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Worldwide Coaching Magazine May 2018

In-depth Knowledge, Outspoken Opinions

Organisational Development Coaching

Organisational Development Coaching Worldwide Coaching Magazine: In-depth Knowledge, Outspoken Opinions

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief: Ton de Graaf,

The objective of Organisational Development (OD) is to

improve the organisation's capacity to handle its internal and external functioning and relationships.

Executive Coach / Chartered Business Coach™

Write a Letter to the Editor

Art design: Milk & Cookies

Illustrations: Maaike Maas

Lay-out: Studio Maaiemui

Magazine Publishing: ©Worldwide Coaching Magazine 2018 all rights reserved.

This includes improved interpersonal and group

processes, more effective communication, and enhanced ability to cope with a variety of organisational change problems.

It also involves more effective decision making

processes, more appropriate leadership styles, improved skills in dealing with destructive conflicts, as well as

developing improved levels of trust and cooperation among organisational members.

In this edition we offer you a range of tools, insights and

Coaching is more than a set of tools and techniques. To be a successful coach you need a highly refined combination of advanced knowledge, technical skill, intuition, self-awareness, and business and entrepreneurial acumen. Our mission is to promote the powerful and positive impact executive, business and life coaches are having by educating and inspiring the coach and client community worldwide. We offer an inside view on the methods, techniques and theoretical underpinnings that put coaching at the forefront of best practices for achieving deep structural change in people’s lives.

best practices that will give you a clearer picture on how to best support an organisation as a coach with their OD initiatives and to help them turn it into a continuous, ongoing process.

Julia von Flotow reminds us in her article of a quote by

the famous management consultant, Edward Deming, who

so succinctly put it: “It is not necessary to change, survival is not mandatory.”

How’s that for a thought? Live & Learn, Ton de Graaf, Executive Coach / Chartered Business Coach™ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Visit our website!


In this edition: No One Looks Good in a Bad System By Leanne Hoagland-Smith Systems-Thinking, a Must for 21st Century Organisational Development By Julia von Flotow



Organisational Development Toolkit By Lyn Christian


The Coaching Event of the Year By Ton de Graaf


Educating HR By Leon VanderPol


Organisational Development Coaching By Dr. Suzanne Henwood & Grant Soosalu


Coaching and Mentoring as Conversations About Context By Prof. David Clutterbuck


Finding a Route Back to Work After a Long Career Break


By Antoine Tirard and Claire Lyell


No One Looks Good in a Bad System By Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Years ago one of my coaches, Ray Overdorff of Overdorff Associates, made this profound statement: “No one looks good in a bad system.� When executive leadership decides to embrace organisational development coaching, the first action to be taken before even considering any system wide development coaching is an examination of the existing system through an organisational evaluation or assessment. 4

Today’s organisational system is very much like a wheel with the various sub parts the spokes of the wheel all coming together to connect to the hub as well as to each other through the rim. These subparts support the wheel and keep the wheel moving forward. A broken spoke can easily put strain on or damage the other spokes within the wheel. Now some may call this system the culture of the organisation. Yet culture is truly the hub of the wheel where everything comes together. Years ago before organisational culture became a trendy term; Peter Drucker said “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast.” Today I believe culture will eat execution for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and all snacks in between. If you disagree, how many times have you or your leadership team thought or said: “I wish our people would just do their jobs” or “Why can’t we get things done?”


The goal of any initiative as in this case organisational development coaching is to improve the results from execution. Authors David Norton and Robert Kaplan in their book The Balanced Scorecard noted 90% of organisations fail to execute their strategies successfully. Even though this book is over 20 years old (published in 1996), successful execution still eludes many organisations and is one of the reasons for considering organisational developmental coaching. To evaluate the system the executive leadership team must be willing to be 100% transparent in its actions. Hiring an outside firm to assess the organisation helps to ensure transparency as well as confidentiality. Areas to be evaluated would include: • Leadership • Strategic Planning • Customer and Market Focus • Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management • Human Resource Focus • Process Management • Business Results • Sustainability


Then one on one 15-20 minute conversations in person or through the telephone (Internet/Skype) can be undertaken with a percentage of the employees within different departments and at different levels of responsibilities. Using the same questions for all respondents with the assurance of 100% complete confidentiality and anonymity, a summary can be constructed to validate the responses of the overall organisational evaluation. These individual conversations can be incredibly insightful specific to how culture is contributing to failed execution. 
 The evaluation should have a proven history of successful use. This way the organisation does not have to pay for the construction of another evaluation tool that has no history and only adds to the cost of the overall organisational evaluation. 
 Back in the 1970’s Noel Burch, an employee with Gordon Training, developed a simple quadrant that is still in use today. This quadrant simply illustrates how people process learning and knowledge.

Law of Process (Gordon’s Learning Model) I: I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DON’T KNOW – Denial. II: I NOW KNOW WHAT I DON’T KNOW – AHA! III: I NOW KNOW WHAT I KNOW – Knowledge, Skills, Attitude to get there (requires Motivation and Action) IV: I DON’T NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT I KNOW…I DO! (Habit Forming)


The upper left hand quadrant is “Unconscious Incompetence” or “I don’t know what I don’t know, ergo I know everything.” Acting without confirmation of knowledge is what drains many organisations of money, energy, time and emotions.
 The lower left hand quadrant is “Conscious Incompetence” or “I now know what I don’t know.” To cross from “Unconscious Incompetence” to “Conscious Incompetence” is through the Bridge of Discovery. The organisational evaluation or assessment is that Bridge. Before your organisation engages in any organisational development coaching, it may be prudent to take this first step of evaluation. By taking this action, your leadership team will have the knowledge to confirm what you already know as well as to bring to light what you may not know. This new knowledge will allow your organisation to construct an organisational development coaching solution that is far more likely to deliver the results your leadership team is seeking. To learn more about a proven organisational evaluation tool with a 20 year plus proven track record, please reach out to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.508.2859 (US) or via email

Mention this article and receive a 25% discount!

