#CIPDCoach14 – Executive coaching linked to business?

Jane Saunders from the BBC is moving us through the organisation with her session and onto exec coaching – how to meet both the client and business needs. I wonder how Jane sees this differing from how you meet both the client and business needs anywhere else in the organisation. I reckon it’s challenging whatever level you’re at……over to Jane…..

Their story, their clients, their coaches, their evaluation, their plans for the future – lots to hear about!

Back in late 90’s when some ‘random people’ in T&D & HR who’d found this new thing called coaching & they wanted to provide a service – working towards providing internal coaching equal to or better than what’s available externally.

In early 2000’s they worked with Ashridge on leadership development & were offered coaching, action learning, mentoring, master classes…. Because of the volumes they did internal development to become self-sufficient with all this delivery and move away from Ashridge reliance.

They have mission, vision, expectations of leaders which have only been soft-launched so far….

The BBC need their leaders, like many orgs, to be more effective, to be more commercial, to think more about their vision and strategy for the future for their teams, to develop their teams to deliver.

They use their coaching in the BBC to work at the transformational end of the coaching spectrum so they can raise their awareness of the impact they have on others and develop to be a better leader.

What are their goals?
What does the business need of them? Is it different in their department?
Where’s the org going? – Jane’s acknowledging that this isn’t as good as it could be at the BBC
3-way meetings with the client’s boss
SMART’n the goals up
Short, sharp coaching programmes – this bit does tie into strategy because big change programmes in the past have made use of 1-off sessions to make sense of the change so they can engage their teams better – KNOW YOUR WHY!

Similar themes coming through from Jane as previous sessions with application process to find coaches, 12 months’ training and mentored field work, commit to 3 clients at any time, quarterly supervision, CPD. But she also checks with HR in case there’s going to be anything happening that is known about that would prevent a coach from staying with the BBC for the next 12 months – getting time back from the investment in their development.

Also similar to what we’ve heard before, they need coaches to have presence, emotional intelligence, organisational credibility, readiness, commitment. And similar again with (internally delivered) coach development that’s EMCC and ICF accredited with a final assessment to confirm whether someone becomes a coach or not – no guarantee. Then ongoing they have CPD (e.g. Nancy Kline *lovethatlady!*, Gestalt, John Whitmore) and Supervision (sharing, supporting, successes). This is great to maintain standards and credibility of the coaches – Jane recognises that you can never get to a place where you sit back and say you’re the perfect coach with nothing else to learn.

And how do they know if it’s working?
– Immediate feedback on progress in sessions, feedback on the coach, coach’s perspective, feedback from training & CPD, internal review feedback.

– A plan for mothers returning from mat leave.
– Embedding coaching within divisions – encouraging coaches to work with snr leaders in their own division who wouldn’t normally get a coach and who could be future senior leader talent.
– Post attendance on leadership course – oops missed what this meant!

Some great stuff going on in the BBC and following similar themes to others we’ve heard from today, including the theme about it being focussed on helping Hi-Po’s. My lasting impression is that this session, the Visa session, the News UK session are very corporate, structured, controlled. In some ways I see that this is important to maintain standards but I can’t help feeling a bit flat from these – compared to Freebridge where coaching feels like it’s been naturally embedded, grown and where it’s infiltrated every part of the organisation without needing to be part of such a ‘proper’ structured approach.

Maybe I just really care about coaching being part of the whole culture – it really is just the way we do things round here, it really does fit with our values (the written and the lived!). Maybe these corporate examples feel too separate, like a separate bubble of activity that’s only available if you’re ‘important enough to the business’.


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