Executive coaching strengthens leadership pipeline

The growth of Executive Coaching Industry in India, over the last few years, gives me immense joy. In the earlier years of setting my business, most of the meetings with potential clients were devoted to building an awareness of the Coaching. The scenario has evolved now, and clients are seeking out coaches for their personal and professional development. The media has played a wonderful role in bring Coaching to the forefront.

Sharing here an article which was published in The Economic Timees.

“Executive Coaching helps successful leaders to become more successful. It is viewed as something special for ‘High Potential Leaders’ to do better in future and improve their retention rate”, explained Dr. PV Bhide, President-Corporate HR, JK Organization during an interview with TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. According to him, the Coaching Industry is growing exponentially in India and is estimated to grow from present Rs. 200 Crore per annum to Rs. 800 Crore per annum by 2014.

Perry Zeus and Dr. Skiffington (of the Behavioral Coaching Institute) defined executive coaching as a time bound dialogue between coach and coachee within a productive and result oriented context. In their view, it is about change and transformation that the coachee aspires, which emanates from asking the right questions rather than providing the right answers.

Rajendra Ghag, Executive Vice President, HR & Admin of HDFC Life christened executive coaching as ‘Gold Mining Mentality’. It is brought into play to unleash the true potential of senior leaders and improve their performance by asking relevant questions. “We hire coaches, who are seasoned professionals from the industry. An ex-chairman of a big company is brought to train senior leaders of our organisation and reduce interference in their work”, he added.

Earlier, executives were reluctant to be coached, but now it is viewed by candidates as a sign of being on an accelerated career growth path. Underlining the challenges of the executive coaching industry in India, Dr Bhide articulated, “There is a need for impetus in propelling research to identify what practices would be more effective from Indian coachees’ point of view. As most ‘Global Coaching Certifications’ teach western coaching models and methodologies.

During one of the Skills Dialogue session, a series of high powered panel discussions organised by TimesJobs.com, industry experts pointed that there is absence of experienced coaches, who have finer business wisdom as compared to what theoretical coaching model based methodologies provide. And, on the demand side there is a need to sensitize CXOs and HR heads to focus on improvement, change, and outcomes rather than merely a feel-good factor.

Suggesting the way forward, Dr. Bhide advised organisations to identify specific domains that can be benefited most through executive coaching and create a culture of coaching by nurturing internal leaders and managers to become coaches.

Together, experts expressed the want to bring in more structure into this emerging industry to help define the engagement models and professional approach that this function requires in the Indian context.

Link to article: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-01/news/31528311_1_coaching-industry-executive-coaching-models


‘Life Coach’ Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is a proud moment for the Coaching Industry. The word ‘Life Coach’has now been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I see this as a validation of an industry which is growing at an exponential speed – and this growth is proof that Coaching is an effective solution in the current socio-economic conditions worldwide.

Am proud to be a part of this profession. Proud to be able to help people unleash their potential. Proud to be able to live my life purpose. Proud to be a Coach.

Here is the news article published by Sacramento Bee. Links to the original article have been provided below.

LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 17, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — For the first time Tuesday, the word “life coach” appeared in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. “I think it’s great,” says Michelle Hollingshead, President of the ICF Ohio Valley Chapter. Merriam-Webster picks about 100 additions for their annual update, by gathering evidence of frequently used words over several years. “I think it communicates the legitimacy and the timeliness of our services.” Hollingshead continued, “It’s great to get global recognition as a profession.”

In an economic age where more and more jobs are being cut, the coaching industry is growing. “The industry keeps growing because it’s meeting a societal need to make people more effective, satisfied and able to maximize their potential to help humanity flourish,” explains Dr. Damian Goldvarg, President-Elect of ICF’s Board of Directors. The first-known usage of the word “life coach” was in 1986 according to Merriam-Webster, but since then the professional coaching industry has exploded. The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study* revealed there are 47,500 professional coaches worldwide bringing in a total annual income of nearly $2 billion. The growth in the professional coaching industry is one indication that coaching is an effective solution to the common economic struggles plaguing many companies today.

Major corporations have turned to coaching to improve their businesses, including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises. Studies show that virtually all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009), a stunning 99% of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall experience.

A key differentiator for the industry is that coaching is seen as an “action plan” rather than an exploratory process. Coaching has become a significant trend in leadership development because it increases productivity, empowers employees, and provides a return on investment (ROI). Professional coaching explicitly targets maximizing potential and in doing this unlocks latent sources of productivity and effectiveness. At the heart of coaching is a creative and thought-provoking process that supports individuals to confidently pursue new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience in the face of growing complexity and uncertainty.

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 21,000 members in more than 100 countries and over 7,900 credentialed coaches worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.

* The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study and the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009) were commissioned by ICF but conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Full copies of the studies are available upon request.


This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE  International Coach Federation

Link to the original article: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/17/4735401/life-coach-added-to-merriam-webster.html

Training industry gains momentum: Economic Times News Article

Coaching industry has started taking its roots in India. The industry is still in the nascent stage, for it is yet to be tapped and understood properly.