By trailblazing through conventional learning and business practices, heurist, writer and speaker Leanne Hoagland-Smith quickly demonstrates through ACE© how to advance people (talent) and operations (management) to that next generation of revenue growth for individuals and SMBs. She seeks forward thinkers who are stuck in the current status quo and want to stay ahead of the flow. Call her at 219.508.2859 CST or visit to learn more.



Systems-Thinking, a Must for 21st Century Organisational Development By Julia von Flotow

In the midst of the global economic, cultural and ecological turbulence we live in, leaders need to engage, empower and inspire an ever-increasing complex and diverse workforce: their human capital, their people.


A leadership best practice to navigate the complexity and leverage the opportunities of this era is to practice The 8Es of Leadership Development; an article published in WCM, November 2017 edition. The phenomenal rate of change requires increasing agility, adaptability and discernment. It’s a system’s approach that recognises the organisation as a whole having the intelligence needed to respond effectively to challenges and opportunities as they arise. The 8 Es of Leadership Development offer a system-thinking approach that recognises that whole is greater than the sum of its parts: 1. Evaluate - Taking Stock, Getting your Bearings, Assessing the Situation 2. Engage – Gathering Information, Gaining Perspective, Inspiring Support 3. Envision – Creating a Compelling Vision and Roadmap 4. Enable – Creating Systems and Processes that Support Strategic Action 5. Empower – Creating a Culture of Trust, Openness and Mutual Respect 6. Execute – Managing the Process, Executing the Plan Responsive to Context 7. Energise – Integrating Feedback and Feeding it Forward, From Within and from Outside, to Nourish the System 8. Enlighten – Self mastery, authenticity and courage to lead and inspire others


Inspired Leadership is Authentic Leadership In previous centuries industry leaders may have related to their workforce as a resource to exploit and manage, for personal profit. At the start of the 21st century – an era of socially-aware consumers – commitment to developing effective approaches to social and environmental reporting and performance, and broad-based engagement of the workforce, recognising their diverse perspectives, as assets, are trademarks of responsible, enlightened organisational leadership. Expanding social needs and shrinking revenues require the development of innovative approaches, enhanced skill sets and a greater breadth and depth of leadership abilities and competencies. Leaders, across the board, need to develop the ability to conceptualise and re-contextualise their roles and those of their organisations within an ever rapidly-shifting paradigm.


An Interdependent Socio-Economic-Political Web Organisational and management practices that worked in the past are no longer effective with managers and executives finding themselves at a loss. They feel ineffective at engaging an increasingly fluid and noncommitted workforce – talent retention is the #1 HR challenge. Under increasing economic pressure to create positive change, the leaders themselves are vulnerable. Profound community/social transformation is needed, yet cannot occur without a simultaneous personal transformation. Self-reflection, choice and action are at the heart of this transformation at every level. Coaching accelerates the process, developing personal and organisational resilience and the proficiency to manage change more effectively. Valued leadership skills include: • • • •

Learning to work with diversity Understanding group dynamics Relating policy to practice Developing reflective and contemplative practices.


Coach as Empowerment for Change Partner Coaching helps leaders assess their changing teamwork and resource requirements and learn to apply leadership abilities that foster support and cultivate higher levels of organisational effectiveness through dialogue, appreciative inquiry, effective interpersonal interactions and modelling behaviour. Leadership and executive coaching programs increase operational efficiency and reduce costs by eliminating negative behaviours, enhance executive productivity and retain leadership talent. Awareness Inspires Choice and Action Coaching creates awareness, clarity of purpose, competence and wellbeing among participants while building skills and capacities for effective relationships. Higher levels of organisational effectiveness can be achieved through dialogue, appreciative inquiry and increased engagement through positive interactions that leads to improved business results.


Often staff and managers recognise the need for a change in leadership style and approach. They know that what they have isn’t working. But it’s not easy to identify what specific change is needed when you’re in a challenging time. Nor is it easy for leaders who are in a pressure cooker situation that doesn’t allow them the time and space to reflect and explore. Investing in human capital and creative potential (your own and others’) requires compassion, foresight and commitment. As the famous management consultant, Edward Deming so succinctly put it, “It is not necessary to change, survival is not mandatory.”

Julia von Flotow is an executive coach, mindfulness instructor and founder of the Kaizen Leadership Institute and Therapeutic Touch Institute, Toronto, Canada. Her 12 step program to becoming an authentic and mindful leader has helped hundreds of independent professionals and business owners live happier lives and build more sustainable businesses. Enquire about the Integrative Self Health Coach certified training program - a new approach to the growing need for healing and wholeness in our increasingly high-tech world. Connect with her on LinkedIn at or email her at


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Toolkit An in-depth opinion about a gadget, device, strategy, etc. suggested as support for coaches to do their work even better.

By Lyn Christian MCC, CFCC, CCmBIT Coach

Organisational Development Toolkit The best organisations strive to align processes with organisational function in a fashion sturdy enough to support what a company desires. Most business coaches experience seasons where clients examine such topics. Likewise, we at SoulSalt support clients when they need or want to develop their organisation to the next level. Organisational Development (O.D.) is often the term used to express the process a company moves through at such times. In this Toolkit, we’re offering a check-list of “question cues” to help you formulate and support the big, expansive thinking that occurs during O.D. In addition, you’ll find one of my most valued links regarding the changes growing organisations experience over time.


Question Cues for O.D. Ask these or similar questions as you support organisations re: Organisational Development efforts.

