Accelerating and Amplifying Societal Progress Through Coaching—A New Frontier?
As the awareness of coaching grows rapidly around the world and a greater number of people are introduced to coaching, we increasingly see coaching being applied in different ways and supporting different populations.
Moving from individual coaching to broader applications in organizations and corporations, coaching is also very present in the public sector and has started making inroads in the academic world as a means to support learning and leadership development for the students. Recently, however, we also see a greater use of coaching in not-for-profit organizations. Is this just a temporary anomaly or a trend, here to stay?
When asked in the PwC/ICF 2016 Global Coaching Study, the majority of respondents around the globe stated that they believed to a large extent that coaching is able to influence social change. These were not only words. Since then, the ICF Foundation, in partnership with ICF Chapters, established 80 Ignite projects to support leaders in nonprofit organizations in educational sector.
Let’s face it: there is a growing urgency around societal issues. The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals—Progress is Possible—offer an interesting framework for debate and action in 17 unique areas. The time may be now to ask the question, what is the greatest contribution that coaching can offer to society, to humanity?
The not-for-profit sector is growing rapidly, with organizations small and large joining forces for the greater good. Younger generations are increasingly choosing their careers in this sector and are attracted to the missions of these organizations. In today’s socially conscious environment, employees and customers place a premium on working for and spending their money with businesses that prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is an evolving practice that incorporates sustainable development into a company’s business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders and the public. They all need support in building their capacity and developing leadership. This is where coaching becomes indispensable, accelerating and amplifying their impacts. This opens new opportunities for coaches and expands the marketplace.
What does it mean for a coach practitioner? It may mean different things to different people. Some may choose to engage in societal progress activities as individuals, either offering pro bono coaching or giving their time and talent in different ways. It may mean bringing societal progress goals and impacts to the awareness of their corporate clients. It may mean working with nonprofit organizations to build their internal capacity for bringing their mission to life. One thing is certain, coaching is needed now maybe more than ever before. Progress IS possible—it will just take all of us to see the lasting impacts.