The concept behind coaching, not just talks about academic coaching or sports coaching or mentoring, it is an ongoing relationship which focuses on people/organisations taking action toward the realisation of their visions, goals or desires while maximising their person and professional potential.

According to Sraban Mukherjee, who boasts to have handled major consultancy assignments and conducted more than 100 coaching hours in 2007 with eight clients, besides being a member of International Coaching Federation, USA, the coaching industry is not even one per cent explored in India.

“People and organisations in India are yet to understand the concept behind coaching. Once the importance of the word coaching is understood , the market for coaching business will be automatically established” , said Mukherjee.

Further he added, “In countries like US and UK, coaching is a well established profession. I am expecting the market to grow by 20-30 per cent in India, in next four to five years.” The need for the right career path and stress free life will offer a lot of scope for coaching as a full time career profession.

Talking about coaching industry in India, it’s basically the executive coaching which is gaining prominence these days.

Executive coaching is an experiential and individualised leader development process that builds a leader’s capability to achieve short and long term organisational goals.

The other different kinds of coaching that exist today include life/personal coaching, career coaching, mentor coaching, spiritual coaching, business coaching and relationship coaching. “Whether it is executive coaching or life coaching or any other niche areas of coaching , the bottom line is change.

Hence, it is important to understand the change process so that coaches can navigate with clients in the change journey in a step by step process” , said Mukherjee.

In India, executive coaching is, so far being associated with only a few companies including Hewitt, Grow Talent and Hero Mindmine. Indian School of Business in Hyderabad also conducts regular workshops on executive coaching . “Though a fewer in number, but there are companies like Wipro, Satyam, Hindustan Lever, which are known for having a very good coaching culture in India.

Multinational companies like IBM, Shell, Cadbury are also set to introduce coaching culture in India, very soon. Many are in talks with Hero Mindmine to introduce coaching culture in their respective organisations” , said Mukherjee.

More about Mukherjee: He is a graduate in coaching from ICF, USA, and doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi,

Mukherjee is currently working as the head of HR consulting and leadership coaching in Hero Mindmine Insititute Limited, a HERO group company.

Coaching For High – Flying Corporates

Avinash Kirpal, International Management Institute, New Delhi

“In every field of human endeavour in which performance is key, coaching is integral to helping shift an individual’s mindset, approaches, and behaviour to ensure more effective action and greater business success.”
National Aeronautics and Space Administration -Report. 24. Dec 2002. -E. Saxinger (NASA Work/Life Program Manager)

Many Indian corporate leaders and senior executives are aware that in these times of rapid change what is required from them has less to do with their skills in the techno-commercial strategic areas and more to do with their skills in encouraging creativity, innovation and team-building. Often corporate leaders know what needs to be done to adapt to changing business environments and this is not their main challenge. Their main challenge is to get their teams, and themselves, to do what needs to be done. This involves working on their own mindsets as well as the mindsets of their teams through leadership and motivation. Yet few have received guidance on how to improve their skills in this area.

Like other skills these too can be developed through learning. However this learning cannot be acquired from short-term training programmes or from attending lectures, or even from reading books. Studies have revealed that any benefit from this type of training does not last. It lacks follow-up, direct application and continued guidance. The learning that is required needs to be focused on specific needs, followed up over a period of time and based on actual experiences. It is a learning which perpetuates itself on feedback. It needs to be on the job and experiential. This is where corporate coaching comes into the picture.

The Public Personnel Management Association Journal (Winter 97, Vol. 26 Issue 4,) quotes a study which showed that training alone increased productivity by about 22% while training plus coaching increased productivity by 88%.

Executive coaching as a specialised discipline has been flourishing in the United States for over twenty years. “For years, CEOs of some of the most successful and largest companies have relied on executive coaches. Henry McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, and David Pottruck, CEO of Charles Schwab & Co., are a few who rely on a trusted adviser.” (The Business Journal. Nov. 2002.) Coaching is gaining popularity in the UK and other mature market economies where corporations face the full blast of international competition. Research studies in these countries show spectacular improvements in performance after executive coaching.

In India corporate leaders had been slow in taking to coaching, probably because it was (mistakenly) viewed as an admission that the management is lacking in some attributes. However it is now being appreciated that in fact coaching provides an opportunity to strengthen developmental attributes and hence performance. It is noted, for instance, that all top sports people use coaches to improve their performance, though they already perform very well. In fact where talent already exists the benefits from coaching are multiplied. With this realisation dawning in the corporate world here the use of coaching is catching on in India as well. Management training institutions and consultancy firms are now offering executive coaching. They have the expertise in different functional and behavioural areas; also through national and international networks they access the most relevant talent for the coaching exercise.

Pioneering Executive Coaching In India

What is common to GE’s Jack Welch, IBM’s Sam Palmisanio, and e-Bay’s Meg Whitman? They all had to seek the expertise of an executive coach in order to strengthen their vision, performance and capacities. A Chicago Tribune article once quoted, ‘Who exactly seeks coaches – Winners who want even more out of life.’

Executive coaching has become more mainstream today. It is accepted as part of standard leadership development for elite executives and talented up-comers. It is a one-to-one collaboration between a certified coach and an executive, who wants to generate positive personal changes, inculcate greater adaptability, better his leadership skills, access new perspectives, and above all, reach maximum potential.