Which strategic thinkers can guide our project from a high-level vantage point?

Who could we include while we set the vision for the project?

Who could design efficiencies into our workflow?

Who could help us audit and re-engineer our processes?

Who, within our industry or our company, is a credible strategist?

Who can support us to read patterns in the data we gather? Who can support us to synthesise our data and make meaning of it?

Who will be in charge of projecting and measuring our results?

Who, within our industry, could act as an advisor to us at this time?

Who could support us to put language to our efforts so we communicate wisely and effectively to the organisation during this development project?

Who are the credible influencers within our organisation who help communicate and roll out our efforts?

Who can support us to integrate all the moving parts of our project?

Where do we need to hire consultants and experts? What kind of in-house expertise and experience are we lacking?

Who knows a ton about change-management?

Who are the most innovative thinkers? (Expand your scope: reach as deep as the janitorial staff and as wide as the person who just left the company.)

Who will support us to keep an eye on growing our culture as we move to the next level?

Who can help us identify and manage risk during our process?

Who will be our project managers?

Who can facilitate our decision-making processes?

Who will assist us to educate and train when necessary?

Who needs to coach and/or mentor us through our process? 18

On a final note, this month’s Toolkit (in my opinion) would be incomplete if I didn’t suggest you review one of Harvard Business Review’s most reprinted articles. Its content is rich and deep regarding the patterns organisations move through as they evolve from and revolt against their past. And, I must admit, this is the most shared article I have in my arsenal. I hope you find it useful as well: Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow by Larry E. Greiner via Harvard Business Review Questions found on this list were developed from twenty years of experience coaching and working within organisations and knowledge gained while studying for various certifications. To learn more about the areas of expertise I consulted while crafting these questions visit: Project Management Institute | Organisation Development Network | Creating We |

Want to take your development to the next level? Receive your own complimentary printable list of "Question Cues For Organisational Development" here!

Lyn Christian has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training. Lyn also is a CCmBIT coach. She is the founder of SoulSalt and can be reached here: 19

By Marshall Goldsmith My wonderful friend and colleague, Sally Helgesen, and I have co-authored a new book called How Women Rise! Sally is highly regarded expert in the field of women's leadership. Having written five books on the subject, including The Female Advantage, Sally speaks to audiences around the world about the issues and challenges of women leaders. Her work has been featured in Fortune, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Business Week. Now Sally has done me the honour of co-authoring this exceptional new book with me. Make no mistake, Sally is the lead author! In How Women Rise, we expand on the concept from my book What Got You Here Won't Get You There that there are certain behaviours that hold us back, and we explore specifically the roadblocks that can hinder women trying to move up the corporate ladder. How Women Rise has been published on April 10, 2018. You can get your copy here at Amazon.


There is one thing that separates mediocre coaches from excellent ones: Constant education and improvement. In our fast-paced and ever-evolving industry, the ability to stay up to date with the latest developments and continually educate yourself is not just beneficial but vital for your success as a coach. Last year, I attended WBECS - the world’s biggest live online Summit for Business and Executive Coaches - and I learned powerful coaching tools and profoundly impactful techniques from various coaching disciplines that have been imperative for my success. Each year, WBECS brings together the top thought leaders and experts in the profession who share their very best content during live online classes at no cost. The speaker line-up is impressive and features some of the world’s most successful coaches and top thought leaders! During the live Pre-Summit this June, you have the opportunity to join over 40 absolutely pitch-free and value-packed sessions - at no cost - plus earn up to 3 CCE units! Plus you’ll get to join a global community of thriving coaches, engage live with their worldclass speakers during the sessions, receive answers to your personal questions during Q+A segments and learn to apply the knowledge right away during exclusive Implementation Mastery sessions. It is a truly impactful event. I highly recommend that you join the Pre-Summit now! You can get an overview of all the speakers and their sessions and secure your spot at no cost by clicking the link below: Click here to register for WBECS 2018 I am confident that you are going to get outstanding value from the WBECS Pre-Summit! Live & Learn! Ton de Graaf, Executive Coach Publisher Worldwide Coaching Magazine 21


Educating HR By Leon VanderPol

The level of misconception in organisations about what coaching is continues to surprise me. Just the other day, in a communication workshop I was leading, I asked participants if they knew what coaching was. Around 80% raised their hands. And yet when I asked some of them to tell me what they understood coaching to be, most of those people said something along the lines of: “Coaching is a conversation where I am able to give a person advice and suggestions. The coach leads and guides the person to higher levels of performance.� 23

What I hear in their answers is a confusion between coaching and mentoring. When I then ask what mentoring is, and they give basically the same answer, confusion quickly dawns on their faces. They realize that they don’t understand the difference between coaching and mentoring, or coaching and giving feedback. I realise there are different schools of thought as to what coaching is, but I’ve noticed in organisational spheres that coaching has become blurred with mentoring and with fundamental management roles such as giving feedback. The image is that coaching is mentoring, or coaching is to give feedback. In actuality, feedback is only a small part of the overall coaching process. Secondly, giving feedback in coaching is a different process with a different intent than giving feedback as a manager or mentor would. In the latter, feedback is a way of guiding, correcting, or increasing the effectiveness of behaviour to align with norms and expectations. In coaching, feedback is a way of mirroring back to the client what the coach is observing or experiencing within the conversation so that the client’s self-awareness increases. In many instances, in organisations, people are not aware of these distinctions.


