Leadership Impact: Coaching’s Call to Action.
It seems clear that a new generation of leaders will have to learn to excel and perform in the pandemic/ post pandemic working environment. As NBC news reporters say: ” What passes for normal life now happens almost entirely online.” We've experienced how life has exponentially shifted online and all kinds of activities in terms of work, leisure and career development find a generative space in the virtual world.
This is going to intensify as banks move to becoming online shopping malls and social media expands its offerings and creeps more deeply into our digitally laden lives.
To quote Robert Kargon, a professor of the history of science at Johns Hopkins University: "What I've found as a historian is that emergencies, for example like World War I, World War II, the Great Depression, they tended to accelerate new kinds of relationships, new kinds of ways of life," In other words, we got to where we were going faster, thanks to the pandemic. Therefore, let’s optimize on the possible online results we can achieve.
Leaders have to be changemakers. This sounds trite, but it has profound implications. In a world where everything is accelerating and no one has enough time, how will leaders make the impact they need to, and develop leadership and competitiveness in the organizational ecology, beyond the stream of online meetings that blink through their online days?
Our virtually driven leadership context motivated a study by Pawel Korzynski on the implications of an online environment for leadership. The study's participants were managers, directors and CEOs working in different organizations (including Fortune 500 companies) in the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Russian Federation, Australia and China.
The data were collected through structured surveys delivered through LinkedIn to the managers, directors and CEOs. A total of 115 matched questionnaires were returned. Statistical analysis, using STATA software, was conducted to assess the research results.
The findings show that the usefulness of online platforms as tools supporting leadership, depends on the number of activities, number of and types of platforms and size of the company. The fragmented communication on various platforms limits the impact and dissolves the message. Emails go to junk and threads get lost as people scramble to keep up with the demands of their diaries.
To this end, the traditional use of learning management systems and LMS learning management system driven programmes for both for the development of leaders and for employees training, is now being supplemented by online coaching platforms. This is a single coherent space aimed at supporting the development of individual leaders, employees, as well as group coaching program related activities one one platform.
Meta groups continue to be used to supplement the development of communities of practice after the completion of online courses, which allows for an informal group coaching environment that is sometimes coach led. Providers of online training courses often start an online community to create a forum to keep the conversation going and to discuss the application of skills learned and foster the creation of new knowledge in a collaborative manner in the group.
This is not effective for compliance training but is exceptionally effective for those who have a coaching business or training programs where both tacit and explicit knowledge can be explored in the learning community of practice.
A Meta group is however a clumsy way to continue intentional coaching, since discussion threads get messy and the community of participants does not always provide good content. Discussions may become sidetracked and the usefulness of these groups in helping participants maintain goal directed behaviour has been questioned.
While participants do share and learn from each other, different levels of participation and knowledge make these groups better suited to discussions of new ideas, new knowledge and examples of application and to allow for a sense of connection. If well designed and maintained however, they can be generative spaces for building new skills and applying knowledge, beyond the context of online learning.
There are however, employee coaching platforms and employee coaching software that has been specifically designed, and that has emerged to match the pressing virtual need for virtual coaching. It is coach led and aimed at providing coaching “on the go”. It's much slicker to connect with your virtual coach on a customised app than wading into a Meta group.
It suits team and group coaching, which is increasing in popularity, as remote teams seek routes out of home based isolation, and a group coaching platform therefore ignites learning and connection simultaneously.
A coaching platform on a mobile device is ideal, especially if it’s user friendly and offers goal oriented content that helps leaders and employees achieve organisational and individual learning goals. The opportunity to have online coaching sessions takes online learning to the next level allowing integration, reflection and application of learning materials which moves way beyond LMS platforms and LMS features.
This gives leaders what they need to extend their employees' development and impact their ecosystems beyond the limitations of an LMS experiences. A coaching platform allows for the integration of learning into work. This means active learning can create real impact and provide a better return on the coaching investment. A platform for coaching provides targeted training content at the right time for the right context which is something Facebook groups could never achieve. Send notifications and reminders and analyze data from the coaching platform on user engagement. It also gives you metrics, reporting, accountability and a fun way to level up through coaching missions. Find out more about the top performers in this market by starting with myQuest.
Written by Kirsten Garbini