Welcome to Part 2 of our two-part special issue of AMED’s quarterly online pdf journal on the future of coaching and mentoring. In Part 1, we invited you to reflect on and consider your own future as a coach, a mentor, or whatever role connects you with this exciting and dynamic global community. In this Spring 2015 issue (Part 2) we are offering you the opportunity to join us in exploring the implications of change on the future of your own practice, and to share your insights, ideas and models with the wider community.
One of the attractors in editing these special two issues on Coaching and Mentoring was to extend the process of dialogue that we engage in day-to-day with Coaching and Mentoring Network subscribers and other stakeholders in the wider business community. This includes people wanting to become a coach or mentor, journalists and various providers of coach and mentor training and development as well as client organisations. Over the past year, we have seen various indicators of trend shift that has impacted on coaching and mentoring service providers. The articles presented here highlight the impact of these trends which have brought fragmentation and renewal, as well as deeper connections with theory and practice from organisational psychology as well as with the domain of counselling and psychotherapy.
This collection of articles focuses on the wider trends in business as well as on the way practice is being framed by practitioners offering services in the names of coaching and mentoring. It highlights a number of linguistic shifts, which demonstrate the malleability of coaching and mentoring as a core ‘identity’ for providers of business and personal development services. At the same time, sectors within the community are strengthening their professional identities as coaches or mentors of various types. Are we heading towards transformational change that will finally blend coaches and mentors into a cohesive global community? Or, will the continued stormy waters of fragmentation and dispute create conditions for something new, and potentially more exciting (or disturbing) to emerge?
In putting together these two special issues of e-Organisations and People (e-O&P), we have included contributions spanning a range of perspectives. Part 1 introduced some of the wider trends associated with the economic climate that are driving changes at the level of practice development, and predicted some of the changes to come. This issue – Part 2 – dives a little deeper into the issues surrounding supervision for coach-mentoring. We are also delighted to highlight two newly developed approaches to practice. One represents the adaptation of supervisory practice with origins in Transactional Analysis (TA) and the second on personal construct psychology and the often neglected role of diagnosis in coaching. These articles cover new applications of practice and have not been published previously in the context of coach-mentoring.
The importance of critical friendships in editing and writing for e-O&P
A key goal of the collaboration between C&MN, OBCAMS and AMED in the production of these two special issues and the post-publication gatherings has been to bring established authors together with first time authors through the supportive process of critical friendships, which are a hallmark of e-O&P’s publication process. The role of critical friendships, which is central to the way guest editors collaborate with the editorial board of e-O&P, is a unique feature of this publication (MacKenzie 2015). Critical friendships are also extended to and by contributing authors who wish to engage with this process.
Many of the authors in Parts 1 and 2 are experienced writers, with a robust publication history as well as prominence in the wider coaching community. Others are new to writing, and we are delighted that these new authors have engaged with what can be a daunting process of submitting an article for publication. Most authors – especially those who were preparing new ideas to share – have welcomed their involvement in critical friendships, and have expressed their gratitude for the value that critical friends have contributed to the process of writing. This process has resulted in ideas being shared much earlier than would have been the case had authors presented their ideas through the standard channels of publication in the coaching and mentoring community.
In addition to the authors whose articles appear in Part 2, we have a widening pool of contributors working on articles associated with this dialogue. These will either find a home in the articles section of the CMN website, or in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring over the coming months, or on the AMED website. Critical friendship and a collegiate approach is fundamental to our framework of inquiry, exploration and dialogue going forwards, and established as well as new authors seeking professional development through writing, are welcome to join us in this continuing journey, and will find a welcoming home in the AMED Writers’ Group.
Laying down the gauntlet and responses to ‘Neofeudalism’ in the coach-mentoring industry
The gauntlet laid down by Bob Garvey (2014) in Part 1 highlighted changes in the professionalisation landscape associated with the practice of supervision in coach-mentoring. Responses to this, both published and privately shared, have suggested that the community of practice is deeply divided with regard to beliefs about the relevance, value and forms of coaching supervision that are most appropriate for coach-mentors. There is also some ambivalence to the role played by various professional bodies seeking both to serve and control the market space. What does this mean for the role of professional bodies in this market space as we move forwards?
Coach-mentoring practice and the role of supervision
In Gold rush coaching supervision – professional coaching and the dangers of coaching supervision, Vikki Brock presents a response to the Garvey (2014) article from Part 1. She highlights emerging trends in the United States of America (USA) and raises concerns about a growing trend for professional development and practice which originated in the traditional helping professions to dominate the supervision landscape. Recent discussions within the International Coaching Federation (ICF), suggests that a shift from the ‘mentor-coach’ role, is to be replaced by ‘coaching supervision’. Vikki warns that ‘where the ICF goes others will follow’, and that some coaching supervision practices more appropriate to clinical psychology, psychotherapy and counselling have no place in the coaching profession. Vikki shares important developments and dialogue held over the past few months within the ICF, and provides some historical context for those who are new to the conversation.
In Supervision or super-vision Julie Hay presents a different perspective, asserting that people form the heart of the coaching relationship, and that methods and models from psychotherapeutic and counselling domains do have value in coaching practice. Julie has shared with us a model of supervision with roots in Transactional Analysis which she has adapted for coach-mentoring practitioners.