On a recent webinar with an ICF chapter, I was speaking about what ‘developmental coaching’ is (even amongst coaches, the distinction is not always clear) when one of the participants told me a story about an experience she’d had. The story goes that she was in discussion with an HR head about coaching one of the employees, when the HR head reacted strongly to her use of the term ‘developmental coaching.’ The HR head said, “He doesn’t need developmental coaching, this is not about fixing anything.” Apparently the HR head’s image of ‘development’ related to ‘deficit’, and in her view developmental coaching was for employees who needed to ameliorate behaviour. The person on the webinar who told me the story then asked, “How do you handles these kinds of situations, when people in organisations have very different or erroneous images of what coaching is?” Interestingly, one of the reasons I was giving the webinar to the ICF chapter was to help clarify distinctions between different coaching approaches (transactional, developmental, transformational, etc.). It’s part of the educational work that we do at the Center for Transformational Coaching, because in our industry confusion over terminology exists. That confusion also exists in organisations. 25

My answer to the coach on the webinar was that it starts when we, as coaches, get clear on the distinctions between different coaching approaches, and between mentoring, coaching, and consulting. Once we have a clear understanding, then our work is to educate others on those distinctions. HR personnel are a good example of where that education is needed. My experience with HR in Asia (where I live) is that misconceptions of coaching abound, and it is HR who unwittingly pass on to employees those misconceptions. One sector that contributes to organisational (and HR’s) misconceptions are the training companies that offer coach training services. I have seen firsthand materials developed by such companies which directly contribute to the misconceptions of coaching found in organisations. I cannot say with certainty why this is happening, but I speculate it is in part because those companies do not necessarily employ trained, certified coaches to develop their materials or lead their trainings. Even though coaching has been around for decades, the reality is that in both society and organisations there is a dearth of understanding as to what coaching is and how it works. Our work as coaches is to help clear up those misconceptions wherever they exist, because if we do not they will continue to spread.

Leon VanderPol is the Founder & Director of the Center for Transformational Coaching.

Part of his work at the Center is to clear up the misconceptions coaches have about transformational coaching. If you are interested in Leon speaking at one of your events, you can contact him directly at . Visit the Center to download your free report: How to Make a Living As a Transformational Coach ,12 Key Considerations as You Build Your Practice



Organisational Development Coaching looking at the head, heart and guts of organisations By Dr. Suzanne Henwood and Grant Soosalu

There can be no doubt that we are in fast changing times, where uncertainty and complexity is the norm which is challenging the very best of leaders to keep staff engaged and motivated to work towards excellence in their roles and grow organisations to be fit for the future. 28

There is a general agreement that we need to change the way we lead and we firmly believe coaching is part of that solution to enable leaders to step forward into uncertainty and create new ways to lead their organisations. Why would we focus on leadership? And why on multiple brain leadership? Ganns (2011) claims that “Leadership is probably the core differentiation factor that separates organisations with longstanding success from their competition” Dotlich, Cairo and Rhinesmith (2006) claim that “historically, business leaders have led with their heads” and that we now require “whole leaders” where “whole” leaders learn how to use their head, heart and gut in moving beyond their “leadership comfort zone”. Marty Linksy also advocates multiple brain leadership and distinguishes between technical leadership (from the head) and integrated leadership, which also incorporates heart and gut and advocates the need for a new way forward. Watch his talk here. It has even been said that ”single quality leaders, with a single approach, and leading primarily with simplistic solutions, will very likely not flourish in this ever-more-VUCA world” where VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.


So, it is becoming well established that the need for multiple brain leadership is paramount. In order to create that paradigm shift, we believe multiple brain coaching is essential, from skilled coaches qualified to coach to head, heart and gut in leadership. Exploring Multiple Brain leadership Soosalu and Oka outline the latest neuroscience behind the head, heart and gut brains in relation to leadership and outline the Prime Functions of each brain and their Highest Expressions, along with the need to reconnect to the deeper core identity of being a leader. They claim that it is not about following a different style of leadership but rather “It’s about the leader themselves and their ability to emerge new levels of consciousness and wisdom in their decision-making … any real whole-system change that is both sustainable and wise requires leaders who are authentically connected deeply within themselves, to their staff, and to the communities they touch”. What does this all mean in practice for coaching for Organisational Development? Let’s begin by exploring the Prime Functions of the three brains (outlined in in relation to Leadership:


HEART BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS EMOTING – links well to emotional intelligence and emotional stability and the ability to manage emotions. It is also the ability to both feel and express a range of emotions in the workplace and learn the ability to “entrain” others into positive emotions to impact on the state of the whole group by working with the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from the heart. Alongside this is the ability to encourage and engage others to share the vision with them and to inspire them to follow, as well as helping them to see how they can be actively involved in creating the future. VALUES – leading from personal and organisational values, processing what’s important to you and your priorities enables leaders to set priorities and engage others in your vision. This requires deep self awareness and exploration. RELATIONAL AFFECT – the ability to deeply connect with others (from widely diverse backgrounds) and build positive relationships is essential for leaders in VUCA organisations: the ability to genuinely listen and show you care about other peoples’ perspectives. Trust is an eroded concept in organisational leadership and needs to be restored, along with empowering staff to take ownership within growth and success. As Bossidy and Charan (2008) said in their book Execution and Confronting Reality: “the ability to encourage others to accomplish tasks is essential”. New leaders require the ability to make deep and genuine relationships, engage staff and reduce the costs (emotional and economic) of disengaged staff.


GUT BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS CORE IDENTITY – a deep need to be self aware and know your core identity as a leader is an important component of modern leadership. SELF-PRESERVATION – In a chaotic, unpredictable environment the need to be able to stay safe is essential, for you as a leader and for the organisation and for your staff. Leading to ensure there is no culture of fear is essential to enable peak performance and long term sustainability. MOBILISATION – the ability to make tough decision and to take action, be persistent and overcome obstacles – and take action fast is essential in a volatile and fast changing environment and sometimes that will be action to move something forward, while at other times it may be action to close something down. The ability to have gutsy courage as a leader is essential to adapt and be flexible in moving forward and remaining viable as a business, while learning fast from mistakes, ensuring ongoing learning as a whole.


