Changes in Executive Coaching


By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D.

(This is copyrighted material and permission has been granted to display on this website by the author, Jeffrey E. Auerbach. No further reproduction or publication is permitted.)

Each year a group of senior executive coaches gather in a "think-tank" setting to discuss developments in the executive coaching field. This "invitation only" gathering of thought leaders is known as the Executive Coaching Summit and was most recently held November 7-8, 2005 in San Jose California.

A forthcoming report (in process by this author) will provide an extensive discussion of the findings of this event. Here is a glimpse of just some of the findings as to how organizational, climate and demographic changes are affecting the executive coaching field:

Information Loss with Boomer Retirements

1. Organizations are experiencing the demographic shift of baby-boomers exiting and retiring. Organizations are on the verge of an incredible loss of information and experience. As a result, organizations have a dearth of emerging leaders in their pipelines. These succession issues increase the demand for executive coaching.

Gen Y More Demanding

2. A new employee-employer contract is emerging as younger employees have a different relationship with their work than baby-boomers. Younger employees demand more work-life balance and are not willing to trade as much for the sake of the organization. Gen Y (20-somethings) are often described as comfortable with technology, own their own value as they are their own brand, have less loyalty to an organization; seek more frequent changes and seek democracy in their work life.

Retention Concerns
3. Leaders are increasingly concerned about employee retention as they know employees will not stay if they are not satisfied.

Gen X Seek Emotional Intelligence
4. A new generation of leaders will soon emerge. "Gen X" leaders are predicted to excel in teamwork and collaboration. To succeed in this environment more executives are interested in emotional intelligence.

Coaching in a Direct Business Context
5. There is increased emphasis of purchasing coaching services in a direct business context as opposed to general development.

Coaching and Business Outcomes

6. Increasingly, both leadership development and executive coaching are being examined in terms of business outcomes.

Keeping Women in Corporate Life
7. Organizations are finding that women are leaving corporate life whereas the organizations want them back.

Coaching to Shift Mindsets
8. Organizations are increasingly interested in developing coaching cultures to help executive change efforts. Some studies indicate that 85% of change efforts fail in organizations (University of Michigan). The research is that although technical changes and team-building are conducted, people often don't utilize new systems because they haven't shifted mindsets. A coaching culture is seen as a way to help people shift mindsets and adapt to change.

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