Ideas & methods from established domains of practice relevant to coach-mentoring
Kieran Duignan’s Coaching cycles with cognitive ergonomic interfaces for the long cultural revolution takes us forward with a deep dive into an approach that has its foundations in the personal construct psychology of George Kelly and the diagnostic approach championed by Edgar Schein, which Kieran argues is critical to ensuring that a coaching solution meets individual as well as organisational needs and objectives.
In the penultimate article in this special issue Coaching and mentoring as detoxification: Developing the Deming/Scholtes approach, Kelly Allan, Chairman of the Advisory Board of The W. Edwards Deming Institute®, offers insight into the work of W. Edwards Deming. Kelly has noticed that as coaches and mentors are seeking new ways of understanding the organisation as a system, they are turning towards the established wisdom of Deming for answers and methods. Kelly offers some historical perspective and fundamentals of the ‘white bead experiment’ for those who have not yet discovered this work, or who have not yet considered the relevance of Deming – famous for initiating the transformation of the Japanese economy, sparking the quality revolution, and developing an enlightened approach to management.
Last and by no means least, we present Bob MacKenzie’s article Critical friendships for coaching and mentoring in writing. Focusing on the role of critical friendship in writing, this article serves to clarify both the role and value of critical friendship for those of you who have not yet embarked on your writing journey. It also explains a core tenet of e-O&P’s approach to supporting writers through an informal, emergent and reflexive form of coaching or mentoring at various stages of writing for publication, and which has been fundamental to the production of these two special issues on the future of coaching and mentoring.
The models and approaches outlined in the articles we have published in Part 2 tap into and develop some of the challenging and contentious ideas explored in Part 1. Themes of connection and separation, introduced by or from traditional helping professions, from which many coaching techniques and methods have been sourced either explicitly or implicitly, continue to be at the heart of dissent between those who Bob Garvey calls the barons of ‘fiefdoms’ and ‘neo-feudal’ states operating in the coaching and mentoring market space.
In Part 1, we highlighted questions raised by the contributions we have received. In Part 2, we have included some responses and models of practice that have evolved through this continuing conversation. As we move forwards, questions continue to emerge, and for our post-publication event held on June 10th, you are invited you to bring more questions as well as perspectives, models and approaches to the table. We look forward to welcoming you a lively and collegiate event, where this circle of critical friendship is made possible through this collaboration, between the CMN, AMED and OBCAMS networks.
Join the conversation – get involved!
This is an open conversation to stimulate new thinking and to provide opportunities for new, as well as established authors in the coaching and mentoring field to consolidate and share current thinking and practice. Articles have also been posted on the CMN and website, and over the coming months, we will continue to publish short articles that highlight key ideas and trends associated with this dialogue. The editors of the IJECBM also look forward to receiving articles as they are completed.
This exciting process of collaborative enquiry, leading to publication of ideas in various formats, will continue through to the main post-publication event in Oxford on June 10th. This one day networking event will then bring together the Oxford Brookes Coaching and Mentoring Society (OBCAMS), the Coaching and Mentoring Network CMN and The Association for Management Education and Development (AMED) for collegiate, collaborative enquiry. This will be the first large scale event to embrace collaboration through these established networks.
On March 20th, we held the first of our post publication events, offered as a preview for the regular OBCAMS audience, providing participants with an update on key developments to the CMN website and to highlight what is important for them in exploring the future of coaching and mentoring. These ideas and thoughts were mapped onto the articles we have already produced. These were summarised and will be shared so you can let us know what you would like to add for the conversation being held at the post-publication gathering on June 10.
In the meantime, you can contribute by commenting on the discussion forums, or writing an article or book review. Tweets are also welcome at #futureofcoachmentoring
Garvey, Bob (2014) Neofeudalism and surveillance in coaching supervision and mentoring? e-Organisations & People 21:4 41-47
MacKenzie, B. (2015). “Critical friendships for coaching and mentoring in writing.” e-Organisations and People 22(1).
As lead guest editor for these two special issues on the future of coaching and mentoring, I would like to thank a number of people. Nick Rawle for the suggestion of using an image of Janus on the cover of Part 2. Anna Britnor Guest for her engagement and support as co-guest editor of Part 1. Bob MacKenzie and David McAra of e-O&P’s editorial board have shared their valued critical friendship, which has been fundamental to the production of these two special issues of e-O&P. Thanks are also due to Elaine Cox from Oxford Brookes University Business School, who has arranged for the OBCAMS to host two post-publication events, on March 20th and June 10th. Acknowledgements are also due to all the authors who have supported, and are continuing to support, this innovative collaborative publishing project, as well as to their critical friends.
I would also like to thank authors who are still in the process of preparing articles, blogs, poems and poster presentations in association with this exploration of the future of coaching and mentoring. Your articles and varied outputs will appear in due course on CMN website, or may be recommended to the editors of the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring (IJEBCM) or can be introduced during the post publication event on June 10th.
Finally, in anticipation, I would like to thank you, our readers and prospective participants of our full day of collaborative inquiry on June 10th, which we hope will inspire many more of you to share your ideas, either in appreciative dialogue or in future written form, on the future of coaching and mentoring.
CMN Subscribers receive their free personal pdf copies of Part One and Two, become a subscriber of the CMN.