HEAD BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS COGNITIVE PERCEPTION – the need for good quality data remains, with the mental ability to interpret that data and recognise wider patterns as they emerge. THINKING – the ability to think deeply and flexibly is key to being able to make changes fast enough to stay at the cutting edge and ensure your organisation remains current and indeed begins to lead your own field forward. MAKING MEANING – leaders require the ability to captivate audiences and this includes being able to tell story, make meaning, use exquisite languaging and relate the organisations vision to stakeholders using appropriate metaphors to engage and inspire people to follow. It is not about just using the head brain (which has dominated in organisations for some time) – but rather integrating that head based intelligence with heart based values and gut intuition which identifies a multiple brain leader, especially within decision making. This needs to be done with a balanced autonomic nervous system (ANS), which can be coached. Without the balanced ANS it is highly unlikely that the brains will be able to function effectively, which both restricts them individually and restricts cross alignment of the three brains – without which the innate wisdom is unable to emerge. 33

If we explore briefly the use of the three brains in decision making and how the over dominance of any brain can disrupt wise decision making we see that: If decisions are made without wise use of the head brain, any decision may be open to being out of line with current research and evidence. Data needs to be sought and analysed in order to ensure the intellect of the head is used within any decision making framework. The heart needs to be central to decision making to ensure that any decision and action is in line with values. Without this there is unlikely to be any emotional attachment to ensure the decision is followed through, especially when the reality is that there are usually many competing priorities vying for a discreet pot of energy. And the gut needs to be involved to ensure decisions made consider safety and risk. The gut is also required to ensure action is taken – moving any decision from an idea to implementation. It is wise and congruent alignment of the three brains, within an autonomically balanced system, that allow wisdom in decision making to emerge. When the brains are aligned and congruent, when the leader is an autonomically balanced state, and each of the prime functions are being seen positively, the ‘Highest Expression’ of the three brains are activated (compassion, creativity and courage).


This is when we experience flow. And having a coach to support in this process seems a sensible way to ensure the complexity of this is managed effectively, while continuing to offer excellent service in practice. If we explore the three Highest Expressions in Leadership we see: Creativity (head brain) – enables leaders to see wider possibilities and new opportunities, creating a culture of innovation and ensuring the organisation can remain at the front of any developments and lead new developments in the field. Compassion (heart) – recognises that the people in organisations matter and modern leaders influence not through positional power, but through deep authentic relating, driven by a desire to serve. True leaders care and that care will lead to action to make things better. Courage (gut) – there can be no doubt that it takes courage to be a leader that takes gutsy courageous action. They know who they are as leaders and know what they stand for. Why would we support such multiple brain leadership in terms of business outcomes? Research shows that leading from the heart and using all three brains not only enhances staff morale and health and wellbeing, it also enhances business outcomes. Boedker (2012) for example showed that “The single greatest influence on profitability and productivity within an organisation, … is the ability of leaders to spend more time and effort developing and recognising their people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering co-operation among staff ”. 35

However, we know that in any significant change, there will be resistance and leaders will require courage and support to overcome any obstacles and keep moving forward. And this is where we believe multiple brain coaching in organisational development is key. We believe that leaders being coached in the wise use of head, heart and gut can be even more successful in decision making, change, staff development, talent management, relationships and in short, the long term sustainability of their organisations. It is our view that some of the greatest gains to organisational success come from harnessing the intuitive wisdom of both leaders and those they lead, so that organisations can truly evolve and adapt with generative wisdom within our complex and rapidly changing world. ( It is claimed that “companies and organisations rise and fall on the work done by their leaders. The right leader can lead to a much better future. The wrong leader, making the wrong decisions‌ trouble, and hardship, for everybodyâ€?. And that right leader needs the right support.


So what traits could we be coaching for in multiple brain leadership? Heart Based Traits • Being very clear on both personal and organisational values and ensuring plans, strategies and decision making remain inline with the values based focus. • Looking at staff values and ensuring they are also met (in balance with organisational requirements). • Focusing on people (from wide and diverse backgrounds) and ensuring genuine care and compassion for self, staff and those you serve, including those who support your actions and those who struggle to get on board. • Leading to ensure a culture of trust, which will be linked to individual integrity in leadership practices. • Leading to generate true and deep engagement and commitment in staff and a ‘buy in’ to the wider vision of the organisation. Gut Based Traits • The ability to take wise action, considering risks and safety for all concerned. Showing persistence against resistance and the ability to act fast when appropriate and close down action if it is not taking the organisation in the right direction (despite any previous investment) • Being acutely self aware of yourself as a leader and ensuring you remain in line with that identity at all times • The courage to do what is right, make tough decisions and continue to act against resistance • The ability to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all staff


Head Based Traits • The ability to think creatively and generate innovative solutions and adapt thinking as new data emerges • Having the ability to see the wider, global perspective and to stand back and go ‘meta’ to critically evaluate thinking over time • Showing the ability to think across both short term and long term requirements and predict changes ahead of time. What would we look for if one of the brains was over represented? Here are just a few ideas: Gut Brain dominance The gut brain can act very quickly when it perceives a safety issue. If you as a leader are under any stress (which is not uncommon) it is very possible that reactivity from the gut may be disproportionate to the actual risk, making the leader overly reactive, hyper sensitive and they may take action before fully thinking the situation through. Heart Brain dominance While we recommend the heart leading and directionalising any action and decision making in leadership, an over dominance of the heart can on a personal level lead to leader being overly sensitive emotionally to how they are seen or perceived by others, over sensitive to any feedback and inadvertently taking on others’ stress or unhelpful emotions due to an over reactive response to caring about those people. On a wider basis they may not take required action, due to a concern for the impact on others.