Executives should seek coaching “when they feel that a change in behaviour – either for themselves or their team members – can make a significant difference in the long-term success of the organisation,” says Marshall Goldsmith, coach to top executives in many of the world’s leading companies.

However, there are not enough professionals who can don the garb of a CEO coach. It was this lacuna which the CEE, at the ISB, wanted to address. An exclusive Executive Coaching Programme for senior professionals, who want to be CEO Coaches, was held at the ISB, between August 20 and 22. It is the first time that such a Programme is being conducted in India.

Said Deepak Chandra, Assistant Dean, CEE, at the ISB, “It was during a Leadership Skill Programme, conducted by the CEE, when we received a feedback about the felt need in the industry for a cadre of executive coaches. It was then we conceived this pioneering programme to help people, within or outside an organisation, to become good coaches.”

Speaking about the relevance of such a programme in the Indian context, Chandra said, “As a concept, Executive Coaching is still new in India. In our past, the Gurukul system was an example of a one-to-one coach for individual students. It was built on a deeper inter-personal relationship. In today’s world, the concept of hiring a personal guide and coach is not often possible. However, the growing complexity of businesses in this era of globalisation, has prompted senior management to counsel, seek, and simply talk to a person who can be an amalgam of a sounding board, a critic, a seer, a friend, etc.”

Usually CEO coaching focusses on three aspects – strategy, organisational change, and behavioural coaching. The Programme at the ISB concentrated only on behavioural change. The Programme aimed towards improvement of positive and measurable behaviour of the participants, by identifying specific behaviours to improve upon and choosing concrete methods of change. Coached by none other than Goldsmith himself, the Programme rested on Goldsmith’s favourite line– “The same beliefs that lead to our success can make it very difficult for us to change behaviour, and as difficult as it is to change our own behaviour, it is even more difficult to change others’ perception of our behaviour.” Goldsmith has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 executive educators. He is one of the foremost authorities on how to help leaders achieve positive, measurable changes in their own behaviour and in the behaviour of their people and teams.

The Pedagogy
Based on an empirically-tested method of executive coaching, Goldsmith devised a straightforward and highly effective process that has consistently delivered successful results across a large population of leaders in a broad spectrum of professions.

Goldsmith, during the programme, explained why leaders, who are becoming increasingly successful, can also face increased difficultly when they need to change. He discussed how the behaviour that led to their present level of success might not be the same behaviour that is needed to reach a higher level of success. Participants got to practice ‘feed forward’ – a positive, simple and focussed tool for development. Next, he shared the results of his research on leadership development that involved over 86,000 participants from eight major corporations. He also communicated his proven ‘pay only for results’ coaching process and taught participants how to use new applications of coaching – such as peer coaching – that have been proven to create better leaders. Participants also took part in various team-building exercises and learnt about ‘team building without time wasting.’ Said participant Vicki Nicholson, Managing Director, CW Solution Private Ltd, and an Executive Coach herself, “What stood out was the simplicity of Marshall’s approach. I got to learn how easy it is to apply a process like this and make a difference in terms of people’s behaviour.” Prasheel Pardhe, Assistant VP, HR, at Bennett and Coleman, vouched, “Marshall gave us tips about a positive way of looking at life – managing it for oneself and for others.”

The Programme saw a host of important portfolio holders from companies such as Raymond Ltd., Aditya Birla Management Corporation Ltd., Godrej India Ltd., HDFC Bank, etc.

Goldsmith rated the group as “more focussed on education” and having “more respect for the educator.” He however detected the group’s shortcoming of “over -analysing and over – complicating simple matters.”

As a parting shot, Goldsmith personally signed copies of his new best-seller on leadership development, ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,’ for each of the participant. Time to get there!

What is Coaching ?

The International Coach Federation ( ICF )  defines coaching as ,` Professional coaching is an interactive process that helps individuals and organizations improve their performances and achieve extraordinary results. Professional coaches work with clients in all areas including business, career, finances, health and relationships. As a result of professional coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.`

 The ICF is the largest worldwide not-for-profit professional association of coaches. They try to self-regulate the coaching industry, and have developed a system of credentialing coaches that includes a specified number of hours of coach-specific training, number of hours of coaching experience, and proof of ability to coach at or above defined standards for each credentialing level. The credentialing levels defined by the International Coach Federation are Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).Coaches credentialed by the ICF and members of the ICF, regardless of whether they are credentialed, agree to abide by a code of ethics.

 The field of personal and professional coaching has grown substantially over the past 10 years or so and is now finding its way in India too. This essentially involves a working partnership between coach and clients to provide structure, guidance and support for clients to:

  1. Take a complete look at their current state, including their assumptions and perceptions about their work, themselves and others;
  2. Set relevant and realistic goals for themselves, based on their own nature and needs;
  3. Take relevant and realistic actions toward reaching their goals; and
  4. Learn by continuing to reflect on their actions and sharing feedback with others along the way.

Coaching can be especially useful to help individuals address complex problems and/or attain signifcant goals and do so in a highly individualized fashion.