Reflections on the Impact of Coaching in 2018
As I sit to write my final Board Column as the 2018 ICF Global Chair, I am struck by how quickly the year seems to have passed. Well, that may be a sign of age, of course; however, I also think it is a product of a very full, busy and exciting year!
This year I had the privilege of traveling to many parts of the world and have seen how coaching is being used in some incredible ways. In between these trips, I have also had the pleasure of joining several other ICF chapter and regional meetings via webinars to connect with our leaders and members, sharing information and updates on how our work together is evolving and growing.
It has been an amazing year for ICF, and Magda and I have shared some highlights with you in our end-of-year video. In addition to that, I would like to share some of the experiences in my year as Chair.
Bahrain: Coaching is a fast-growing and developing discipline in this region. In a meeting with one organization, a proud HR director told us that over 80 percent of their employees were involved in their coaching initiative. This is such an impressive figure and really shows how coaching within organizations is becoming truly systemic and is contributing to the development of organizational culture.
Jordan: I met with almost everyone from ICF Jordan. They have been very resourceful in securing free meeting spaces in one of the workspace areas offered to entrepreneurs in the city of Amman, which has allowed members to meet regularly to expand and develop their coaching community.
Dubai: We had our first board meeting of the year, offering us the opportunity to connect and confirm our strategic priorities for the year. We also met with the local chapter.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: At the ICF Global Leaders Forum, we heard about some wonderful projects being done with our ICF Foundation Ignite initiative, leveraging positive societal change through coaching. Our chapter leaders also shared their own stories and best practices, which they could take back into our growing global community.
Puerto Rico: ICF chapter leaders and members shared how coaching was being freely and abundantly offered to those who were dealing with the distress and trauma created by local earthquakes. Some of the stories they shared were quite overwhelming. Almost a year later, there were still so many people without homes or electricity. What was most striking of all was the upbeat, cheerful and positive attitude of all of the coaches I met and how they were delighted to be able to offer this service to others.
I attended their one-day conference, which was held in the hall of a drama school. At the end of the conference, we helped set the room for a drama workshop that would be run the following day by one of the coaches—a wonderful way of creatively bringing coaching into the education of young people.
San Diego, CA, USA: Local chapter members offered over 300 pro bono laser coaching sessions to attendees at the Association for Talent Development Conference.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA: The ICF Midwest Conference had great sessions including some focused on disruption and how coaching can tap into this to enable resourcefulness within a VUCA environment.
United Kingdom (UK): I presented the Henley Business School with their ICF ACSTH accredited coach training program certificate, which was a significant step for ICF’s collaboration within the academic community as Henley is the first university in the UK to offer an ICF accredited program.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: At the MGM Women’s Leadership Conference, over 200 pro bono coaching sessions were completed by chapter members from within and outside of the area, with many more in demand.
Online: Magda and I delivered a session for the Women’s Leadership Online Summit, which focused on leading change at work and beyond. There were more than 20,700 participants from six continents.
Sweden: I met with the ICF Sweden Chapter and heard how they have developed their own three-year strategic plan for future growth and further development of their chapter.
United Kingdom: We had another in-person board meeting, and we also met with the ICF UK Chapter, which is really making in-roads into working more closely with organizations around the benefits of coaching at a team and systemic level.
Chicago, IL, USA: Magda and I presented at the Human Capital Institute conference, and we talked to local chapter members about the great Building a Coaching Culture for Change Management research. We also explored how coaches can transition from offering coaching services in organizations to becoming a key strategic resource that offers coaching in service of more effective change and performance.
I was also delighted to present this year’s ICF Global Prism Award to Ireland’s Health Service Executive for excellence in making bringing coaching into their organization for wide-scale impact. Do take a look at the website for more information on their work as well as the other finalists of this year’s awards.
EMEA: I met with ICF Chapter Leaders and deeply felt their passion and commitment to further develop coaching in their countries.
I now find myself coming to the end of my term as ICF Global Chair for 2018. It has been an amazing experience to meet and work with so many of our members and chapters around the globe and see how coaching is being brought into the world—and our local communities—through organizational development, leadership development, women’s development, education and academia. It has also been a great privilege to act as an ambassador and be in service of ICF and our members. I have done this with pride and joy throughout this year, and I thank you all most sincerely for entrusting me with this role during 2018.
I want to thank all the chapters and members that I have had the pleasure to meet with this year for their immense hospitality. I’d also like to thank our entire volunteer chapter community all over the world who give so much of their time in service of ICF and professional coaching. As a volunteer organization, we would not be what we are today without their passion and dedication and the many, many hours of work they give to our wonderful organization.
I also want to thank our brilliant ICF staff team for their specialist expertise and commitment to supporting ICF to be the largest and only global professional body for coaching in the world. Our team has evolved this year again, and we now have a growing presence not only in our headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, but also in our local regions so that we can work more closely in partnership with our chapters and members.
Finally, I want to thank all of you, our most valued members, for your support and commitment to ICF as your chosen professional body. It is through all of you and the great work that you do that we have grown and diversified. Together we are one ICF and in this way, we head confidently towards fulfilling our mission of coaching being an integral part of a thriving society!
I would now like to wish you all a most wonderful festive season; may you spend the remaining weeks of this year in peace and joy, and may 2019 bring you all good things.