Head Brain dominance An over reliance on the need for data and objective ‘facts’ can slow down decision making, risking missing opportunities and lead to the lack of ability to take risks, which are required in a volatile environment. A sympathetically directed head brain (i.e. one that is stressed) can lose the ability to make executive decisions and analyse data, even if it is available, and an overly sympathetically dominated head brain is at risk of creating stories and making meaning which may not be helpful. If the leader engages gut, while working with a stressed head brain, there is a real risk they will be perceived as cold and uncaring, which could disengage staff. We also know that leaders who focus only on Creativity (head brain) can be at risk of Anti-Social Behaviour (Mazo, Amir & Ariely, 2008; Gino and Ariely, 2012), whereas when leaders use prosocial emotions, such as empathy and compassion (Heart), Innovation and Creativity naturally emerge, guided by social connection leading to a ‘we’ focus of gain and benefit, rather than an ‘I’ focus which can be selfish, egotistical and socially damaging (Grant and Berry, 2011).


In Summary Coaching leaders to optimally using their multiple brains to the Highest Expressions, and using them in the correct ‘Foundational Sequence’ then, is an essential component in Leadership and Organisational Development coaching. Leadership in the current VUCA environment is complex and challenging and having the right support is essential to enable great leaders to perform and sustain that performance over time. We believe that coaching with the multiple brains enables a broad coverage of all essential skills and attributes in modern leadership and offers leaders the possibility of real support in stepping up and out performing those who reply on old world head based philosophies in leadership and coaching. The mBIT model is one that we believe needs to be instantiated in organisational and leadership praxis and practice in order to lead wisely in VUCA times.


References Boedker, C. (2012) The Rise of the Compassionate Leader: Should You Be Cruel to Be Kind? Retrieved from hDps:// Bossidy, L & Charan, R. (2008) ExecuQon: The Discipline of geSng things done. Cornerstone Digital Dotlich, DL. Cairo, PC. & Rhinesmith, SH (2006) Head, Heart & Guts: How the World’s Best Companies Develop Leaders Jossey-Bass. Gino, F & Ariely, D. (2012) The Dark Side of CreaQvity: Original Thinkers Can Be More Dishonest, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(3)445–459 Mazar, N., Amir, O., & Ariely, D. (2008). The Dishonesty of Honest People: A Theory of Self-concept Maintenance. Journal of markeEng research, 45(6)633-644. Ganns, J. (2011) Head, Heart and Gut a short summary. Retrieved from hDps:// 2011/01/06/head-heart-guts-a-short-summary/ Grant, AM. & Berry JW. (2011) The Necessity of others is the mother of invenQon: intrinsic and prosocial moQvaQons, perspecQve taking and creaQvity. Academy of Management Journal, 54(1)73– 96.

Dr Suzanne Henwood

is an mBraining Master Coach and Master Trainer, as well as being an NLP trainer, Mindfulness Facilitator and Map of Meaning Facilitator. She is the Director of her own company (mBraining4Success) and is the CEO of The Healthy Workplace, a joint venture with a mission to change how we lead and do work globally - to bring humanity into the workplace. Suzanne has a special interest in Leadership and Stress as two key areas for coaching transformation. Suzanne can be reached here:

Grant Soosalu

(M.App.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), Grad. Dip. Psych, NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Master Behavioral Modeler) Grant Soosalu is an international leadership consultant, trainer and writer with backgrounds and expertise in Leadership, Coaching, Psychology, NLP, Behavioral Modeling and Applied Physics. More info: Grant can be reached at 41

The mBIT Call to Action

Want to know more? Want to learn the tools and techniques for deep transformational change? Then please visit for more information, free articles and mp3’s. Or check out our books, ‘mBraining – Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff’ and ‘The mBIT Coaching Workbook and Facilitators Guides’, which are in effect the text books for the new field of mBIT Coaching, and in which you can find numerous examples, case studies and step by step instructions for the mBIT Techniques. (see You can also read our new book, ‘Coaching Wisdom’ which brings together all the mBIT articles previously published in the Worldwide Coaching Magazine along with additional new material.



Coaching and Mentoring as Conversations About Context By Prof. David Clutterbuck

If coaches and mentors rarely, if ever, offer advice, what do they do? They offer context. Context is “relevant information, which the learner does not hold, but which may have a significant effect upon the quality of the decisions they take�. 44

Context might include: • Feedback the learner hasn’t received from elsewhere or that emerges from the coach-mentor’s interaction with them • Metaphor or story that shows up an aspect of a situation, which the learner hadn’t recognised or appreciated before • Relevant personal experiences the mentor or coach can use to draw parallels • A model (for example, the urgent-important matrix) that opens up different perspectives • Factual data – for example, how politics work in the organisation The diagram below shows two core contexts that encompass the coaching conversation. The internal context is about raising the client’s awareness of their own thinking processes, their values, aspirations, belief systems, strengths and weaknesses -- and a host of other things that define who they are and their potential to become and to achieve.


The external context is about how they interact with other people and the wider world – for example, who or what influences them and who or what they influence. It is about understanding both threats and opportunities. The coaching or mentoring conversation links heightened selfawareness with heightened environmental awareness (environment meaning “anything that is not you”) to enrich how the learner analyses issues, determines what is most desirable and most important, decides what actions to take and plans how they will muster the resources and support they need to bring about change. Non-directive questioning provides the stimulus for the learner to make sense of what they already know. But that’s not enough, when they have only a partial picture. If the coach or mentor has relevant insights, which would make a positive difference to the quality of the learner’s thinking and/or decision-making, then it would be unethical to withhold it. In some cases, it may even breach their “duty of care” towards the client.


