make decisions now or simply to be able to manage or lead. All these unprecedented needs require that executives and managers transform to be able to perform in this environment.
This is where organizational coaching comes into the picture.
In the last 6 months I coached over 20 CEOs, C-suite members, and senior managers. They all needed someone to talk to, and convey their challenges. They all needed some transformation in their paradigms and attitudes. They all needed new skills that they never needed before. Their needs stretched from navigating themselves in this chaotic scenario, to leading, engaging and managing their teams, all the way to new ways to work with clients remotely. Never has organizational coaching for leaders and managers been so needed. It also becomes clear that even with vaccination, we are not going back to any “old normal”. People who have gone through this crisis will come out of it different than how they entered it. Managers and leaders will need a lot of support, new tools, new skills and new paradigms in the “new normal” reality that will unfold. Any professional organizational coach that can offer what leaders and managers need now and in the coming future will be sought after like never before. Following this, we see a growing demand in the market for professional organizational coaches and a growing demand for being certified as such.