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Creating a Coaching Culture… Can We? Should We?

Oct 10, 2014

By Mary Sisson

There is, in the arena of leadership development and coaching, a wide ranging debate regarding the possibility and benefit of creating and sustaining a coaching culture, in the spirit of developing and/or accelerating talent. 

The concept of the creation of a coaching culture has been debated by the ILM, who suggest that ‘organisations wishing to maximise the benefits of coaching should focus on increasing its scope and availability, to create a coaching culture that permeates throughout their workforce’ - suggesting that there needs to be ownership and commitment from the top of the organisation to lay the foundations for people to use coaching as part of the day-to-day leadership style.  David Megginson, in his early work on coaching cultures, described clear stages which an organisation may progress through - from early nascent to embedded and ‘the norm’. 

As a practicing coach and culture change agent, my own experience leads me to agree with this perspective, believing that without increasing the spread and understanding of the coaching activity the employees may perceive that coaching is a remedial activity, done to address a performance issue. Clarity of the definition and objective of coaching is critical to the way it will be accepted and positively received across the organisation. 

In terms of commitment, the absence of coaching within the organisational strategy may in turn lead to coaching not being aligned with the development of talent; this may then prove to be difficult to evaluate the return and impact. 

So, is it possible to create a coaching culture? We are currently exploring with our clients this exact debate.

Do you have a view? 

Category: Expert Blog

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