Hence, a critical competence for both coaches and mentors is judgement about when and how to offer context. Some practical guidelines are: • Never tell “war stories” – they are almost more about the coachmentor’s ego than useful input to the client • If you do offer an anecdote or experience, explain first why you think it may be relevant and ask for permission to share it • Offer the bare bones of a piece of contextual information first; let the client indicate what more they need • Before offering context, always ask yourself “Am I sharing this for my own benefit, or because it is truly important for the client’s thinking?” • Remember that your experience will never be more than partially relevant – the client’s circumstances, values and future path will only approximately align with your own.

Professor David Clutterbuck is a leading international

authority on leadership and developmental dialogue. David is visiting professor at the Mentoring and Coaching Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University (MCRG), at the coaching and mentoring faculty of Oxford Brookes University, and at York St John University. Blogsite: E-mail: Website: 47

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Finding a Route Back to Work After a Long Career Break By Antoine Tirard and Claire Lyell

Resurrecting your career after a long break is not easy. But stories of those who went through the transition can teach us how to better navigate a way back to work. 49

No one wants to have to choose between staying on their career path and tending to urgent personal needs that may crop up. But that’s the essential situation faced by countless professionals, given how difficult it has become to return to work after even a couple of years away. In addition to degrading employees’ quality of life, this blind spot in the business world costs companies dearly due to the premature termination of far too many promising careers. It’s also a major setback to gender equality. Nearly half of all women who leave work to raise children don’t go back, which is especially troubling as women constitute 95 percent of those who take a career break for child-raising or family caring. This statistic was related to us by Julianne Miles, co-founder of a revolutionary firm called Women Returners, which exists to facilitate the return of women to the workplace. Sadly, those who successfully resurrect their careers after a hiatus are the exception rather than the rule, but we interviewed executives who have done it to find some tips for returners. It never seems to be as simple as picking up where they left off, but the coping strategies they developed made their careers even stronger.


The elusive “second career” Argyro had no intention of leaving her job as general manager of the Greek subsidiary of a major travel retail company, until she learned she was pregnant with her first child. This came at the same time that her company was being acquired. Her reluctance to be in the post-merger structure, as well as to sacrifice time with her baby led her to part ways amicably with her employer, but she was not planning a long break. However, another pregnancy prolonged the gap. She mulled starting over with a “second career”. This reflection showed her that what she most enjoyed was “creating beautiful teams of talented people and helping them grow”. So, she did a second degree, this time in Strategy and HR Management, while still pregnant for the second time. After a failed attempt to return to work after baby number 2, Argyro managed to get back after number 3, once she had realised that she needed to use her consulting experience as the lever. She spent one year happily developing her abilities, after which she was called by a Londonbased multinational spirits and beverage company, to work as HR Director for Greece. From there, she quickly advanced to roles of increasing seniority within Europe. Reflecting on her career and life journey, Argyro says her husband’s support has been crucial. He is a very participative parent, and things are equitable between them. They work as a partnership, and balance and development are a priority for both of them. 51

Full-time fatherhood Tim also made a choice to value parenting over corporate life, though in a very different way and order than that used by Argyro. One evening, he came home from a long business trip to Africa, to find a little note on his bed from his nine-year-old daughter, asking that he attend a “meeting” with her ASAP. The next day, she explained, “Daddy, how can I love you if I never see you?” Tim resigned only ten days after this bombshell, fortunately in the knowledge that his wife had been offered an opportunity to take a role in the European headquarters of P&G. Moving to Geneva in itself was not a big challenge, but his new role as full-time father took more getting used to. While Tim was occupied with several other projects at the time, such as a role in a small start-up and designing and building a house, he describes his role of father as occupying 90 percent of his time. As his daughters grew bigger, Tim’s question became, “Can I mix the important parts of being a dad with the world of work?” Serendipitously, he was contacted by a consultancy firm and he took on a project, which led to another, and now he is helping them to develop their business. This is facilitated by a very actively present grandmother, who supports and helps out willingly. Tim says his experience as a full-time dad made him a better decisionmaker. He says he is much better at identifying and setting priorities, and bringing the right mix of emotion and practicality to any choice he faces these days. 52

When quizzed on how this works out for the couple, he is unequivocal: It only works if the two are perfectly aligned, and it helps tremendously if there is capital already saved so as to avoid a drastic drop in lifestyle. As he says “nobody is deprived, but we do control our spending in a way we would not have done a few years ago�. Defeating the odds Shortly after 9/11, Mui Gek, a Singaporean national with a successful career in retail leasing, and her French husband decided to move together to his native country. She aimed to use her experience to enter the French luxury goods industry, starting out by studying the language and earning an MBA in a local business school. It was a mammoth task for Mui Gek to find a job in a tough market, as a visibly and audibly very foreign person in a provincial French city. She created from scratch an extensive network, from her immediate friends, MBA teachers and family. Her tireless efforts netted a job with a family business, overseeing a large project to explore the Chinese market for shopping centres. While pregnant with her first child, Mui Gek and her husband decided she would take a break to have the baby and to figure out her next move. However, less than two years later, they found themselves with a toddler and newborn twins. When the twins were coming up to two, she started to feel it was time to return to work.


Yet again, networking skills came to the fore. This time, it led to an introduction to none other than Antoine Tirard, the co-author of this article, who was at the time recently appointed as head of talent at LVMH. Mui Gek’s mix of skills was unusual, to say the least, and not one that neatly fit with any particular vacant job in the luxury group. Her difference was that, beyond her obvious real estate and retail experience, she had doggedly stayed up to date on workplace issues, on fashion, luxury and more. This was the clincher. Eight months later, she received a call from LVMH who had decided to create a new role as the company felt their real estate strategy lacked coordination, and an expert hand with negotiation and diplomacy skills could be a great asset. She got the job. Networking furiously to make friends and allies and using her unique blend of knowledge, passion and persuasion helped her create a hitherto unheard-of collaboration between previously hostile, competitive brands, and she has been offered increasingly interesting developmental roles.


Getting better We are aware that the people profiled above are some of “the lucky ones”. They have been supported by family and comfortable finances, however difficult this balancing act may have been. The balance is a lot harder to find if you are on your own and there is no loving grandma around to babysit–- a reality faced by millions. But generally, hope is improving for anybody in this situation. A growing number of financial institutions and professional service firms —including Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, RBS, JP Morgan, and Lloyds Bank— have introduced ”returnship programmes” for high-calibre professionals who are ready to return to corporate life after having hit the pause button. So far, Goldman Sachs in the US reports offering permanent positions to fully half of their returnship participants. More recent data on UK returnship programmes suggest that retention rates may be even higher. Clearly, there is much to be gained and to be done: both for corporations who could undoubtedly make these returns easier, and for the returners themselves, who must battle history, tradition and tough circumstances with courage every single day.


8 Tips for Returners 1. Clarify your goals – take stock and use your time to explore what you want to do and where you want to be in ten years’ time. 2. Update your skills and knowledge – stay current in your field, upgrade your credentials, invest in relevant training, do volunteer work to learn or hone skills. 3. Use creative job search strategies – classic job search tactics won’t work; headhunters will ignore you. Mine neighbourhood or local job opportunities, investigate ‘returnship’ programmes. 4. Network in depth – reactivate and broaden your professional and personal networks for feedback, support, advice and leads. 5. Seek family support – secure financial, mental and emotional support from your partner, agree how you will rebalance or switch times and roles, look for help from participative parents. 6. Boost your confidence – be clear about your strengths. Emphasize the value you can bring to an employer rather than your time away. 7. Be prepared to compromise – Get ready to adjust your standards of living. Consider part-time, inter-im or freelance work. 8. Build resilience early on – be prepared to navigate multiple career breaks and noncontrollable events. Learn to develop a flexible attitude. Download the full article by Antoine Tirard and Claire Lyell « Finding a Route Back to Work After a Long Career Break ».

Antoine Tirard is a talent management advisor and the founder of NexTalent. He is the former head of talent management of Novartis and LVMH.

Claire Lyell is the founder of Culture Pearl and an expert in written communication across borders and languages. She loves the creative process of helping a coach/ consultant define what differentiates him or her, and then expressing that in words and visuals. You can reach Claire here: 56

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Worldwide Coaching Magazine

Ton de Graaf is one of the very few executive coaches in the world who is

designated by the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches as a Chartered Business Coach™ (ChBC™). He is the owner of Quest Coaching Netherlands and the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Worldwide Coaching Magazine. He coaches and inspires the next generation of international corporate leaders across the globe. He can be reached here: or visit:

Leon VanderPol is the founder of the Center for Transformational Coaching.

He is the creator of the Deep Coaching Intensive coach training program, a personal and professional development program designed to help coaches and holistic practitioners have the depth of skill needed to support people through periods of inner transformation and awakening. Visit him at to learn more about this life-changing program.

Julia von Flotow is an executive coach, mindfulness instructor, executive coach and founder of the Kaizen Leadership Institute, Toronto, Canada.

Her 12 step program to becoming an authentic and mindful leader has helped hundreds of independent professionals and business owners live happier lives and build more sustainable businesses. More info: or E-mail Julia

Lyn Christian

has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training. Lyn also is a CCmBIT coach. She is the founder of SoulSalt and can be reached here: 58

By trailblazing through conventional learning and business practices, heurist, writer and speaker Leanne Hoagland-Smith quickly demonstrates through ACE© how to advance people (talent) and operations (management) to that next generation of revenue growth for individuals and SMBs. She seeks forward thinkers who are stuck in the current status quo and want to stay ahead of the flow. Call her at 219.508.2859 CST or visit to learn more.

Professor David Clutterbuck is a leading international authority on

leadership and developmental dialogue. David is visiting professor at the Mentoring and Coaching Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University (MCRG), at the coaching and mentoring faculty of Oxford Brookes University, and at York St John University. E-mail: Website:

Grant Soosalu

(M.App.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), Grad. Dip. Psych, NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Master Behavioral Modeler) Grant Soosalu is an international leadership consultant, trainer and writer with backgrounds and expertise in Leadership, Coaching, Psychology, NLP, Behavioral Modeling and Applied Physics. More info: Grant can be reached at

Dr Suzanne Henwood

is an mBraining Master Coach and Master Trainer, as well as being an NLP trainer, Mindfulness Facilitator and Map of Meaning Facilitator. She is the Director of her own company (mBraining4Success) and is the CEO of The Healthy Workplace, a joint venture with a mission to change how we lead and do work globally - to bring humanity into the workplace. Suzanne has a special interest in Leadership and Stress as two key areas for coaching transformation. Suzanne can be reached here:

Patricia Wheeler is Managing Partner of The Levin Group, a global

leadership advisory firm. With more than 25 years of coaching and consulting experience, she works with leaders around the world who must innovate and deliver exceptional business results within an environment of rapid change and increasing complexity. She is a contributor to Best Practices in Organizational Development, the AMA Handbook of Leadership and Coaching For Leadership: Third Edition. You can contact Patricia here: 59

Organisational Development Coaching  

In this edition we offer you a range of tools, insights and best practices on OD Coaching.

Organisational Development Coaching  

In this edition we offer you a range of tools, insights and best practices on OD Coaching.